A client told me once, “Why I should I blog? It takes way too much time maintaining it. How can blogging help my business anyway?” I didn’t have this blog post then discussing the benefits of blogging. Otherwise, I could simply have forwarded this to him. It might have convinced him otherwise.
Anyway, it is possible you too keep the same view, and are wondering whether to include that section that takes so much of your business time. But I am going to try and answer that question today.
How to Use a Blog for Business
In this digital age, when every business is striving for an online presence, many are going a step ahead and generating business out of their site. If you are one of those businesses, well if you are not then you should be, then you must take business blogging seriously.
Why? Because your blog can generate immense amount of traffic for your site. And with a well optimized website, it can quickly convert them to leads. And then to long term customers, who further promote your business and services.
Related: How to Get Web Design Clients – Building a Sustainable Web Design Business
Your blog is like an automated marketing tool that generates traffic and leads as you sleep. Is it sounding too good to be true? Well, it actually can do that if you follow certain rules and best practices. No one said it is easy. For that matter, nothing in life ever is. Anything worthwhile always needs to be worked for.
Let me give you a bit of an advice here. See, this universe needs to know that you really need something badly enough, before it hands it to you on a platter. It is true. Anything and everything is achievable if you put in the adequate effort needed to achieve it. You will be surprised that most people know exactly what is needed for success. But why don’t they do them? Because they want those things, but not badly enough.
Ok. Enough of all the philosophy. Let’s get back to article. So, let’s look at why a blog is important for long term growth of the business.
Blogging is the first step to Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is hot these days. And everyone is talking about it. Because it the coolest way of marketing your products and services. It is a strategy you use to pull customers to your site silently. Customers find your site in relevant searches, social media and on blogs. They like what they read, and you build up trust with them.
Even if they don’t buy immediately, they will when they need your services. Since there is a higher level of trust, they are more likely to buy from you and recommend your services to others.
This is so much better then bombarding your prospective clients with sales emails and phone calls. And always fighting to get their attention.
Image Credit: https://www.hubspot.com
The above image explains beautifully how inbound marketing works. You create great content on your blog. Ensure you create content that your prospective clients are looking for. Which they would find interesting. You then take care of SEO, and include relevant keywords throughout the article. And then promote your article by sharing it on social media.
You are basically creating something useful that your potential customers are looking for. You are not pestering your clients to buy. You are attracting potential customers to your site through useful content.
When they land on your site, you convert them to leads by using call-to-action buttons and forms, and other relevant landing pages. You then go on to close the lead and delight your customer with exceptional service.
But it all starts with a blog. And with creating content that is useful. You then use to attract potential customers to your site.
Blogging Keeps Your Website Content Fresh & Updated
Imagine for a moment that your business website does not have a blog. So, all you have are informational pages regarding your products & services. There is a limit to the number of pages you will have on your site. After all, once you have described your products & services, created your “About” page, and a few other pages, what else is left there to be created?
There is evidence to suggest that fresh content helps with better rankings for your site. So if you are not blogging to write on newer things, how many times can you update your “About” page?
Image Credit: https://moz.com
The above image indicates that website is considered more fresh if newer content is added more frequently.
And if you don’t have a blog, there is not much chance that you would be adding fresh content frequently.
Difference between Posts & Pages
You would be surprised to know that some clients do not understand the difference between pages and a blog. The articles you create on a blog are referred to as posts. They usually have a date and time associated with them. They are also supposed to be social, so you expect others to engage with your posts.
The pages on a website usually hold information that is more static in nature. They are timeless. That is, it does not change much with time. They are more like single entities that hold their significance throughout the lifespan of the website. You will alter their content, but it will still be that same page.
Blog Cannot Be Replaced with Pages
I am pointing this out because one my clients actually created pages for each of his new articles. Those should have gone into his blog section as posts. When I pointed this out to him, he said he preferred it this way.
When you create blog posts you create content that is displayed in reverse chronological order. Newer ones are shown on the top as they are considered more fresh and relevant. Blog posts encourage more social interaction and sharing. They are also syndicated through RSS feeds and other sharing medium. Therefore, they reach a wider audience faster.
Blogs give you an opportunity to keep creating the much-needed content in a timely manner. Helping your website stay fresh with newer content. This in turn helps your site rank better.
More Pages Means More Keywords To Target
As I pointed out earlier, there is a limit to the number of pages you would create on your website. Therefore, a blog gives you that perfect opportunity to create any number of informative posts, and increase the number of SEO optimized pages you have on your site. The more pages you have, the more keywords you can target. The more keywords you rank for, the more website traffic you have. In turn more leads & sales.
Ideally you would research keywords that are directly or indirectly related to your niche that your potentials customers are searching for. A topic in your niche that addresses their needs and answers their questions. It could be on a subject or concern that many clients have. The keyword also should have some decent search volume & commercial intent so that it attracts sufficient number of visitors to your site.
Because everyone that lands on your site will not buy. Therefore, targeting keywords that have sufficient search volume is important.
Then you create the new articles keeping in mind the answers your potential customers are seeking or are interested in. Your build your article around that keyword. Ideally you want to make that article as comprehensive as possible. Cover as much information as you can into that single article.
It is always a good idea to create a single long article, rather than breaking it up into many short articles. Over time you will see the article ranking for many long tail keywords that you actually didn’t even think about. Bringing in loads of traffic and sales.
A blog therefore, gives you the opportunity to target many such keywords by creating unique posts optimized around those keywords.
That more content that gets added to your site, the more opportunities you get to rank on those keywords.
Benefits Of Blogging: Generate more traffic & Leads
Blogs help you generate the much-needed traffic to your site. Therefore, it must be an integral part of your marketing strategy.
How it works is very simple. You create content around researched keyword. Share it on your social profiles, which encourages shares and linking. How much traffic you generate through social sharing depends on how many followers you have. Of course, all visitors are welcome, but this is not the ultimate traffic we are after.
We are interested in the article to rank well in the SERPs. And the traffic that we get from search engines.
This takes us to my next point.
Blogging for Business Helps Generate Long Term Results
If you are thinking long term results, then you need to create great content. Create something useful so your website visitor would read what you have written. It should answer his queries.
Once you do that people would share and link to your articles. Google would index them over time and would generate traffic that compounds with time.
It is like a cycle, the better you do in the search results, the more people link to you. The more people link to you, the better you do in search results.
That is why, after a certain amount of time, your site receives a predictable number of visitors per month. And that translates to a predicable income over time.
And this all starts with blogging for business by creating topnotch content.
Establish Authority in Your Field.
Why should businesses blog? Because it establishes you as an authority in your field.
When you write like a pro in your niche, you are bound to catch people’s attention. When you are consistent blogging for your business and acknowledge other influencers in your niche by linking and referencing their work, you indicate to others that you are in the same league.
When you make a reference in your article, validate that by linking or pointing to the source. By doing that you make a point that you have researched your topic before writing. This makes your article more trustworthy to your readers.
Writing a blog for your business also servers another purpose of getting on the radar of your influencers. It can be very helpful once they get to notice you and acknowledge your work in return.
By doing this you create a brand of your own. And that can go a long way in establishing a solid business foundation for you.
When someone wants you to handle their business because they know you through your articles; it is no longer business between two strangers. The trust level is high and the probability of clients offering you work is higher.
Though it is always better to write the articles yourself, if you are trying to establish yourself as a brand. If that is not possible, you can still have your sales employees do that for you. When others read, articles written by company employees. It should also help building up that much needed trust for smooth business transactions.
So, business blogging is essential in establishing trust among your visitors. More trust translates to more business for you.
Blogging Helps Form a Community Around Your Business
Another major benefit that accrues from long term blogging involves forming of a community around your business. When you offer something valuable, or establish yourself as a subject-matter expert, people would naturally want to be associated with you. They would want to know what products or services you are coming up with that would be useful to them.
If you are starting to build up your brand and write regularly on your blog, people would want to follow you to learn more from you. Over time this is bound to create a community of followers around you & your business. People who admire you and follow you; to listen and to learn from you.
As your following grows, it is a sign that your business is doing good. More followers generally mean more money for the business.
I am not talking about the likes you buy on Facebook for your page, and the audience that hardly engages with your content. Here is an interesting research based article from Neil on why it is not worth spending on likes on Facebook, if you care to read about it.
I am talking about the genuine followers who want to learn from you. More genuine followers mean, you have access to more people who are potential customers for your business. And of course, they also help promoting your business, but liking and sharing your content.
Enables Two-Way Communication with Users
A blog is an effective means of communication with your users. The electronic media has no boundaries and it is quick and effective. Unlike the print media, modifications can be made quickly by editing the post. Don’t have to apologize in your next edition for the errors made in the current one. You can simply edit the post.
It is a two-way communication method enabling your users to interact with you. They can leave their valuable feedback or opinion on what you have written. You get to know what your users are thinking and what their needs are.
If they do not like something they can express their opinion. This is fantastic and this is exactly what a business needs. To know what their customers are thinking.
Blogging for business lets you know what your customers are thinking.
A Blog is Easy to Use
Need another reason to blog? Well you will be glad to know that using a blogging tool is quite easy and intuitive. So, you will find it quite easy to use.
Blogging CMS like WordPress is super easy and intuitive to use. Anyone who has a basic knowledge of computers, and has worked on any word processing software like Word, can easily operate a blog. This reduces a company’s expenses in hiring dedicated professionals or a design company to do regular updates to the blog.
Anyone from the marketing department can take up the task to update the blog regularly. With so much free information & tutorials available online, it is super easy to operate as well as maintain a blog.
A blog should be looked at as an indispensable part of a business website. Smart businesses must make use of this tool and take advantage of the opportunities it offers.
We all agree that for a business the difficult part is the actual blogging itself. It does take time to research an article that you want to write on. You want to think about your potential customers and what they might be searching online to find services like yours. But it is worth every bit of your time.
You will want to research your keywords. These could be the direct or indirect search terms related to your niche. Then you write an article around those keywords. But you write for the humans who would read the article, not the search bots.
Blogging as a business involves a lot of work and of course a lot of time. But when done right, it could be the best marketing tool you will ever use. Business blogs can generate long term traffic from the search engines that compound with time. Not diminish with time. But brings in more and more traffic to your site.
Blogging is a marketing tool that many established businesses use to bring in lots of traffic that converts to happy customers.
A blog is an indispensable tool in your business marketing arsenal.
Let me know if you have something to add to the article, or your thoughts and opinions. I would love to hear from you all in the comments below.