The 7 Benefits of a Blog for Your Business
Coming up with new cost-effective ways to promote your business that are neither complicated or expensive is difficult, especially for small businesses and startups whose marketing budgets are small. But have you thought about blogging?
If you're struggling with the idea, you're not alone. When I discuss the subject of starting a blog with some of my clients, a look of horror usually sweeps over their faces. This is usually for a couple of reasons; firstly, they have never written in this way before and also assume you need to be a highly accomplished writer to blog, and secondly, they just don’t have the time.
Let’s address these concerns first as they are both valid, but not insurmountable challenges.
You need to be a writer to blog – no you don’t! If you’re worried about your grammar and spelling, you could get a copywriter to have a look at it for you. To be honest, having a friend or relative proof-read it is the more likely option. What you need to remember here is that you’re blogging about what you know, so it shouldn’t be that difficult, and practice makes perfect. As I have developed my own writing style and become more confident, my writing now is much better now than it was four years ago
I don’t have the time – it is a fact that if you start a blog, one of the keys to success is consistency and creating time in your week/month to blog. If you really don’t have the time to blog, think about outsourcing this to a copywriter. Some VA’s (like me) also write for people. But do your research and ensure the person knows the industry. I, for example, would never write content on subjects of which I have no knowledge. It’s strictly chocolate and shoes for me!
So keep reading to find out five other reasons why your small business needs a blog and how it can elevate you above the competition, making you stand out in an increasingly busy online world.
What is a blog?
Just in case you didn’t know, I thought I should clarify exactly what a blog is. This is a blog - the article you are reading right now. It’s not limited to industry, product or type of business, so anyone can write a blog on anything if they wish but in order for people to read and enjoy your blogs, they must be relevant to the consumer.
A blog is usually published on your website as a separate page, but if you don’t have a website you would use a blogging platform such as Wordpress, Medium, Tumbler etc.
Great for SEO
I’m no SEO wiz, but even I know and understand the importance of fresh content on a
Quite simply, search engines like Google love new content (which is relevant and useful), but the reality is you can’t keep updating your website, so having a blog gives you the chance to do this.
Basically, by writing content that answers the type of queries your customers are asking in Google, means your website can become more visible.
So make sure your content is relevant, interesting and useful and don’t keyword stuff as this will now harm your ranking.
Blogging brings inbound traffic
What is inbound marketing? According to Hubspot, 55% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority. Inbound marketing is about attracting prospects and customers to your website via content marketing, SEO etc. as opposed to outbound marketing such as sales calls, emails, etc. Blogging is a great way of getting your brand recognised and bringing inbound traffic to your website, but this does mean there is more of an emphasis on knowing your customers so that you are creating content they want to read.
The illusive backlink
You may or may not have heard the term backlink... Briefly, this is where another website links back to yours, usually via blogs. This in turn increases your domain authority (DA) and Google ranking. But backlinks are hard to get and good backlinks from websites with a high DA are even harder. Blogging can help with this as other blogs and websites can link to a blog that they have found informative, interesting or helpful, thus creating a backlink. And of course, businesses are much more likely to link to a blog post than a product or service of yours.
Show your expertise and build credibility and trust
If you provide a service like me, then blogging is a great way to show your expertise, something that isn’t always that easy. By writing about what you know and giving insight into how you solve customer problems, you can also build trust with your audience. This is so important when selling a service, where a potential client can’t “see” what they are buying.
Great for social media
Blogs are great for social media as its content that people like to share. It also encourages interaction and comments on your social media posts and in the comments section of the blog itself. Remember the 80/20 rule, 80% of content that you post should not be promotional, it’s about providing informative, interesting and helpful content – blogging comes into this category.
There are also lots of ideas that can stem from one blog post, known as Content Repurposing - you could extract key sentences from your articles and use those as tips/advice for social media posts or how about turning your blog post into a podcast.
Aren’t I just giving away free information?
Technically, yes, you are giving away information for free, but hopefully you are also subtly selling a product or an element of your business within the blog, and potentially a call to action at the end. People don’t generally like to be sold to, so blogging is a great way of advertising your business in a much softer way. I like to think that I am giving some value to the potential client, and as we have mentioned before, solving a client’s problems builds trust and loyalty, which in turn can lead to sales. Blogging is also a great way to keep current customers engaged, so they remember you and not your competition!
So in the short term, yes, we are giving away insight - but for long term gain.
Blogging isn’t just for your clients
The aim of blogging is that you not only increase inbound traffic and gain more customers but that you also gain credibility and authority in your niche. There are lots of blogging opportunities such as guest blogging within your field of expertise, which can provide great exposure for not only your business but for you as a blogger. This, in turn, can open doors to speaking opportunities and regular paid writing jobs.
My Top Tips:
Write about what you know
Understand your customers' pain points/problems and address those issues
Use interesting images and not boring stock photos – see my blog for a list of useful sites
The longer the better - long-form blog content does better over time
Spend time on your headline - make it interesting
Be consistent – plan time in your diary for writing, proof-reading and uploading.
Don’t forget to promote it – get a blog promo checklist in place
Think about how else you can use the content; video, social media posts, podcasts, etc.
Blogging really is a great way to help you differentiate yourself from the competition, build trust and authority not only with your customers but also in your niche, and increase brand awareness and traffic to your website. But I think it’s also important to remember that blogging is a long-term marketing strategy and one that you need to be consistent with.
Don’t get to expect results straight away.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your laptop, secure yourself half an hour and get writing.