We hear from a lot of business owners who say they think they should have a blog. But although they say they need one, they’re often unsure about why they need one. They might have read that blogging works to boost business. Maybe they know a competitor who is raking in new leads thanks to a blog. But the mechanisms remain a little fuzzy.
Naturally, you don’t want to commit time and money to something based on hearsay. You want to know what, exactly, a blog will do for you.
The truth is, there’s no mystery to how blogging works. No matter what type of business you run, you can launch a blog and it can boost your business. Here, we break it down for you.
Stand Out as an Expert in Your Industry
If you produce an entirely unique product or service that absolutely no one else sells, kudos! However, that probably isn’t the case. Standing out among competitors makes or breaks a business. Customers need to know why they should trust you among all the others.
Blogging works to demonstrate the breadth and depth of your knowledge related to your industry. Think of the common questions you hear from potential customers. What if you could answer those questions, not for one person at a time, but for the whole internet at once? Showcase the expertise among your team members and announce when you win awards or media attention. Post videos of talks you give at events. Create “how-to” articles. A blog provides an easy, ideal destination for all of your ideas.
Build Your Brand
Expertise is just one element of your brand. Use your blog to show personality. Let potential customers know that your brand is approachable, or humorous, or sophisticated, or trustworthy… whatever you know to be your most valuable traits. When you write as yourself, from a genuine place, people see what makes you unique. They feel stronger connections and thus, a stronger inclination to buy. Even if you don’t enjoy writing, a skilled writer can adopt your voice to help you get your personality across.
Improve Your Search Engine Ranking
People can’t buy from you if they can’t find you. Your rank on Google and other search engines determines your success. For a number of reasons, a blog helps you rank for important keywords. Because a blog is ongoing and flexible, you can respond to changes in a flash. So if you want to work in a new keyword, or if a competitor suddenly outranks you, some blog strategy adjustment often makes a quick difference.
Generate Inbound Links
Inbound links provide one more crucial way for people to find you. When you start to crank out expert opinions and information, other sources will link to you. They might be retailers who carry your products or related non-competing companies. They could also be satisfied customers who write their own blogs. All of their audiences will get the chance to click through to your blog. These inbound links boost your SEO, too, on top of the methods we mentioned above.
Attract Repeat Visits
If your website stays the same month after month, visitors have no reason to return. Customers who buy from you once might not visit your site ever again. But once people learn that you continuously provide useful, high-quality content, they will return again and again. They may subscribe to your blog or follow links from social media.
Feed the Social Media Machine
Speaking of social media, many business owners struggle to think of things to post. So they never launch a social presence–critical in today’s market–or they let their channels get stale. When you constantly produce new content for a blog, you always have something to share on your social channels. You can even automate the process so new posts automatically go out to interested users.
Attract Media Attention
Members of the media constantly need expert insights and fresh subject matter. When someone writes a story related to your industry, you could act as a source. Many reporters follow blogs and social media to keep abreast of public conversation. By frequently updating your blog and sharing your content via social media, you put your content where they can find it.
Engage Customers in Conversation
Blogs and social media offer two-way communication. Not everyone takes advantage of these aspects. On a blog, you can allow comments, filtering them so as not to end up with a bunch of spam or inappropriate material. You will find many opportunities to ask for comments. Conclude a post on a certain topic by asking the reader their opinion about it. Or ask readers to share their own (brief) stories. When they comment, respond. This is your chance to answer questions and possibly gain a new customer for life.
Learn More About Your Customers
The comment section is just one place to discover what’s on your customers’ minds. Check your blog analytics to learn what people like to read. As you build a cache of content, keep track of which types of posts attract the most readers and the readers who stay on the longest. You can also track what posts people share and through which social channels.
Exercise Your Creativity
As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you probably value creativity. Yet, with all the stress of running a business, you may not take time to tap into your own well of ideas. Your blog is a place to escape the hustle and bustle as you work through your thoughts. Express yourself and relax a bit. You might just find yourself rejuvenated and ready to launch your next big project!
Stick with us as we continue to share all kinds of valuable information to get your blog started and growing your business. When you see how well blogging works, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start a long time ago!