Small businesses that blog see 126% more lead growth than the businesses that don’t. This statistic is not surprising to most content marketers, but it can be an eye-opener for someone looking for effective ways to sell online courses.
The truth is that content marketing still reigns as a favorite among marketers and not only. Even if you wouldn’t call yourself a marketer and opt for knowledge entrepreneur instead, a lot of your time is dedicated to marketing your online courses.
Blogging to promote online courses is a great way to generate new leads by bringing more traffic to your website.
However, I get it. Maybe you don’t know how to start a more professional blog. Maybe you haven’t tried it before or would like to start right away, but have so many questions. That’s why today we’re answering the most common questions knowledge entrepreneurs have about blogging for promoting online courses.
How do I start a blog?
Anyone can start a blog. There are many platforms out there, WordPress being the most popular, of course. Most of them offer a way to build a blog for free so you can test them out.
More importantly, since you are looking to promote your online courses, the golden rule is to make the blog a part of your main website. In other words, make sure that they share the same domain.
If you are using a platform to host courses or a learning management system, choose one that has a public blog feature. In this way, everything is in one place and easy for website visitors to find.
Why blog since I already have online courses?
This is actually a fair question. Why offer interesting content since you are already doing so in your online courses? Wouldn’t that defeat the purpose? No!
Think of blog posts as previews for your online courses. You can share tips and tricks with people, offer advice, write reviews, but never disclose the whole thing. If people want to learn more, they will buy the course.
Plus, you will see long term results, since people will find older posts by searching for the right keywords online, go to your blog post, check out the other pages and so on.
How does blogging help sell my courses exactly?
The very short answer is: blogging brings traffic to your site. The long answer is: by establishing yourself as an expert and/or authority on a subject you are more likely to gain your visitors’ trust and they will buy your courses over and over again.
You can focus on each stage on the buyer’s journey, from visitors first becoming aware of your courses to actually making a purchase. Not all of your content needs to promote courses directly, but you can do that in some blog posts.
Don’t expect it to bring you thousands of customers right away! It takes some time to incorporate blogging as part of your marketing strategy and convert visitors into learners.
Can I do it all by myself?
Of course! You are the expert on your website, you know enough about a topic to create online courses, and since you don’t have to blog every single day to get traffic, you can do it yourself.
Sure, there are certain exceptions and you might want to hire a freelancer to write blog posts for you if you can afford it. Another way to get good content is to be open to publishing guest posts authored by other entrepreneurs, bloggers, etc.
Keep in mind that this is your blog and you want quality content. Don’t compromise on that since your readers will go elsewhere to find what interests them. You don’t want to have guest posts that are unrelated to what you do!
Otherwise, maybe you can ask a friend or a more seasoned blogger to review your content before you publish, especially at the beginning.
How often to post?
Starting a blog is relatively easy, but the maintenance is the true marker of success. However, you don’t have to go all out and post every single day. That takes way too much time and energy, considering that the blog is not your main gig!
The posting frequency depends a lot on how much time you have to dedicate to this, but I would suggest publishing a new blog post once a week or at least three times per month in the beginning. It’s better to be consistent and publish fewer posts, instead of 10 posts in a month and zero new blogs for the following three months.
My advice would be to plan ahead and write a few posts so you have enough material initially and then write them in advance.
Who will read it?
I’m purposefully not answering “What should I write about?” and I’m choosing instead to answer “Who will read it?”. Your topics should be relevant to your audience, mainly prospective clients and learners. It should be based on real problems that they are facing and offering real solutions.
Usually, as an online course creator, you know that your content needs to be about your learners, blogging is no different.
For this, you can use your buyer persona, base your content around the FAQs that your readers ask, what you personally think it’s good for them to know, and the competition.
Yes, your competition is a great source of material. It doesn’t mean that you are outright stealing their blog posts, you are getting ideas for topics, and then writing your own opinions on a specific topic.
What if I’m not a good enough writer?
Writing is a useful skill to have, regardless of your industry. Knowledge entrepreneurs like yourself probably already write for courses. And yes, writing a script for an educational video counts as well!
My main point is: your blog posts don’t have to be perfect or revolutionary or life-changing. Writing is a skill just like any other, even if you feel as if you need to have some special talent for it. In reality, it takes about 99% of work and 1% talent. Talented people that don’t practice it often are less likely to produce outstanding content (baam, truth!).
Figure out which bloggers or entrepreneurs you admire, what you like about their writing and just start, even if you don’t feel like a good enough writer now.
Which format should I choose?
There are many ways to format a blog post, and as you write more and more, you will see that you can establish a template that works best for you. My advice is to do what feels more comfortable at first, whether it’s creating list-based articles or reviews.
Sure, you can also go straight for what works best. In this case, lists (listicles) are widely read, the same goes for guides and how to’s. As you progress, you might want to create in-depth posts about a topic, that aims to educate and establish you as a thought leader. Interviews with experts or other entrepreneurs are also a good idea since people will be curious to learn both of your opinions.
Don’t be afraid to have longer posts as long as they are relevant. An average post that also does well is 1,000-1,300 words-long, and you should aim for that, but don’t worry if you can only do 750 at the beginning.
Do I need to be an SEO expert?
Absolutely not! However, you need to optimize your content for search engines in order for it to do well. Writing a blog will not help generate too many leads if people can’t find your blog! Learning how to create keywords, a good headline, a meta description, adding internal links, etc. is not at all hard to do.
Sure, as you progress with the blog, and some time passes, you will see how important it is to also create evergreen content that doesn’t lose its appeal, helping you rank well and bring more leads to your website.
Is that it?
Having a blog to promote your online courses has many advantages. You can really engage with your blog readers and gain so much insight from them. For example, you can build a whole new course just by trying to answer their questions about a specific topic.
You can communicate important information, post teasers for new courses, engage with clients and prospective learners. Plus, I can’t stress this enough: it’s a really effective way of building your credibility online.
I hope you have found this useful and will keep these things in mind if you are considering blogging to promote your online courses. Have any other questions? Let me know in the comment section below!
Ioana believes that learning doesn’t stop when school stops. When she is not writing about learning and ed tech, she can usually be seen reading a book and drinking lots of coffee.