“Why should I blog for my business?” is probably the most frequent question I get asked by local small business owners at events and meetings.
Blogging has been used as a marketing strategy for over 10 years now, but whilst many businesses have a blog on their website, they are not always sure what the purpose and benefits of blogging actually are.
Maintaining a blog for your business takes a certain time commitment, whether from you as the business owner, or from your team, or both. So in order for you to feel happy about dedicating the resources and see a return on your investment, it’s important to know why you’re doing it.
Over the coming weeks we will cover all the ins and outs of planning and running a business blog, but first let’s get straight on why.
Here are the main benefits of blogging for your business:
Get found in search engines
These days, where is the first place you go to find information, ask a question or solve a problem? I’m willing to bet my last Rolo it’s Google.
When someone goes searching for information in your niche, you want your website to appear in the number 1 spot (or at the very least on page 1). In order for this to happen, your website needs to be regularly updated with content containing relevant keywords and phrases that your customers use when they type in that search box.
The problem is that most pages on your average “brochure” website are entirely static and unlikely to be updated with any regularity. Publishing to a blog counteracts this problem; not only are you updating your website regularly, which Google likes to see, but by focusing on specific topics for each article, you naturally increase the occurrence of relevant keywords, which will help your customers find you more easily.
Build trust and authority
In the same way that being reliable and providing value builds trust in the offline world, so does blogging consistently and providing useful content.
Giving information for free might seem a little counter-intuitive at first, but in fact, by sharing what you know, you become the expert voice in your field. Your readers become empowered with knowledge, enabling them to make an informed buying decision (without having to ever lift the phone to your sales people).
Not only that but, through your articles, they get an insight into what it would be like to work with you and at that moment when they are ready to buy, you will be the person they call.
Develop an audience
Over time, the individual relationships that you build through consistent blogging will grow to become an audience; a collection of people who seek out, consume and engage with your content every single week.
Blogging is a brilliant way to share information, but it’s also a means to show personality. At the end of the day, customers buy products and services from the people they know, like and trust the most; the written word enables you to do this en masse, with people you’ve never even met.
Combine great content with a great customer experience, and not only will they become loyal customers, but raving fans of your brand too.
Convert website visitors to potential leads
Your blog is just one step on the journey that a prospective customer will take in making their buying decision, but it can be a crucial one. If they’re already part of your network, hopefully they will receive your content as it is produced, through your social media channels.
But what if they discovered you through search? You need a way to capture their details so that you can continue the process of education and relationship building – ie. your mailing list.
These days, the promise of a weekly newsletter isn’t a strong enough incentive to subscribe to a mailing list – we guard our inboxes with our life! So we need to offer something really useful in return.
This is called a lead magnet – it could be an in-depth PDF guide, an email course, a video series or a step-by-step workbook. Something that relates to the topic of your blog article that will further the reader’s knowledge or enable them to take action.
When we include an opt-in form at the end of a blog post, it’s called a call-to-action. This can be a great way to convert passive readers into potential leads, but remember that it’s consistent blogging that brings them to this point in the first place.
- Related content: How To Blog In Half The Time
These are the core reasons why you would want to blog for your business. To do it successfully takes dedication, but the effort is worthwhile and can have a real bottom-line impact.
Have you started blogging for your business yet? Let me know about your experiences in the comments. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me on Twitter.
Do you want more tips like this?
Simply enter your info below for weekly business tips straight to your inbox – plus you’ll get a FREE swipe-file: “10 ways you can de-clutter your business and life, right now!”