‘You’re Not Blogging…Seriously?’
Let me start off by destroying many people’s understanding or ideas about what a blog is, because to most people blogging is a complete mystery. In fact, the word “blog” itself causes many people to quit listening to you the moment you utter the word. People don’t understand what blogging is, why they need it and usually have feelings that they won’t ever be able to do it. Hopefully that isn’t you, and if it is, I challenge you to continue reading. Be warned though, I’m going to say “blogging” a lot.
Who is Blogging?
Think of blogging as if it were a newspaper. Wall Street Journal, Inc.com, Forbes.com and The Huffington Post are all essentially blog sites. They are content heavy websites with many contributors. Their purpose is to share current information and stories about specific topics to a targeted audience. Although they are doing it on a very large scale with hundreds of thousands of visitors, the principles are the same. Countless CEOs are blogging too. Richard Branson of Virgin, Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and Tim Cook of Apple are all great examples of public figures who have adopted blogging as an effective way to communicate.
Why should you Blog?
Composing and posting articles is good for you and good for your business. It helps with search engine optimization, establishing your business as an expert while educating your customer, sharpening your own skills and pre-qualifying potential customers. If you knew all of this, wouldn’t you be blogging already?
Search Engine Optimization
The most widely used motivator we witness of people who begin blogging or seek help blogging is because they want to grow their business online by increasing traffic to their website and to get found easier for a particular search term. It’s difficult to argue with that goal, and if this is your motivator I won’t stop you because it does work. Blogging is a great way to increase both website traffic and keyword ranking. Hubspot, a globally recognized authority on SEO, has statistics proving that businesses who blog receive 55 percent more traffic to their website on average than those that do not. The traffic is a desirable side effect from adding regular blog posts, because it creates keyword and search phrase- rich content that people are scouring the Internet to find. An increase in traffic to a website generally means more sales for that business.
Showcase your Expertise
Putting your thoughts into writing communicates how well you know your stuff. For example, a dentist can share an article that educates people on Bad Brushing Habits that Can Harm Your Teeth, or an appliance retailer could tell customers why a top-load washing machine is better than a front-load machine, even though they offer both types. Now you are beginning to demonstrate your expertise. Taking this approach will get more people coming to you, asking more questions and generating more sales.
Blogging Forces You to Know your Business Better
A few months ago, my business partner wrote an article titled, “5 Must-Have Tips on How to Build a Great Business Website.” At our agency, we have processes for just about everything and even though he obviously knew the subject matter well, putting his tips into an article took it a step further. You can learn something and know it, but the moment you begin to teach others, your understanding becomes greatly elevated. Blogging consistently will also keep you up to date on the latest technologies, trends and news within your industry as you seek out new ideas and topics to write about.
Finding the Right Customers
If there were a way that you could generate more qualified leads and customers, would you do it? Believe it or not, the content on your site tells visitors who your customer is! Begin writing about having the lowest prices, sharing information about discounted products or services and you’ll find out what I mean. Maybe that is your niche; maybe it’s not. Either way, what you say online greatly dictates to what type of customer you are appealing.
The sooner your business begins blogging, the sooner you will reap its benefits – and don’t forget to set a goal. Even if your goal is to post a blog once a month, by the end of the year you will have 12 new articles and 12 new pages on your website.
Steve Buck is the president and co-founder of Black Tie Digital Marketing. Find out more at www.blacktiedigital.com