Your blog is so much more than just a place to share updates, tips and other information about your business. If you use it right, your blog can actually be transformed into a powerful and highly effective lead generating machine that draws prospects in and effectively converts them into paying customers. Sound like something you’re interested in? Of course it does! Now, let’s delve into some of the ways you can actually make it happen.

Provide Optimized, Valuable Content – First and foremost, if you want your blog to generate leads, you need to get people to want to read what you’re writing. That means crafting content that addresses the needs, desires and pain points of your target audience. It also needs to be properly optimized for the search engines so it can be more easily found online. This is the foundation of a lead-producing blog.

Answer Your FAQs – You know those questions that come up with almost every new customer? Imagine how helpful it would be if you posted the answers as informative blog articles (you could even include pictures, infographics or video clips)? Think about what your prospects are Googling and give them the answers they’re looking for via your blog. You’ll be halfway to a sale before you know it.

Share the Love – What other blogs out there might your prospects find useful? Including a blog roll that lists links to other relevant resources can go a long way toward landing you more leads over time. That’s because when you extend an olive branch like this, so to speak, eventually others will reciprocate. That means additional backlinks, more traffic and increased business for you.

Get the Word Out – The more readers you get to your blog, the more leads it’ll naturally generate. So, don’t fall into the “if you build it they will come” trap. Go out there and spread the word! Promote your blog posts on your social media channels. Include them in your email newsletters. Post links to them wherever relevant on the web (just don’t spam). The more leg work you do on the front end, the better the results.

Invite Guest Bloggers – Partnering with other influential professionals who are in complementary industries can bolster the quality of content you’re providing. It can also provide new and additional lead sources when your guest bloggers share their posts with their own networks. It’s like free advertising!

If done right, your blog can be the driving force behind the online success of your business, leading to more customers and further growth. These five strategies can help get you there faster and with more targeted results.