Earlier this year, Erik Wolf provided us with a guest post about making money with your blog. It was such a good article that we’ve decided to re-post it here in case you missed it the first time.

Enjoy!

The question of “what’s in it for me?” is a big one for business people thinking about starting blogs. How does regular blogging lead to income? I’m going to ignore the remote possibility here that your blog will become so popular that you will earn significant advertising revenues, lucrative book deals and/or a nationwide motivational speaking tour. Instead I’m going to focus on how a blog can profitably support your core business and (although there are probably more) I usually like to talk about these four:

What are some of the best ways to make your blog stand out from the rest? Read these four tips from Erik Wolfe.

1. Use your blog in your sales process

A blog is a great place to document the answers to questions you hear a lot in client meetings and a great place to establish yourself as the sort of person that speaks openly, honestly and with authority on issues critical to your clients’ success. When a prospect asks you questions or demonstrates an interest in learning more about the pros and cons of a particular type of solution, link an appropriate blog post in your follow-up email after the meeting. It demonstrates expertise and a willingness to share information and will be more effective than any brochure you could have left behind. I actually believe that good blogging can actually replace traditional collateral for many businesses.

2. Socialize your best content

Not every post you write will be gold. But when you write something really good, share it with your friends, colleagues and anyone in your contact list that you consider influential or well-connected. These types of messages can not only help drive traffic to your post but also create wonderful excuses to stay in touch with people who could potentially refer business (and provide them the ammunition to do so). It goes without saying that you should also leverage your posts in email newsletters and social media.

3. Use your blog to make connections

Ever heard of “guilt by association?” There’s also status by association. If you can rub elbows with the thought leaders in your industry, your reputation will benefit and others will seek to do business with you because of your valuable connections. Blogging can help you achieve this. Visit the blogs and sites of luminaries in your industry and leave poignant comments, linking to related content on your own blog. Send personal emails to these individuals and share your best writing with them. Invite them to guest blog on your site. Your blog can become a very valuable networking tool if you’re willing to leverage it.

4. Aggregate content

If you write two blog posts a week at about 300 words a piece, that’s over 30,000 words a year! That volume of content can be easily aggregated into a series of white papers or a short eBook or provide the foundation for a full-length printed book. And I’m speaking from experience here — my book, Marketing: Unmasked (Amazon Affiliate Link) was based very significantly on my blog. Remember what I said earlier about a blog’s ability to replace other marketing content? Case and point. The ability to put a printed book with your byline on it (self published or not) in the hands of a prospect puts you at a significant advantage over your competition. As I said, there are a number of other ways to benefit from blogging, but these methods are all simple and useful to just about anyone who runs a blog. It’s also worthwhile to point out that leveraging your blog in this manner is very easy compared to the discipline it takes to properly maintain a blog in the first place. Keep at it though, the effort will definitely pay off.

Erik Wolf is a small business marketer with Zero-G Creative and co-author of Marketing: Unmasked