Blogging is an expanding area in online marketing, and if you don’t have a business blog you’re missing a valuable marketing tool. I’ve encountered a few people who turn their noses up at the idea of blog marketing, however, believing that blogs are a platform for self-indulgent teenagers to cry about their running make up and the like. Well, in some circles that’s precisely what they are – but a properly crafted business blog has more potential than any print publication. A blog containing accurately written, engaging articles can draw readers from all over the world, and can be shared exponentially. So here’s my top 5 reasons that blogging can help your business:
1. Blogs provide regular updates for your website
Search Engine Optimisation is increasingly driven by having new, high quality content on your website. A blog gives you the opportunity to frequently update your site and get it noticed by search engines without performing unnecessary tweaks to static pages. This helps drive new visitors to your site, and if the updates are of a sufficient standard it will give your visitors something to share.
2. Blogs prove your business is run by people
A good business blog can give an insight into the beliefs and practices of your business, demonstrating your values as a person. Writing about your business (or at least publishing articles in related fields) shows a genuine interest in the area, that your business is run by people who care about it. As the old adage goes, people do business with people, and a blog is an excellent way of showing who your company is run by.
3. Blogs can establish and strengthen your business image
A blog is a clever way to inject a certain viewpoint or personality into your overall business image. Your content can be designed to elicit discussion, to build brand character or to extol your beliefs. An informative blog helps a business look qualified, an entertaining blog can demonstrate vibrant personality. The tone you set in your blog will help funnel the specific customers and clients you want. For instance the content of this very expensive hat website is designed to steer away time-wasters (the site is not strictly presented as a blog, but it is designed in the same way).
3. Your articles can demonstrate expertise
Good content shows that you know what you’re talking about. Articles that provide insights and advice into your field of business are convincing evidence of your knowledge. There is little to differentiate between most products and services, and demonstrating knowledge is an effective way to convince prospective customers and clients that you are the right person for the job. It shows you have the wherewithal to offer ongoing support, and provides insights into what your recommendations are based on.
4. Offering something for free
Giving advice through your blog, even if it is based on your opinions, helps to build a base of trust. It won’t necessarily encourage sales in the way that a free offer can, but it will encourage repeat business and make you memorable. A strong business blog helps people by sharing, whether it’s tips about your business or news about current events. It shows that you are not afraid to give away a bit of your knowledge if you think it can help people. It shows that you are selling the skill (or product) to apply this knowledge, rather than a carefully guarded set of insider secrets.
5. Creates a sense of community
Interacting through blogs helps you network with other online businesses. You can communicate with customers, clients and competitors. Don’t fear that your competitors might steal your ideas, embrace the opportunity to learn from one another and develop together. You can do this through commenting on and sharing one another’s blogs and through guest blogging. Most people in blogging communicates are friendly and helpful, and this practice demonstrates to observant customers that you are engaged in personal development yourself. It creates the appearance of a dynamic company, willing to develop.
In time, an effective business blog can even build a community around your website. It will encourage sharing and repeat visits, and firmly establish your business’s online presence. The next step is to ask if you can write your own professional blog, or hire someone to do it for you, covered in this article.