Are you wondering how to use a blog to promote an offline business?
Curious about whether blogging can help you take your business to the next level?
In this interview, Bella Vasta shares how she grew her pet sitting business with a blog.
Whether you have an offline business or not, you'll get valuable tips to grow your business.
Bella is a pet business coach. Through her company, Jump Consulting, she helps pet sitters scale their businesses.
She has been coaching pet sitting businesses and corporate clients since 2007. Bella has published some of the most comprehensive research in the pet industry.
And yes – she has the experience under her belt. As a former pet sitting business owner, Bella grew her business using a blog. Through this experience, she helps her clients grow in unconventional ways. Even in a saturated market.
She sold her pet sitting business for six figures in 2016.
When Bella started her business, she was living at home with her parents.
Her parents wanted her to get a “real job” so she got one working at Paychex. It wasn't something she enjoyed. Two weeks in, she decided to leave her job.
She started her business “by accident.” It wasn't because she loved pets. It was because a friend asked her to pet sit her dog.
Seeing this as an opportunity to get away a little, she embraced the idea of starting a business.
She was now a pet sitter and gave it all she had. To get new clients, she went knocking on doors and going up to pet stores.
As hard as she tried, business wasn't doing well. It was a struggle.
One day, Bella met with a mentor who recommended that she should start a blog. But Bella didn't think people wanted to hear what she thought.
But she kept hearing about blogging from people like Marcus Sheridan.
In 2010, she decided to start a blog. And as with when she started her business, she went all in.
But when she first started, she didn't do a great job at creating valuable content.
Instead, she stuffed her content with relevant keywords, whether it made sense or not.
She tried to get terms like Scottsdale pet sitter, dog walker, etc. in everything.
She didn't add images well, didn't do video, wasn't marketing or repurposing.
It was mostly shallow answers to questions.
Even while not doing things the best way, she was starting to see results. More business started coming her way.
The lesson Bella would like to pass on from this is as follows. It's better to do something than to waste time being paralyzed with fear.
After seeing how well blogging was working for her business, she decided to get even more serious.
She started understanding the psychology of blogging. People needed to trust her and her business.
It was essential to expose herself, her thoughts and give valuable content to earn trust.
Her goal was to reach to where her audience felt like she was the only (and best) choice.
To do that, she had to create the best content she could and provide as much value as possible.
So the question is – what specifically did she do? How did she build a business that she was able to sell for six figures?
Bella shared some practical tips in the episode. Here they are.
Use a tool like Google Keyword Planner to find out what your audience is looking for.
Let's use the example of someone who owns a restaurant. What are people in your area searching for? Are they looking for places to go for date night? Are they looking for romantic places? Is your restaurant a good place for date night?
This research can help you determine what kind of content to create to target them.
Bloggers often tend to hold things back. Don't do that. Give them the sight, the sound, describe the smell, give EVERYTHING.
If possible, use audio, visual and the written word. Become the go-to resource in your industry in your area.
Too many businesses focus on superficial content that only promotes their business. They are all about selling.
Don't do that. Pick a topic for each post and go all in.
Why are you different from other businesses in your area? There should always be an answer to that.
If you're a restaurateur, do you get your ingredients in a unique way? Are there particular “secrets” you use in preparing your meals?
Highlight these things because they make you stand out from the crowd.
How do you connect with the community that you serve? Find things in your local community to highlight.
Highlight events that are happening related to your industry. Are you involved in any charity? Highlight that.
Yes, local businesses have an advantage. Here's the thing. Bigger companies can't be everywhere – especially in small towns.
But you can do this in your community. In other words, you're not in a national competition. And bigger businesses can't do what you can at the level that you can.
Take advantage of this and do what they aren't able to do. Dominate your industry for your community.
You want to build a business that can thrive with or without you. Instead of building a blog that's dependent on you, focus on building a brand.
Document your processes so that others can fill essential roles. How do you write your blog posts? How do you post content? How do you promote your content? What about repurposing?
Create and document these processes and use them to build a team that will grow your business.
So there you have it – Bella's best tips on using a blog to build an offline business.
What you'll probably notice is that most of these tips apply to almost any blog. It comes down to this – How will you serve your audience? And will you take action?
With that, we release you into the wild. Go and create an awesome blog and use that to grow your business.
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