I know your type. You love meeting with families. You love working with stressed-out high schoolers who struggle to write their college essays. You're thrilled to help nervous parents through the college search process. Your kind words and encouragement make the college process so easy. And fun!
So, why would you want to spend time behind your desk writing blog posts?
Easy! The real benefit: It could make a real impact on your IEC business.
Why Develop a Blog (or Fix Up Your Existing Blog)?
When I was an admission counselor (I spent 12 years behind the desk!) I'd always blogged for fun, as a hobby. I used one of those diary-like blogs with the dates cataloged on the right-hand side. (You know the kind I'm talking about.)
However, blogging has evolved into so much more. Blogging now offers professionals an incredible platform from which to build their businesses.
Let's go through the reasons you might want to use a blog for your business!
Reason 1: It's free. (FREE!)
Blogging doesn't cost anything. It costs $0 to post individual blog posts. You might need to pay a little bit to do keyword research, I'll give you that. However, it's nowhere near the same cost as paying a marketing firm's steep prices.
The average small-business owner spends about one percent of his or her business revenue on advertising. Now, blogging won't cure all your marketing ills. You'll probably still have to spend some money on marketing. However, blogging offers a low-cost way to keep money in your pocket.
Reason 2: You can attract a broad audience.
Blogging doesn't limit you to your very own backyard, which is where many IECs traditionally get started. With a blog, you can reach students and parents across the world!
Even if working with international students isn't your beat, you still might want to consider getting out of your local area. In that case, blogging gives you access to the entire U.S.
When you use keyword research effectively and implement the right SEO techniques, a search engine will propel you all over the world. Thanks, Google!
Reason 3: It gives you a platform for your ideas.
When you develop a successful blog for your business, you give yourself an automatic platform for posting, writing and expressing yourself. Let's say you come up with an ingenious way to pay for college on your blog. If you're not writing about it and getting those ideas out there, you're not attracting new people to your business.
Putting your ideas out there gets you into people's heads. They say, "Hey! I was just talking about that exact thing last Saturday. It's the solution to the problem we've been searching for!"
They click on your email address and send you an email.
Presto! You have a new client.
Reason 4: You gain credibility.
Other experts take notice of your ideas and your writing and post links to your site on their sites. You get guest posting gigs from high-end sites. Not only do they link to your site, they quote you and write about you! (It's how I got quoted on Fox Business.)
Others see you as a bonafide expert in the field. (Not that you weren't before you had a blog, but again, your blog showcases your knowledge and expertise.)
Reason 5: Prospective clients heed your call to action.
What should you always do at the end of every blog post? You got it. You add in a call to action. You can ask prospective clients to do a number of things:
Contact you via your messaging portal.
Meet with you in person.
Schedule a Zoom meeting.
Talk to you at the next high school open house.
Or whatever! The point is, anytime someone Googles for the keywords you've written about, you give people your contact information.
If you decide to put information on Pinterest, start Facebook ads to your blog posts… Well! That's a topic for another day. The point is, your opportunities suddenly become endless.
Your Existing Blog May Need SEO Help
You may have a blog, but are you using specific SEO principles to guide you? Keyword research, specific word counts, competition analysis, great writing — all of these things matter.
Did you know that your entire website should also be optimized for SEO, including your homepage? It sure does! Learn more here.
Ready to Develop Your Blog to Gain New Customers?
Blogging can open up your world, as long as you do it correctly. You must use SEO effectively and create blog posts based on these concepts.