HELP: Building a Better Blog for an HVAC Company?

7 replies
I'm in the middle of writing a proposal to send to my first freelancing client. They are an HVAC company.


The have a blog that they update about every two weeks on average. However, the updates are sporadic. I'm going to suggest that they update it regularly.


What I noticed is that they are getting no comments or social shares. I know that the blog may still be having a positive impact despite people not expressly liking, commenting or sharing it.


I'm looking for ideas on how I can make their blog as impactful as possible and ways to make it clear that the blog is a positive asset for them. My first thought was to share the updates on their social channels.


I'm just starting out in freelancing. I know I have a lot to learn. We all must start somewhere. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
#blog #building #company #hvac
  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    You know you have a lot to learn, and you expect your poor, unwitting client to pay for your education. Did they know they were your first client, and that you don't know what you're talking about? Or did you spin them a tale and make promises you now can't keep?

    First off, why do they have a blog in the first place? What do they expect to get out of it? What does having a successful blog look like to them?

    You didn't ask them, did you?

    Without knowing that, what good are likes and social shares? How do you meet a payroll or pay taxes with social shares?

    Or, more positively, how do more likes and social shares translate into more leads, customers, revenue or profit for your poor client?

    If this company is like most I'm familiar with, the only result that does them any good at all is more inquiries, bids and contracts from local customers. If you're in upstate New York, getting likes and shares from people in San Bernardino won't put much food on the table.

    If you really have your client's best interests at heart, you'll step back and resign the job until you know what the hell you're talking about.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    They are an HVAC company.
    That's not a topic conducive to avid fans or a following.

    The most important thing their blog can do is to create visibility and trust in their business. A service business is critical to a consumer 'WHEN THEY NEED IT".

    If it's 95 degrees out and the A/C isn't working....who you gonna call? The HVAC business you can FIND, the one that seems trustworthy (blog), has info on pricing and hours of service and guarantees of work done and testimonials..... Even then, if they don't answer the phone or call you back right away....you'll go to the next company listed.

    If it's 20 degrees and the heat is working fine, an HVAC company holds no interest.

    Helping a company expand to include services geared toward home builders or commercial buildings or expanding it's service range/availability for repairs makes sense. A bunch of "followers" on social media doesn't.
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    • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      That's not a topic conducive to avid fans or a following.
      That's not entirely true. Sure, posting the typical "We sell HVAC systems" isn't gonna work but posting/sharing heating/cooling lifehacks, tips on saving money on heating/cooling, etc. WILL produce a following - and those followers will think of you when they need work done.

      I know this because I already work with a few brick and mortar clients in a similar situation.

      Case in point: a mattress factory/retailer. Certainly not something people find "interesting" but through some creative social media efforts, they have built quite a following and they get plenty of engagement and plenty of leads through their Facebook page.

      With just a bit of creativity and some level-2 thinking, you can make most niches/businesses relatable via social media. The problem is that most marketers on this forum do not think creatively - they simply think "sell, sell, sell".
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Y
    If it were me I'd do the following:
    1. Use the blog primarily as a method of improving their SEO results, given that the vast majority of the clients who find this company online will probably do so through paid or organic search results.
    2. On every occasion make the blog content something of value to the HVAC client - i.e. how to clean their units, the best units for different types of homes, HVAC unit comparisons, etc.
    3. Share the blog articles everywhere, and take chunks of each blog article that have snippets of value and post them as standalone social media posts. Be everywhere, be omnipresent across all platforms, it helps gives a business more social proof and more visibility.

    Like Kay King said, HVAC isn't a topic conducive to gaining lots of raving fans and I'd honestly say that it may be difficult to get weekly blog posts that continue to provide new and informative content over and over without getting repetitive.

    Long story short... in the HVAC industry I wouldn't use the blog to build a following, I'd use it for SEO results through updated and relevant content in combination with other SEO work.

    Good luck with your project!
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    A couple of the other posts sparked an idea that might help your client.

    Do they offer a "subscription service"? What I mean is, do they offer a (usually) yearly plan that involves seasonal checkups on their clients' HVAC systems?

    Many service companies would go broke waiting for peoples' systems to fail. They keep the lights on and their crews busy by offering maintenance plans.

    For example, the HVAC company I use offers a yearly plan that includes two 'free' system checkups per year, along with priority service and discounts on other services and parts.

    Using some of wolfmii's ideas, you could focus the blog on generating leads for those contracts. Just make sure your targeting is local. If you have seasonal populations, like we do here in Florida, "local" could mean the people in your client's service radius along with seasonal visitors in multiple states. Check with your state and local tourism boards for stats.
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  • Profile picture of the author BradVert2013
    Ok, I've had several HVAC/plumbing clients in the past and still write for one now, so I'll try to help you out.

    As others have mentioned, HVAC blog posts aren't really meant to be shared on social media and go viral. It's not going to happen. I've never had a client say they want more social media shares. Nor is that my goal when writing a post.

    Keep in mind that HVAC companies are extremely local. If the company is in a small town in Texas, visitors from NYC won't do them much good because the end goal is to get website visitors to call the HVAC company for repairs, installation, inspections, etc.

    That means SEO plays a big part of every post you write. If I'm writing a post about signs a furnace needs to be replaced, I'm going to include the location of the HVAC company in that post. So if the company is in Boise, ID and people search for "furnace replacement in Boise, ID," hopefully that post will pop up on the first page. The trick is to do it in a way that sounds natural - like you're writing for a human, not for the search engines.

    Next to SEO, your second goal should be to educate. Give the visitors something of value. Write a post that tells them how to troubleshoot simple problems or make simple repairs. I spend A LOT of time doing research before I even begin to write a post for my HVAC client. Because of this, I'm now familiar with how a furnace and AC units work, hot water heaters and a lot of other basic plumbing stuff. Research is just as important, if not more, than actually writing the post.

    The post should also have a call to action. There is a limit to what the average homeowner can do to their own furnace or AC unit. You don't want to suggest something that can get them hurt (or worse!). You need to tell them that A) it's better to have a licensed professional do the work, and B) give reasons WHY the company your writing for can help them out.

    If you write posts that overly sales-ish, you're not going to be doing the HVAC company any favors. You want to portray the company as an authority and build trust. Do this by writing stuff that the average homeowner will find useful.

    Hopefully this advice will help you out. Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author wheelstb
    Originally Posted by Mark Y View Post

    If it were me I'd do the following:
    1. Use the blog primarily as a method of improving their SEO results, given that the vast majority of the clients who find this company online will probably do so through paid or organic search results.
    2. On every occasion make the blog content something of value to the HVAC client - i.e. how to clean their units, the best units for different types of homes, HVAC unit comparisons, etc.
    3. Share the blog articles everywhere, and take chunks of each blog article that have snippets of value and post them as standalone social media posts. Be everywhere, be omnipresent across all platforms, it helps gives a business more social proof and more visibility.

    Like Kay King said, HVAC isn't a topic conducive to gaining lots of raving fans and I'd honestly say that it may be difficult to get weekly blog posts that continue to provide new and informative content over and over without getting repetitive.

    Long story short... in the HVAC industry I wouldn't use the blog to build a following, I'd use it for SEO results through updated and relevant content in combination with other SEO work.

    Good luck with your project!

    Thanks for weighing in. I will definitely look at the best way to use the blog for search engine optimization.

    Originally Posted by wolfmmiii View Post

    That's not entirely true. Sure, posting the typical "We sell HVAC systems" isn't gonna work but posting/sharing heating/cooling lifehacks, tips on saving money on heating/cooling, etc. WILL produce a following - and those followers will think of you when they need work done.

    I know this because I already work with a few brick and mortar clients in a similar situation.

    Case in point: a mattress factory/retailer. Certainly not something people find "interesting" but through some creative social media efforts, they have built quite a following and they get plenty of engagement and plenty of leads through their Facebook page.

    With just a bit of creativity and some level-2 thinking, you can make most niches/businesses relatable via social media. The problem is that most marketers on this forum do not think creatively - they simply think "sell, sell, sell".



    Thanks a lot. That's very similar to the approach I was thinking of. Now I have to come up with creative ideas for engaging content. But, it's very good to know that you have had success in a similar situation gaining traction in an area that is definitely not "sexy"


    Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

    A couple of the other posts sparked an idea that might help your client.

    Do they offer a "subscription service"? What I mean is, do they offer a (usually) yearly plan that involves seasonal checkups on their clients' HVAC systems?

    Many service companies would go broke waiting for peoples' systems to fail. They keep the lights on and their crews busy by offering maintenance plans.

    For example, the HVAC company I use offers a yearly plan that includes two 'free' system checkups per year, along with priority service and discounts on other services and parts.

    Using some of wolfmii's ideas, you could focus the blog on generating leads for those contracts. Just make sure your targeting is local. If you have seasonal populations, like we do here in Florida, "local" could mean the people in your client's service radius along with seasonal visitors in multiple states. Check with your state and local tourism boards for stats.



    That's a fantastic idea. I will see if they have a subscription service. I have not yet approached them in any way. I have a contact who has basically said if I can come up with some quality ideas she will introduce me to them as a way to help me get a start.
    So in response to your earlier post, I am not wasting their time or damaging them in any way. I will know the right way to do what needs to be done before any compensation occurs.
    Thank you for the tip about local tourism boards.


    Originally Posted by BradVert2013 View Post

    Ok, I've had several HVAC/plumbing clients in the past and still write for one now, so I'll try to help you out.

    As others have mentioned, HVAC blog posts aren't really meant to be shared on social media and go viral. It's not going to happen. I've never had a client say they want more social media shares. Nor is that my goal when writing a post.

    Keep in mind that HVAC companies are extremely local. If the company is in a small town in Texas, visitors from NYC won't do them much good because the end goal is to get website visitors to call the HVAC company for repairs, installation, inspections, etc.

    That means SEO plays a big part of every post you write. If I'm writing a post about signs a furnace needs to be replaced, I'm going to include the location of the HVAC company in that post. So if the company is in Boise, ID and people search for "furnace replacement in Boise, ID," hopefully that post will pop up on the first page. The trick is to do it in a way that sounds natural - like you're writing for a human, not for the search engines.

    Next to SEO, your second goal should be to educate. Give the visitors something of value. Write a post that tells them how to troubleshoot simple problems or make simple repairs. I spend A LOT of time doing research before I even begin to write a post for my HVAC client. Because of this, I'm now familiar with how a furnace and AC units work, hot water heaters and a lot of other basic plumbing stuff. Research is just as important, if not more, than actually writing the post.

    The post should also have a call to action. There is a limit to what the average homeowner can do to their own furnace or AC unit. You don't want to suggest something that can get them hurt (or worse!). You need to tell them that A) it's better to have a licensed professional do the work, and B) give reasons WHY the company your writing for can help them out.

    If you write posts that overly sales-ish, you're not going to be doing the HVAC company any favors. You want to portray the company as an authority and build trust. Do this by writing stuff that the average homeowner will find useful.

    Hopefully this advice will help you out. Good luck!




    Thanks a lot. You gave me a lot of great advice I just checked the thread and I am still thinking about your recommendations. I really appreciate you going the extra mile to set me in the right direction.


    Thank you to everyone for the advice. I really appreciate the guidance.
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