Trust me, I hear you and I feel your pain, “…a blog? Is it really necessary for my business? What is a blog anyway?”
If you run a business you have probably heard that you should be including a blog on your website. Perhaps you already had a blog for marketing purposes but you are unclear what good it served.
Well, a blog can be a very powerful marketing tool and I am here to help you decide if it is right for you.
Let us first go back to basics and explore what a blog is and then into more detail about why they are a worthwhile investment for any business!
What is a Blog?
When the internet was still in its infancy people started to keep online journals, which were called ‘web-logs’. The term ‘web-logs’ for these diarised posts was soon abbreviated to the word, ‘blog’ that we use today.
The purpose and function of blogs have widened dramatically over the years.
Some blogs are still kept by individuals as journals of their day to day lives, sharing intimate details with the world at large.
Increasingly, however, blogs are now written about very specialized topics, offer valuable information and resources and answer questions or problems a reader might have. Enterprising business leaders began to recognize the marketing potential in a blog and today many businesses see maintaining a blog as a crucial part of their marketing strategy.
A successful blog today provides the reader with new knowledge and solves the problems they have. It might entertain or inspire and is a key way to engage with and gain trust from potential clients.
In comparison to a standard website page, a blog is fluid and needs to be regularly added to. The posts will include a publishing date, an author (sometimes ghost-written), tags and categories pertaining to the topic. The content will be valuable and relevant.
Why keep a Blog on a Business Website?
In a previous post, ‘The Differences between Content and Copywriting – What does a Small Business Need?’ I touched on some of the reasons why content marketing is such a crucial part of running a business today. I also explain how the concept of content marketing is a less direct form of advertising. If you have not read it then why not do so now (using the link) and then come back?
The benefits of having an up to date blog on your business website are listed below. See if you can be convinced!
First a few statistics…
Let’s first consider some blog-specific statistics from 2018 to help you understand why a business blog matters:
- Blogs generate 3-4 times more traffic to your website (providing exposure for your business!)
- Businesses who blog receive 97% more inbound links to their websites (more exposure!)
- Blogging has been shown to produce 4 times as many leads (and leads give you the chance to convert them into paying clients!)
Increase awareness of your brand & establish yourself as an expert
A well written, informative and regularly updated blog can help raise awareness of your brand and business.
The information you are offering your readers (and potential clients) will set you up as an expert in your field. A good blog on your website will ensure people think of you first when they are looking for a service or product such as yours.
An up to date, informative blog that holds value to your readers (and potential clients) is also a great way of engaging with your audience.
Providing readers with new information that will answer a problem they have or entertain them will create a good relationship between you, your business and those readers.
Blog posts also help people get to know you. The reader can learn more about who you are, your personality and business characteristics.
If you get creating a blog right, you will gain trust from potential clients and over time this relationship will lead to conversions to paying clients for your business.
Blog posts also offer the opportunity to start discussions and more direct engagement with the reader. The option to comment on a post at the end of the page or via sharing on social media means a good blog post can create some great debates and ongoing conversations.
This is a good opportunity for you and your business to further interact with potential clients on a wider scale and gain even more exposure.
Over time, all of this incredible reader engagement and trust will convert to business for you.
An effective SEO tool
Another buzz phrase when it comes to content marketing is the term ‘Search Engine Optimization’ or SEO. There is an infinite volume of content now on the internet all competing to be found first on a search engine.
SEO is the term used to discuss the tools and tactics that will help ensure that your website is ranked higher on engines such as Google.
The detailed workings of SEO and blogging is a wide topic and a post in itself (come back for that one!) but let’s cover some basics.
Search engines love new content. They like to know that a website is being updated and maintained. If your website has regular new content and a large number of high-quality pages, via blog posts, then it will help to get you noticed by search engines. Informative and valuable content will also ensure that when a reader does visit your post they stay on the site longer to read it, which again improves your SEO ranking.
The other factor to consider under the topic of SEO is that search engines like internal links on a website. Blog posts are an easy way of adding more internal links to direct your reader from one page of your site to another.
A great SEO ranking which is optimized with a well-maintained blog will ensure that when a potential client is searching for a service such as yours, they will have a better chance of finding you, rather than a competitor.
Blogging itself can create income
For those who do become successful at creating a blog, the art of blogging itself can create direct income.
For the purposes of content marketing for your business, creating direct income from the blog is often not the main goal. However, ‘professional bloggers’ can and do make good money from the work of maintaining a blog alone.
Using affiliate links in the posts written and containing advertising are two of the main methods in which a successful blog can directly generate income.
Hopefully, you are now a little clearer on why your business should have a blog.
Writing and maintaining a blog can take time and skill and does not suit everyone. In my next post, I will go into more detail about how to produce an effective blog for your business. However, if blog writing does not appeal then also consider making an investment that will get results by using a content or copywriter to generate your blog on your behalf.
If you have any other questions or comments on whether a blog is right for your business then please post them below or contact me directly.
*Images sourced from pexels.com