What’s the top secret to developing a winning blog, one that draws an audience, grows your brand and improves your products sales? For former teacher Steve Spangler, it’s learning from others who have achieved some success with this tool. Spangler is the founder and CEO of Steve Spangler Science, a multichannel firm that sells science education toys while offering kids, teachers and parents a host of free science experiments and projects. He launched his blog in 2004, giving him the perfect forum through which to share his passion for science, connect with others who are similarly inspired and promote his business, all at once. Since starting the blog, he’s witnessed a 15 percent increase in online sales that he can attribute directly to this tool.
Spangler works with Stephan Spencer, president of Netconcepts, an e-marketing services firm that specializes in natural search, to develop and optimize his blog. Here, they share a few lessons they have learned about what information to post and how to go about doing it so your blog becomes more than a one-way conversation:
Tactic #1: Give your blog a singular voice with a personality, says Spencer. “Your blog has to be authentic or other bloggers will figure it out.” If your blog is supposed to be from the company president, then he had better be the one who is writing it with his own words.
Tactic #2: Feature real-life customer stories, especially if they are funny, says Spangler. For example, he has blogged about a customer who used his fake snow product to get out of a traffic ticket, kids’ science projects and other types of customer testimonials. Sometimes these posts are simply text, but people often send him photos and even videos.
Tactic #3: Connect your products to interesting stories. The speeding ticket story gave Spangler the perfect opportunity to provide a link to his Instant Snow product page. Or simply develop intriguing stories around your products. To spark readers’ imaginations around Halloween, he offered a list of spooky experiments to try, some of which tied in to products on his Web site.