Why the Best Website for Your Coaching Business is (Still) a Blog


David Risley, one of my favorite bloggers, has put up a thoughtful post asking whether blogging is “broken” as a business model.

He notes the saturation level of information online, and wonders if it is creating a “community of tire kickers” who will never pay for high-value information products. He asks whether Apple and Google – both of which have just launched systems to charge small micro-payments for information – have seen the future of content marketing. Many of the top Internet marketers seldom post to their blogs any more, and some have quit blogging altogether.

It is true, as David says, that people who pay for content also pay more attention to that content. And it’s true that once an audience is “trained” to expect everything for free, it can be tough to overcome that training and sell them an information product.

The best website for a coaching business is still a blog

But does that mean that blogging has outlived its usefulness for a service-based entrepreneurial business like coaching?

Blogging Builds Relationships and Trust

People have predicted the demise of blogging ever since the advent of blogging. So far that shows no sign of coming true. As for charging micro-payments for information, that may become a viable business model, but it remains to be proven, even for global giants like Apple and Google.

Here’s my bottom line for coaches.

Blogging is still a potent tool for getting in front of your tribe and staying in touch with them. I don’t think paid access (or any other format) is going to replace it any time soon.

That’s because no other format can match a blog for building visibility and credibility with a target audience. Blogging helps you establish ongoing “know-like-trust” relationships with an ever-growing list of prospects, while it builds your street cred. You need a free way to showcase your knowledge base, and show that you’re here to stay, for the people in your market.

And from the reader’s point of view, blogs deliver big value for little cost.

Notice that the luminaries David mentions who have quit blogging are people who already have a HUGE audience. Blogging is about consistent quality output. When you already have star power, there are easier ways to maintain your list.

But nothing beats a blog for building an audience from the ground up. That’s how blogging revolutionized the publishing industry – by making the ability to reach an audience available to anyone.

It’s true that blogging has matured as business model. It’s not just for early adopters anymore, and as more people do it, it gets harder to cut through the noise.

But people suffering from info overwhelm are not going to stop looking for information. They are going to look for information that is better tailored to their needs – content that tells them exactly what they need to know, and saves them the effort of sifting through mountains of material to find it.

That’s an opportunity for your coaching business blog. Differentiate yourself. Here’s how:

  • Make sure you are serving a clearly defined, narrow target market.
  • Write about the specific set of problems THEY say are important to them.
  • Give them information they can use, in easy-to-digest bites, without wasting their time.

Nothing works better to build credibility and trust. Once you have that, your audience will come back for more. And some of them – the ones you most want to work with – will be willing to pay for it.

This model is so well suited for coaches that I’ve created a complete program around creating a site that wins clients. Check it out here: Client Winning Websites and Blogs.

Meanwhile, don’t quit blogging.


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THOUGHTS? QUESTIONS? ANSWERS?

  • Kenn

    Great article Rhonda.

    I think at the core of a blog (or any tool) is that you serve your market. A blog creates a quick and easy way to start serving them.

    Social networks also provide an easy way to start serving people fast too.

  • Heidi

    I hear a lot about how blogging buildstrust but how do you get people to start readingyour blog?Heidi Seiferthttp://www.nycpsychotherapist.org

    • http://prosperouscoachblog.com/ Rhonda Hess

      Great question, Heidi. As with ALL websites, you have to drive traffic to your site to get any significant value out of the site. The easiest and low cost way is to look for places you can link back to your site that are already frequented by your target market. If you have built up relationships already on social networks, you can invite those people to visit your site. You can set WordPress up so that when you post a blog, it automatically shows up on your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn walls. You can also invite people back to your site on a Facebook Page. Also, look for other blogs and publications, as well as other sites that your target market frequents and see if you can get a link back to your site with the person who runs that site or publication. Doing guest blog posts on other people’s blogs (again, must be relevant to your target market) is another great way to build your list and trust.

      If you write about topics that are highly relevant to a narrow target market, the people already on your list will do a lot of the work for you, referring their friends and colleagues to your blog. It helps if you promote commenting so there’s a community feel on your site.

      It’s a slow build unless you have ways to funnel large amounts of traffic. I always point people to my blog, no matter what the context. And I have a great freebie there that inspires subscriptions.

      I’ll be covering all this in my new self-paced learning and action system called Client Winning Websites and Blogs for Coaches, which will be available in early April, so watch for it!

  • http://www.GracefulDivorceSolutions.com Marcy Jones

    Another great article Rhonda! I remember being not the least bit interested in blogs or blogging, but all that has changed, largely due to you and exactly what you are saying in this article. It’s the best way to get in front of your ideal folks, give them valuable and helpful information, and build that relationship.

    • http://prosperouscoachblog.com/ Rhonda Hess

      Hi Marcy! You’ve got a gorgeous blog. One of my favs and so helpful for people who’d like to have a graceful divorce!

  • Herm

    Thanks for the insight as I am in the planning stages of rejuvenating my current website. A blog as my primary website is NOW on my radar.

    • http://prosperouscoachblog.com/ Rhonda Hess

      Herm if you current site is on a WordPress format, it would be easy to simply make your blog your home page, which is what I recommend like mine http://prosperouscoachblog.com
      Otherwise, you might have to start from scratch because blogs are best on WordPress. But it’s not expensive to do it right!

  • Tim

    Rhonda
    Thanks for this post. I am still learning from you and your great wisdom on building my coaching business. Currently changing the wordpress blog I have to make improvements. Always willing to take your opinion on them
    Tim
    rockerlifecoachblog.com

  • http://www.successtransitions.com Success Transitions

    When I first learned about a blog as a website; it was a relief. It’s great to have locus of control over your content without having to bug a web designer ever time you want to make a change (big or small). I use WordPress; which do you use Rhonda? Although I love to blog my biggest challenge is getting people to write comments. I hope you address this issue in your upcoming April program. Thanks for a great post.

    • http://prosperouscoachblog.com/ Rhonda Hess

      Me too — WordPress is the best and most versatile FREE approach to blogging. I’ve just added Digital Access Pass — a membership program software which uses WordPress as it’s interface. I will definitely cover the piece about comments. Great suggestion!

  • Laura

    Great article Rhonda. I’ve been consuming your materials rapidly!

    I just started blogging with WordPress, and would like to know if I link in my products and services page (which I’m currently working on but’s it’s not published yet), does WordPress support a paypal button and can they store my PDF products on their server? I have godaddy right now as my registrar and server, but I’m wondering if I could simplify use WordPress alone.

    • http://prosperouscoachblog.com/ Rhonda Hess

      I wish I was a WordPress expert for you, Laura, but it’s not so. I always have a web designer do all the technical stuff for me. And I’m not a fan of PayPal — I don’t like the way they seem to hold people’s credit cards “hostage” and don’t love the way they do biz — so I try to avoid using them whenever possible.

      I would guess you can find tutorials about that at WordPress. Googling your question might get your solutions. Or you might try one of the blogging experts, such as David Risley or Chris Brogan and see if they’ll respond.

    • http://prosperouscoachblog.com/ Rhonda Hess

      In answer to your other questions, what I recommend: Put your site on WordPress. Register your domain at GoDaddy. But host it all on bluehost.com. My webmaster doesn’t recommend hosting through GoDaddy or WordPress.

  • http://www.pbcoaching.net John

    Thanks for the post Rhonda

  • http://www.broshegroup.com/ Leoluis Salvador

    I believe so. And that more and more have became a mentor and some of
    them didn’t know the importance of having a site. Other mentors think a business coach
    are the same or even a consultant can be mistaken as a mentor which in
    reality there are difference on them. Thanks for sharing this as I also have
    given my views on it.