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Nikki Pilkington

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How trainers can blog to win business


Nikki Pilkington looks at how trainers can keep blogs fresh and engaging to help win new business.

Last time, I looked at Twitter and how it can be harnessed as a business tool to raise awareness and drive growth. This time, I'm looking at what is possibly the single most important tool for maintaining online engagement beyond the Twitter stream: blogging.
Blogging isn't just a way to drive traffic through to your website, it's a tool to build credibility, strengthen reputation and, vitally, create a community around your brand.
In working to achieve this, most bloggers face three challenges: keeping content fresh and relevant, engaging readers, and converting them into clients.
So how can you make blogging work for your training business?


Keeping content fresh and relevant

Condense course content

  • If you're new to blogging, an obvious starting point is to whittle your course content down to just the key points to create 'taster' blog posts. Obviously you won't want to give away too much or devalue the knowledge imparted to paying clients, so it sometimes helps to just focus on one technique or method taught on the course, and then summarise with a box out explaining that this is taught as just part of a particular course.

Answer FAQs

  • The best source of ideas for blog topics is your clients. Make a note of the questions you are asked in the course of your work and during training sessions and aim to answer them in your blog posts. Not only is this a great way of generating fresh material, it also showcases your knowledge and ensures you are keeping your blog focused on what your prospective clients want to know.

Set up Google Alerts

  • Google Alerts is a simple tool to keep you in the loop with all the latest developments in your field. Set up daily alerts for the topics that matter to your industry for a constant stream of inspiration delivered straight to your inbox. Obviously you can track training issues, but also think vertically about issues affecting your target sectors, which could be anything from retail to aerobics.

Engaging readers

Link to and from other social media channels

  • No matter how great your blog is, you need to be actively promoting it to win an audience. On a basic level, this means sharing links to your posts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and so on. But you can also include an always-visible link on your blog to your social media profiles, as this will encourage readers to connect and engage.

Turn a post into a Q&A session

  • If you post a course summary on your blog, you might choose to end the post by inviting questions in the comments section about any related issues. Simple questions can be answered there and then, while more complex queries might give rise to a new post entirely – you may also gather feedback that helps you tailor the course to better attract future clients.

Host guest articles

Your colleagues, friends and clients might all have valuable experience to share that is relevant to the topics you offer training in. Hosting guest posts means fresh content for your site, but it also shows that you are engaging with your community and value what they have to say, which could stimulate new client relationships.

Converting visitors into clients

Link to your service pages from key words in your posts

  • Whenever you finish writing a post, take a read back through and look for a phrase that you could sensibly link to a service page on your site. For example, if the post is about leadership skills and includes the phrase "become a better leader", you could link this to you leadership course page. This 'internal linking' helps build search engine visibility, but it also ensures you carry interested visitors over to your commercial offering.
Keep your contact details visible
  • It's great that people are reading your blog, but when they come to need your services, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to reach you. Have a call to action and a summary of your training services visible on every page – for example, built into the bottom of each post, or in the left hand margin.
Follow up with readers individually
  • Whenever someone comments on a post, they will leave their email address. This isn't for sticking on a mailing list without permission, but it can be used to follow up personally with someone who has expressed a need, or an interest in your blog. Not every contact will turn into a sale, but strengthening relationships with potential clients, and taking an interest in their individual needs, will ensure that they keep you in mind for future projects and will vastly increase the likelihood that they will recommend you to others should the opportunity arise.
Nikki Pilkington is the owner/founder of, an internet marketing company based in the UK and France.


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