Consultants who blog may wish to go further from their topic to help brand themselves
A golden rule in blogging is try to have a focus for your content; do not stray to far from it. Every blogger has the odd post that does not fit the true purpose of the site though, but what if that content becomes half of the site? I was analyzing some popular blogs in specific industries, and found that they go against the focus rule; however, they do engage their audience, which is the ultimate goal of the site, but does this lead to conversions?
When I found that I wanted to write posts which were off topic, I took two steps: created a new site for one set of articles; and created a subdomain for another set of articles. This kept my main blog fairly much on focus. Since I am in the real estate industry, I took a look at the top “real estate blogs” (which really means the top Realtor blogs). One suggestion given to Realtors who blog is to write about the city or neighborhoods. This leads to some posts, which do not help buyers or sellers. I do not believe that in most cases that this will help convert the blog reader into a client. I also do not think that writing such posts will increase traffic to your site either, so why do they do it?
The keyword may be branding. As a consultant, you may find quite a few things to discuss about your business, but to engage readers, you have to find a connection, which is generally achieved by showing passion for a topic. In the case of the Realtors, the best bloggers create a brand to fit all of these wandering posts. They sell the idea. Other consultants find ways to incorporate their business into such a post. So a farm equipment sales person may want to discuss beautiful farm land, and then how the equipment offered could help make it better. A financial adviser with an interest in local government may detail how the budget should have been written or what would have provided greater returns for the government.
With this idea, you will want to carefully think about the business image that you wish to project, how your own passions can be incorporated into that image, and how can you be creative with that brand. The best way to be creative with that brand is to have a tag line that sums up what you are doing or that you define as what you are doing. Volkswagen was good at this idea when they used the word “fahrvergnuegen” in their ads. Instead of saying “driving enjoyment”, they established that they were a German firm, they were fun, and they were different.
I believe for this tactic to work though, you have to tie it back to your business. This is where I am debating how far afield one can go. Going back to the blogging Realtors, is writing about a local restaurant or party scene going to sell homes? I discovered that a popular post from one real estate blog was getting traffic which may have been looking for porn due to the post title. Most posts described the local scene and events. This may bring in readers, but then you have to remind readers that you have a business, and they may or may not suggest your services. If you are successful with the branding this can work, but if you do not carefully execute the brand, it will not work.