Over the next few months I will be writing a comprehensive set of posts on the topic of blogging for business.
These will be put under a new category in the blog called ‘Content Marketing‘ which is all about creating great content and building authority in your industry.
Let’s kick things off with a post on why businesses should blog.
There are 3 things that are you almost guaranteed to get as a result of a well executed strategy to start blogging.
- You will get more traffic to your site (see companies that blog get 55% more traffic).
- Your site will be seen as a higher authority by Google (to summarise this check out SEOMoz’s ranking factors and future SEO report – better content leads to more links, more useful site, higher social media following etc) and you will be elevated in the search results and therefore get more traffic.
- You and your business will be seen as a trusted authority by people including potential customers and referrers (build a following and become known as the expert)
From a business point of view I’d summarise these as follows:
Blogging will deliver you more online leads (traffic) and more offline leads (general authority) and give you a bigger group of people to market to which will result in more customers.
InÂ essenceÂ the purpose of blogging for business is about getting more customers.
In 2010 I turned my main site (this one) into a blog. I went into some of the details of my results in the post ‘How we build a website for a top 3 iPhone developer‘ but essentially my results were:
- A significant increase in my rankings in Google (at the time I was about 8th for the keyword ‘website design’ I am now 1st)
- My leads are more qualified now as a lot of people who come to us have already read my articles or my ebooks and come pre-educated
- My website traffic has increased over 300%
- My email list has doubled (turns out blogging is also a great list building technique)
- My social media following on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ is growing steadily (it wasn’t before!)
- You will find yourself putting more effort into researching your area of expertise and as a result you will become more of an expert.
- It will give you the opportunity to establish a point of difference with your competition. If you look at all of the people on page 1 of Google for ‘website design‘ my site is the only dedicated blog. It helps to have a point of difference if you are competing against much bigger companies.
- You will come across other people from your industry who also have blogs and as a result build up a network you otherwise wouldn’t have (this network can become very useful as I will cover on posts later on when we talk about blog promotion).
- It will help you focus on the problems that are faced by your customers and which responses best solve those problems – this will rub off in your business as you discover opportunities.
- You will find writing more personal articles (as opposed to just website sales material) will help humanize you and people will sort of ‘know you’ before they call. It’s hard to explain this but it really does work. I very regularly get people contact me about work and tell me how they have read my ebooks and enjoyed them and felt that I would look after them.
- Inbound marketing methods like blogging have been found to significantly reduce marketing spending (see this hubspot article which mentions inbound marketing costing 62% less).
- You have the opportunity to educate your audience – you no longer have to ‘sell’ as much when you can assume that they have some knowledge about what you offer.
And even more from some of our web friends (which we got through blogging and social media of course)
Business blogs enable you to reach people that you wouldn’t otherwise have been able to reach – Thanks to Tenancy Matters for this one. This is certainly true for us, we currently have 2 jobs in the United States both which came as a result of blogging see this post for more.
And this one which summarises my points nicely “To accelerate google traffic, to demonstrate expertise, to engage community, to attract prospects. Simply: to stay in the game” Thanks to Sheryl Allen Professional CopywriterÂ from Other The Page for that one my thoughts exactly!.
“Increase credibility by displaying industry knowledge” – FabianÂ - Thanks Fabs, the more you can prove your knowledge to prospects before they contact you the less sales you have to do (and for someone like me that sucks at sales this is a big deal)!
“Business’ need to blog so that they can reach their customers online on a personal level by enabling conversation and community.Â Otherwise they might as well just turn up the volume on their megaphone and continue screaming into their customers faces” – Elisa DoucetteÂ - Agreed, I would rather help people and build up a community of followers than be constantly trying to interrupt people into buying.
Why do you blog?
Let me know below and share your success.
Some more resources
Check out some of the following resources if you’re still not convinced!
10 compelling reasons why your business should blogÂ from Jeffbullas.com
Inbound vs Outbound marketing from Mashable
5 reasons your business should be blogging – from Social Media Examiner
Free blogging book – from My Blog guest
How to start a blog – quick summary of the main steps