If you’re reading this article, then you probably know that blogging is something I’m very passionate about. At the time of writing this, I’ve got five pages of blog post archives to my name here on the SmarterMSP blog alone. I know that blogging is important – not only as a communications tool, but as a way to provide value to my audience without expecting anything in return.
My goal is to help MSPs win new customers and blogging is a big part of how I do it.
To be fair, it’s also one of the elements that has been a major source of fuel to our business growth at Tech Pro Marketing. I regularly receive positive feedback on my blog posts from prospective customers, current customers and strategic partners.
Yet, for as much success as I’m having using blogging as a key marketing strategy, I’m actually seeing most MSPs in the exact opposite situation. In fact, some are having virtually no success at all with this medium.
With that in mind, I wanted to take the opportunity to outline what I think those organizations could be doing better when it comes to blogging… and how you can learn from their mistakes to take your own efforts to the next level.
The trouble with most MSPs and blogging
When I take a look at most MSP blogs, I usually see three problems right off the bat.
The first of those is the topics that many MSPs choose to write about. MSPs are in a world filled with advanced technology, yes – but that doesn’t mean your blogging has to be that way. Blogging should be an opportunity to make the technology topics that you know are so important to businesses and help those business owners understand technology in a way they might not be able to on their own. It should explain to them in simple terms why technology matters from a business perspective.
When topics get too bogged down in the “details” and the hyper-advanced technical side of it all, you’re not putting out content that your potential customers will want to consume.
Another issue that I see with many MSP blogs involves the fact that they’re failing to share their true expertise. An example of this would be a straightforward blog post describing whatever new security issue has been discovered. And rest assured, there always is a new one cropping up to blog about. But, if you cover the issue in a very straightforward, journalistic fashion, you’re not adding anything new to the discussion. You’re also not giving someone anything they couldn’t find on countless other blogs and news websites.
Instead, you need to go deeper. You need to put things within the context of the unique experience that you have as an MSP business owner. This is something that we see a lot with influencers and successful personal brands, where the most successful content – the content that really makes a meaningful connection with people – is the content that is the most personal in nature. Someone is sharing a part of themselves with the audience and people respond to that. With the right approach, your blogging can absolutely be your opportunity to do the same.
Finally, and this is the biggest issue I frequently encounter and that is the idea of readership. In a lot of situations that I see, MSP owners are publishing content in exactly one place: on their own website.
Now, I don’t want to offend any of you out there, but let’s just say by its very nature, your website is going to bring you limited readership. I don’t know many people who make it a point to check out an MSP’s blog over their morning coffee, and I work in this industry. Instead, what you really need to be doing is finding places that are going to expand who you’re speaking to. Sure, you can write for your own site if you want to – but you also need to be capitalizing on opportunities to do guest posts for others. Write blogs that will get published on industry-specific sites. Find places with existing audiences that you can take advantage of and hopefully carve out a portion for yourself.
How to thrive with blogging
Now we arrive at the most important question: what do you do about all of this?
It would be too easy to say, “just do the opposite of everything I just talked about.” However, there are still a few actionable things you can take away.
Number one: don’t get bogged down in the technical details of everything you write about. Instead, talk about the business implications. Business people don’t care about what something means as much as they care about what it means TO THEM. Don’t let yourself forget that.
Number two: for every topic that you write about, link it back to some experience that you’ve had. If every article you write starts with some anecdote about speaking with a client or a fellow business owner that served as an inspiration to write the blog in the first place, rest assured that would be a good thing for you.
Number three: uncover strategic partnerships. I literally cannot overstate the importance of this. You’re not going to be able to amplify your voice on your own. You need to find companies and blogs that have existing audiences that guarantee people will actually read what you’re writing. It could be your local business journal, an industry association’s website, you name it – you need to find it and reach out and make that connection.
By following these tips, I truly do believe that blogging can become the game-changer for you that it was for us at Tech Pro Marketing. If you’re interested in finding out whether blogging could be the missing piece of the successful marketing strategy that your business needs, contact myself or one of my colleagues at Tech Pro Marketing today for a strategy session. We’d be more than happy to have a discussion to help you find out.
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