You may well be asking yourself the question: “Why does my business need a blog?”
And it’s a valid one.
After all, blogs are a lot of effort to create and maintain, and you probably don’t have a team of writers behind you. Which means you’re going to have to take some time away from things like PR, networking and direct sales to invest in your blog. Is it actually worth it?
The truth is it will only be worth it if you commit to it. Realistically, that means writing at least one blog post per week, of a reasonable length (at least 500 words), on an interesting topic. If you know you can’t do that, leave the blog until you can; no blog is better than one that looks stale or ignored. After all, if you’re not engaged by your blog, will your readers be?
These are five key reasons why a blog could help your business to grow:
1. Grow your website visits from search engines
Want more website traffic for free? Yep, that’s pretty much everybody then.
A blog can get you many more visits from Google, and here’s why: search engines love fresh content. By posting regularly, you are demonstrating to them that your site is active. And every new blog post is another indexed page on your site – another opportunity for Google to surface your website for a given search term.
If you write new posts about niche topics where there isn’t a lot of competition, you stand a good chance of getting your page to rank in the top ten search results. It won’t be easy, and you will need to optimise your posts well and try to get inbound links to your articles. But the result of one high-placed post in Google could be transformational for a fledgling business; it’s zero-cost relevant traffic that comes in consistently over a long time period.
2. Position your brand
When people first hear about your company, they will come to your website to find out more about you. Your ‘about us’ page and homepage will help to define your business, but the great advantage of a blog is that it allows you to show what your company is all about at the moment. You can:
- showcase recent products or services and publish tips on how to get the most out of them
- focus on other organisations you have worked with
- feature interviews with staff members
- mention any awards or press coverage you’ve had recently
Think of the blog as a constantly evolving demonstration of your company’s offering and activity. Get people interested in your brand.
3 Establish expertise and build trust
By writing quality articles relevant to your industry, and by educating your visitors in a helpful way and being transparent about what your business does, you will start to establish a position of trust with your readership. And a greater level of trust ultimately means more leads: if your content is authoritative and helpful, potential customers will associate that same trust with your product and customer service. You will get more form submissions, more emails, more phone calls and ultimately more sales.
People rarely buy from brands they are unfamiliar with. Get new visitors to your blog to know you, like you and ultimately trust you.
4 Capture an audience for your content
If your blog articles are working their magic and gaining the trust of your readers, you’re going to want to make sure they come back and read whatever new content you publish. So make sure you include a prominent call-to-action encouraging people to subscribe – and make the benefits of subscription clear.
You may even want to incentivise sign-ups, perhaps by offering a report or voucher that can be accessed if a visitor fills in a lead generation form first.
5 Empower your social media marketing
Think of your blog content as the fuel that fires your social media marketing engine. Constantly creating new topics just for your social media channels is time-consuming, so why not use your blog to act as the content repository, and your social media networks as the means to reach a bigger audience?
If your current fanbase on social media engages with the posts that link to your blog content, their networks will see your articles – and most of those people will be new visitors, unfamiliar with your business. Some of them may even share your content, or create a link to your blog posts.
Hopefully this has convinced you that a blog is a vital marketing tool for your business. But don’t forget that you don’t have to write all the content on your blog yourself. Consider resources you can draw on: other employees at your business; peers in your industry; bloggers who can guest post for you. Your content will be more varied if it’s authored by other writers.
Are you already blogging? If so, have you seen the impact of any of these five factors? If you’re not already blogging, has this convinced you to start? Please share your thoughts or leave questions in the comments below.