Why small businesses should blog

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.

Why blog

There are 3 things that are you almost guaranteed to get as a result of a well executed strategy to start blogging.

  1. You will get more traffic to your site (see companies that blog get 55% more traffic).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

In essence the purpose of blogging for business is about getting more customers.

My experience

This is how my site looked before I swapped it to a blog in 2010. It was actually pretty effective but it was sliding down the rankings in Google and I couldn’t see how I could continue competing against bigger companies with a sales page type site.

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!)
Other benefits of blogging
While I think predominantly businesses should blog to build authority and get more customers, there are also other benefits people will realise once they begin blogging.
  • 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 Copywriter  from Other The Page for that one my thoughts exactly!.

“Increase credibility by displaying industry knowledge”Fabian - 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. Otherwise they might as well just turn up the volume on their megaphone and continue screaming into their customers faces”Elisa Doucette - 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 blog 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

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About Alex

Alex Retzlaff is the owner of A Website Designer and Web Circle.

Follow us at:
Twitter @webcircle
Facebook /webcircle
Web Circle website

12 Responses to “Why small businesses should blog”

  1. Ann February 15, 2012 at 4:12 am #

    You have a lot of good ideas here, but I wish you had made several short blogs instead of one long one. I also went to your Facebook Page to see if you did for yourself what I would hope you would do for me if I were your client, and I did not see anything compelling.

    I know I have trouble with SEO and keywords which is your strength, but you need to review your social media marketing plan.

    I am not trying to be insulting and I apologize if I come off that way. I am offering you a little free advice. Take if or leave it.

  2. Dan February 15, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

    Hi Ann, thanks for the comment. We don’t offer social media advice to clients, it’s not really what we specialise in but I’m interested in your ideas if you have some to share.

    With the blog article I have lots of other topic ideas around content marketing so I’ll try to keep the future ones a bit shorter although there is a lot to say!

  3. Jim Jenks February 16, 2012 at 8:51 am #

    I’ve been back and forth about blogging for a while and I’m definitely getting more and more on board with it. I can definitely see how much it can affect my online presence and overall success in business. Thanks, this was a good article.

  4. Dan February 16, 2012 at 10:56 am #

    Hi Jim, thanks for the comment, it’s a big part of online businesses that’s for sure.

  5. Wil House February 16, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    I’ve recently just added a blog to my website as well. Some my friends in the field and people i’ve worked with asked \why do that? your just giving away information for free\ and while that might be true on the most part i’ve found that my new has been developing traffic faster then Im usually used to.

  6. Dan February 16, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    Hi mate thanks for the comment, yeah this old school thinking is going to hurt people I think. Surely customers would prefer to buy from someone who has proved that they can help out.

    Thanks for the comment.

  7. Mike February 17, 2012 at 3:13 am #

    I have seen that many small companies are blogging but the thing is that they are clueless about what they are doing. Non of these blogs lives longer than 10 posts or 1 year and they are just discontinued as they didn’t get any comments and discussions started and so one. But this is another opportunity for experienced bloggers to help these companies while making some extra income from it.

  8. Dan February 17, 2012 at 9:14 am #

    Yep agreed, it’s tough to stick with it. I think it’s pretty hard to start seeing results for months if not years unless you have a lot of authority to start with. But there are a lot of ways to market your blog that people probably forget about or don’t know about. I’ll be covering some of these in future posts.

    Thanks for the comment.

  9. John March 15, 2012 at 8:43 am #

    Nice post, Dan. It would be cool to see a follow up on some other types of blogging like videos and such. There are so many folks that are uncomfortable writing but will gladly talk into the camera or share their photography, etc.

  10. Dan March 15, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    Thanks for the tip, yes that’s a good idea I’ll cover the different content methods in a future post.

  11. Post Apocalyptic March 28, 2012 at 3:49 am #

    A lot of my small business clients never even considered blogging until I suggested it. It can be surprisingly easy for them to take over a small local market for many relevant terms quickly.

    I always suggest for small businesses to create a newsletter as well. In one particular case I had small business client who was a chiropractor and he increased his patient return rate by almost 40% using a newsletter and blog combination to keep in contact with his current and past patients.

    The internet is very powerful for small businesses, they just need to take advantage of the opportunity it affords.

  12. Dan March 28, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    Wow that’s a great result, I agree a lot of people don’t think about it. Partly I think because there is no immediate return and they are used to immediate return on marketing (even if it’s a minimal return) but that just represents an opportunity for someone who is prepared to put in the effort.

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