As insurance agents, we have all heard that blogging is a must for successful internet marketing. The days of direct mail campaigns, telemarketing, newspaper and yellow page ads are a thing of the past. I am fairly new to blogging but my insurance agency is already starting to see the benefits it brings. I started blogging for our insurance agency about 6 months ago. Following are some tips that helped me go from kicking and screaming about the prospect of having to blog to enjoying the process and seeing the benefits.
- Setting up your blog platform. There are many sites which offer free software to create your own blog, the most popular being WordPress and Blogger. Some sites offer paid upgrades which allow you to purchase your own domain name. You can also host your own blog through sites such as BlueHost.com which allows for more social sharing and SEO capabilities.
- Learn about what makes a good blog. The first thing I did after setting up my software was to read as much as I could about effective blogging. For a wealth of information, I recommend sites such as the Social Media Examiner and SEOmoz.org.
- Determine the purpose of your blog. I wanted my blog to be informative for consumers and of course target the types of businesses and clients we want to drive to our website.
- How to come up with great blog ideas? I started a folder of blogging ideas. Every time I read a trade journal I keep an eye out for possible blog ideas. If I find something that I think may be valuable I tear it out and put it in the folder. Not very high tech but it has worked for me. I do the same with newsletters I receive from our companies. When a client calls with a question I think, hmmm….would that be a good blog? I also go to association websites for industries I am targeting to see what is on their mind and is it something I can address. Being a California insurance agency I try to target local news and happenings as well. The more I blog the easier the ideas come to me.
- Promote and share what you write. I share links to all of my blogs on facebook and twitter. With some blogs I also do an email campaign with a link to a relevant blog.
- Everything I read about blogging says you have to be patient. Results do not come over night. That’s true I’m sure, but I did have an immediate increase in the visits to my website from organic searches the first month I started blogging and it continues to grow each month. I have also seen increased traffic to my website from my facebook page. I haven’t been doing this long enough to have it affect the number of leads from my website but I’m confident that will come.
Bio: Susie Scherff is president of Sutherland-Scherff Insurance Services, Inc. and has been in the insurance industry for 36 years with prior experience as both a commercial underwriter and producer. Her agency offers both personal and commercial insurance.