Should you have case studies on your blog?

I love case studies, and so do potential customers.30 day blogging challenge

In my offline portfolio I have several case studies that I walk prospects through so they can see exactly how I can help businesses with their blogging and social media. Case studies are powerful because they allow the customer to visualise the success you bring easily, and it makes you memorable.

You have a blog and you share content on your Facebook page, Twitter account, and the next step is to convert some of those fans to customers without going all scary-sales on them. That’s where the good ol’ case study on your blog comes in.

Why bother creating and publishing case studies?

There are several good reasons why case studies should be part of your business marketing, whether online or offline

They:

  • give you something to tweet and FB  about.
  • Keeps you at the front of people’s minds.
  •  Allows you to try tools in a deeper way than you might have otherwise
  •  Helps to educate you – you might learn a better way to do things
  •  Helps to educate your readers and make it easy for them to refer to you
  •  Gives your blog stickiness
  •  Allows you to show transparency, which means you can build trust
  •  Forces you to put your ALL into it, from start to finish so you can report the amazing, successful, or unexpected results
  •  Holds you accountable – you will do what you say you’ll do
  • Are a vehicle in which you can soft sell any tools or products involved, as an affiliate
  • Are fun for you to research and create
  • People love to read case studies

But if you are only going to be half hearted and write half a case study…. then you are better off not creating one at all.

There are some common threads of a good case study that you should know about before you start planning them.

The main point about your case study is that it has to be something that will be of interest to your readers. Not only that it should have a wow factor. A real wow and not a pretend or fake wow.

The case study should be in your niche or industry, and the niche your readers are following you in. It should not be about your shiny white van and its fuel consumption unless that is your niche. You don’t see me writing fuel consumption case studies here even though I have a shiny white van, although I may share the secret to generating 15 good leads a day with virtually no SEO on a shiny white van site.

A good case study should also have measurable results (see my case study threat in the previous paragraph).  Have you ever met a person selling Aloe Vera products? They always say how great they feel and I’m very tempted to say “…And”. You can’t just tell someone how much better you feel, that’s not a real quantifiable result you need to get specific.

  • I earned $$$ more in the last quarter than the 2nd quarter
  • I lost 15 pounds and 6 inches in my waist
  • I increased my optin list by 40%, this landing page converted 27% better than that generic page
  • It took me 1 hr. less time to do xx with this tool
  • Drinking Aloe Vera cleared my skin up in just 2 weeks

See? Measurable.

If you are not comfortable talking cash (and I’m not) then talk percentages – business increased 5% when using xxx company.

One idea with case studies is to invite your readers to join in as well, I did this with my Pinterest case study a few months back. They can be on the same path or doing something parallel. Or it might be a good idea to tell them about the case study in advance to get them intrigued and thinking creatively. You can also build up anticipation on your Facebook Page and Twitter account – You want them to visit and read your blog again and again in order to build up the transparency and trust.

Are you sitting here shaking your head thinking you can’t do a case study in your niche? Are you wondering what to do case studies about?

Keep the factors in this post in mind, then look at tools you already own and use or have been saving for a rainy day (don’t lie and pretend you don’t have one… we all have do) and see what you can create.

Case studies are educational and informative for you and your readers, but best of all they win you customers and help grow your business. All things considered, case studies are a must have on your blog if you want to win more business.

Sarah-Blogging-Sig
PS this post is part of a 30 day blogging challenge. When you subscribe to the blogging challenge you’ll get powerful bonus tips delivered by email, oh and you’ll take a fantastic trip around the blogosphere. Join in, it’ll be fun!

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Sarah Arrow

Sarah Arrow started blogging to save a business and it worked! She created her first blogging challenge back in 2007, and is the author of many quick start marketing guides, turning Sark eMedia into a publishing business.

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Kurt Frankenberg - last year

Sarah,

I’m going to do MORE case studies.

“Case” in point: Just after reading this post of yours, I went over to my bit.ly account to check how many folks clicked on what. Sure enough, one of the top posts number-wise was actually entitled, “Another CASE STUDY…”

(If the drop-down menu goes that far, I’ll bring that one to the top for your CommentLuv viewers to see.)

So, duh. I think we all need to publish more case studies for our audience’s reading pleasure.

Speaking of, it was a pleasure to read this one of yours. Bookmarked, retweeted. Thanks for another great one!

Keep Stepping,

Kurt
Kurt Frankenberg recently posted…Another Case Study: Five Steps to Five FiguresMy Profile

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Nile - last year

I definitely like case studies, but use them more for my portfolio unless I’m doing some type of experiment. For example, I went on a normal blog hiatus for 3 months, with minimal posting and engagement…. at least 1 post a week. It was an eye opener on the damage it created.
Nile recently posted…Taking Your Site Brand To The Next LevelMy Profile

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Silviu - last year

Hi Sarah,

I did a few case studies on my blog. After reading this post, I returned to those case studies and read them again to see if they comply with your criteria. All comply. I was very happy to find this. It was like a kind of confirmation that what I did was correct and this is the manner of working.

Thank you very much

Have a nice day
Silviu recently posted…How to Prevent Identity Theft with a Password ManagerMy Profile

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Pramod - last year

Hi Sarah !
I would be posting case studies on my blog and was looking for some articles on how to start with.. from your post , it seems like posting case studies on the blog can be beneficial .Thanks for sharing the information .

-Pramod
Pramod recently posted…List of the best GPRS plans in India (with GPRS Settings)My Profile

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Johan Bengtsson - last year

Been doing some case studies already and quite good traffic from them. For people who have not tried it out yet I would really recommend it.
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Jeevan Jacob John - last year

Hey Sarah,

Case studies are great, aren’t they? I used to do them when I had no particular idea to write about (Sure, I used them as backup, but there were a big success on my blog).

I remember writing a particular case study on the failure of Google Wave (I got great amount of traffic – especially from Google). Lot of people were interested were in knowing what happened to Google Wave.

I have also done a few other case studies (usually they go along with my experiments) on commenting. It went really well :D

So, I do agree with your point, Case studies are great. I believe that everyone should try them. And personally I also believe that we should do case studies on our competitors – find out the secrets behind their success (you don’t have to publish them though :D).

Anyways, thanks!

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Ryan Cote - 11 months ago

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on case studies and pointing out their importance. There are so many uses for case studies that pretty much everyone should consider them.
Ryan Cote recently posted…By: Ryan CoteMy Profile

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Angela Boothroyd - 3 weeks ago

I haven’t used case studies yet, but I really think I should.

I’m wondering if my case studies could be hard, but not impossible, to quantify. Some are more quantifiable than others – e.g. specific achievements like passing a citizenship test, or getting a promotion, or their English improving enough to attend an English-speaking university, or passing an English exam, or moving up a language level in a certain amount of time – but I think for others progress in learning English would be a bit more difficult to quantify. For example, sometimes students are more much more confident speakers of English after XX lessons – that’s exactly what they wanted, but is that enough of a quantifiable result do you think?

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