I have built all my businesses online via a blog to 6 figures and can pick up and do it over and over and over again with any company (not that I would want to do that). I am a blog coach and marketing consultant and this is one of my “side blogs”. You can check out my main blog at http://www.AymeeBuckhannon.com
Network Marketing is a different type of beast when it comes to blogging. Many network marketing companies, most actually, don't want to leave their branding lose in the hands of well, mostly inexperienced marketers. You can't blame them (too much). Companies live and die by their brand!
It wasn't until the last few years that social media took off and added a new spin on how we share information with one another. This type of online “sharing” is very difficult to control. A lot of companies, particularly the newer ones, are embracing this new wave and leading the way with a more open marketing policy for their distributors. Visalus Sciences comes to mind. In fact, the reason they became so viral so quickly is mostly due to its incredible social marketing strategy. They not only allowed their products marketed online but they trained their distributors how to best do this and provide them with tools, scripts and share-ables to do so. Not all companies are as open as Visalus though…
So how do you build a network marketing business with a blog?
Well, the first thing you need to find out is just how strict your company is about you building your own website to talk about its products. Don't bother selling through your site. Now a days the systems in place to manage these transactions are far better than what you can do on your own, plus, they pick up the tab for ya.
If your company is flexible and you can at the very minimum mention its product line and distributor information then by all means I completely encourage you to throw a few pages together with the flagship product and the distributor information. I know you are think you should “brand yourself” and I will get to that. You see, I am all about bringing something to the table other than the obvious, and I know all about personal branding and leading with YOU. BUT, if you are blogging in order to build your network marketing business, then guess what, now you have ANOTHER reason to bring visitors to your site that you can market with. The BONUS is that when they get to your blog because they were looking for XYZ information, they will find you are also an expert (blogger, coach, leader, trainer, social media guru, or whatever you are an expert in). This reinforces your credibility. They found your blog via your product and now they got YOU!
If you already have a name for yourself that is visible and highly recognized online, then by all means, continue leading with that name. If you don't, well, you gotta get people to your house before you can serve them right?
Hear me out on this: I am not saying you should brand yourself as the XYZcompany Girl (or Guy).
Here is what I mean: when I was building my previous company, many of my posts were about their Shake Recipes. Why? For two reasons: #1, I needed traffic and visitors to my blog so that its credibility would increase in Google's eyes. #2, I know perfectly well that people looking for recipes already had the shakes, but who is to say they wouldn't re-order from me? Why would they you ask? Because my blog not only offered recipes, but also coaching advice, health advice, exercise and meal tips and everything in between. Had I tried to market using “exercise tips” I would have been up against VERY tough competition in the market place. But leading with “XYZ Shakes” was more targeted and it got me the right visitors for a win-win situation even if they didn't buy from me.
With all that traffic from customers, it raised my blog in Google high enough for other searches so those typing in the search box “become XYZ distributor” were seeing my blog on the first page of Google. See what I mean?
Depending on your company's policy, this may or may not work for you. It is a little tougher to promote a product you cannot mention. But there are other things you can blog about to attract the right visitor to your blog. For example you can focus your blog on different network marketing strategies, team building strategies, social media strategies and make sure you aim all those towards network marketers. Your goal is to appeal to that audience. If your company doesn't allow product name marketing, you could write about the benefits of products such as yours and then direct them to your replicated website for the actual information. For example, this blog does not focus on Jeunesse, however, I do talk about its benefits and link interested parties to that 2 Minute Video that blows everyone away! If you haven't seen it, I highly encourage you to take a quick peek at it ;-).
But more importantly, you want to blog on a consistent basis and share your post links on social media sites to get folks to come visit. This approach works actually better with non-product or distributor type posts. I am more enticed to visit a blog post about “Facebook Marketing Secrets That Every Network Marketer Should Know”, than “Come Buy My Product” type posts. Note to self: I should write that Facebook blog post, sounds good doesn't it?
Another key component of blogging is building a subscriber's list. To entice the optin gotta come up with something applicable to your visitor that they'd be willing to trade their email address for in exchange. Something they can use and that will build credibility about you in their eyes. People eventually join or buy from those they trust so your goal is to build those relationships by giving, giving, giving.
There are a couple of WordPress plugins that allow you to gather subscriber emails that are free and easy to implement into your blog. You can start with that (try WordPress JetPack). However, I recommend that you use a more robust email marketing software like Aweber once your blog starts gathering some visibility. Tools like AWeber offer much more than just gather emails for you. They allow subscribers to remove themselves (which is the legal way to build lists), you can set up automatic emails or newsletters, and you can more easily manage several lists from one back office. A must have if you plan to grow your subscribers lists professionally. AWeber will provide you with a “script” to insert a form into your blogs to collect those leads into your list. Just copy paste that script into a “text widget” on your blog and display that form ABOVE the fold on your blog (above the bold=above the point where people HAVE to scroll to see the content below).
You do NOT need to just talk about your product and business. Add that content to your blog (if your company policy allows it) and leave it at that. Focus on HOW one can grow a business like yours, WHO they could talk to, write blog posts to that audience but don't mention your product name, just it's benefits. Expand your content to other areas of building a network marketing business. There MANY development areas to write about: leadership, talking to customers, follow-up, 3 way calls, not spamming people, how to write a list of contacts, tax advantages, quote/paraphrase other marketers in the industry and link to their pages. Make your blog AWESOME with all kinds of helpful information about the industry.
People appreciate the help and you never know when they might need to switch companies for whatever reason. Just keep blogging without always having a sale in mind. Blog with a giving and servant heart and the visitors will come!