Blogs are important, not just for those of us that write them; but for your website too. Here’s why.
So, here’s how the conversation usually goes…
Random Stranger: “What do you do for a living?”
Me: “I write blogs”
Random Stranger: “A blogger?”
Me: “You could say that.”
Random Stranger: “So how does that actually work?”
OK, I don’t spend my whole life socialising at parties with random people who are fascinated by what I do for a living (only occasionally, anyway). But when the conversation does arise it’s obvious how few people actually know what a blog is and, more importantly, how influential they can be.
It’s quite surprising how so few people know just what blogs can do for them and their business – meaning they’re missing out on the diverse number of advantages they can bring to a brand’s online platform.
So, for the benefit of those who appear to have a complete lack of understanding when it comes to blogs, those who may be missing out due to not having one, and fellow bloggers who can simply forward this piece to friends and relatives who haven’t got the “foggiest” about what they do – here are nine benefits of blogging for business.
1. It Drives Traffic to Your Site
There’s nobody that doesn’t want to attract more visitors to their website, right? Well I should say so.
A regularly updated website, with fresh and engaging copy is a great way to promote your business and the services you offer.
But the difficult thing is finding ways to add new pieces of copy and content which will then generate interest – and ultimately traffic. Well, that’s where a blog can help.
Each time you publish a blog post (just like this awesome one you are reading now), it’s one more indexed page on your website and another reminder to search engines that your website is active and being updated with unique and fresh content.
So, what works when blogging? Well, generally, anything that you deem to be interesting or relevant to your industry – and has the potential to engage readers. Just take this blog post on common passwords we did for the PC Support Group. It provokes the reader into thinking “Is my password secure? It’s not one of the most common, is it?” This proved to be a great fit for this particular blog because it tied-in with the client’s industry while being both readable and genuinely interesting.
2. You Can Convert Traffic into Leads
OK. So you’ve started to get more people visiting your site thanks to your brand-new and ever-so-interesting blog. Now time to make the most of these new leads.
How you do this is very much up to you, but seeing as it’s your blog on your website, the ball is very much in your court.
Most blog posts include a call to action, where a company encourages visitors to take advantage of special offers, product updates, or put simply, just buy their product – ultimately guiding them through the site to where they want them to go.
This can be via a link or a click of a button, whatever takes your fancy – “Click here to view our special offers,” “DON’T MISS OUT ON YOUR CHANCE…” You decide the rest.
Sure. Not everyone who reads your blog will become a lead – that would be far too easy. But a blog gives you that opportunity and that information that you otherwise wouldn’t have access to – so use it!
3. You Can Brand Your Business
Admit it, you’d know what Pepsi was if you saw a drinks can without the name being written on it. Or when you see a yellow “M” you know it’s McDonald’s.
Branding is all about positioning your business in front of potential customers so that they become more familiar with it every time they see it, and there’s no more perfect tool for that than your blog.
A good post every few days will immediately grab people’s attention and install confidence in your business and the services you offer – as well as offering a reminder that you’re consistently “on the ball”.
You could publish pictures of your latest products; make announcements regarding price reductions, recent offers, new stock, or just keep people updated on the goings on at your company, giving them an inside view on just what you offer, while all the time making customers feel closer to the business – let’s face it, that’s a well run business should be doing.
You’re blogging doesn’t just stop with regular visitors to your site. All of these posts, updates and pictures can also be added to social media sites and shared with thousands of other contacts, who may have otherwise missed out.
4. It Lets You Establish Authority
We see something and make an informed decision on our experiences and what we know (or we think we know), and more often than not people listen to those who ooze authority.
The more a customer sees of your business and the work you do, the more likely they will be to respect it and return.
Think about the impact of posting an educational blog post you wrote to in response to a query from a confused customer? Or how many more sales you could achieve if your leads came across a blog piece written by a member of your sales team?
Consistently creating fresh and engaging content that’s helpful for your target customer, at the same time as establishing a contact with the people who buy your products can lead to becoming a respected expert in your specialist field – something that is particularly useful when it comes to targeting potential customers and generating sales.
5. Greater Interaction with Customers
Like any good conversation, a blog is a two way thing and just because you can’t see who you are talking to, it doesn’t mean they are any less important (you’ll have to trust me on that).
By blogging you can generate invaluable contact with customers, prospects and industry insiders and promote interaction in the form of comments and feedback.
Even getting people to sign up to on online newsletter means greater interaction – assuming you intend to actually write and deliver it regularly (this is a form of direct marketing for your blog remember).
Genuinely interesting topics are bound to rouse discussion and opinion, and this is your opportunity to reach out and form a direct relationship with potential customers.
So linking your blog to social media sites that allow people to share and give their own opinion in seconds is a brilliant way to ensure your message is seen by thousands of others, who otherwise would have slipped under the radar.
6. A Blog Gives Your Company a Voice
Is your company innovative? Does it get things done? Are you always looking to offer something new?
Well don’t be afraid to tell people about it. A blog is your stage, your publication, your journal – so make the most of it!
You can react to latest industry developments, changes in the market and new trends almost immediately, and by creating a voice for your company via a blog, you can give customers a glimpse into what makes your company work and why they should choose you.
8. You Can Build Links to Your blog
One link from a top blog or social media commentator can be pure gold in terms of your business, flooding your website with thousands of leads (if you’re lucky).
Alright, don’t get too excited here. Getting such high profile links can be hard work, and may take some time, I’m afraid – but you’ve got to be in-it-to-win-it, right?
So the more informative, interesting and fresh your blog is, the greater the chance of people talking about it, and ultimately linking to your page – helping to add that extra authority to your own website.
But it’s not just links to and from other pages that can work for your blog. Internal links to particular products or services within your website can have two benefits. Firstly, they can direct readers to areas of your site where you may be able to convert and secondly, Google can crawl your site easier and understand the type of products you’re pointing to.
Put simply, linking can move people through your site, giving them opportunities to read further content, perhaps taking them to a landing page with your products and services (see what we did there?).
9. Increase Revenue
Let’s not kid ourselves; a business blog is about one thing and one thing only – making sweet cash.
Let’s imagine a blog post you (or I) have written receives 100 views and 10 leads (a 10% conversion rate is a little optimistic, I know). Then, the next day, you get another 50 views and 5 leads as a few more people find it on social media sites.
You’ve netted 150 views and 15 leads but after a couple days, most of the fanfare from that post dies down and that is the end of it, right?
That blog post is now ranking in search engines, meaning for days, weeks, months, and years after it has been written and published, you can continue to get traffic.
Slightly simplistic, I agree.
But any increase in traffic can generate leads, which on the back of that can then bring in business that will then make money for your business in the long run.
So that my friends (and random strangers), is what blogs and us humble bloggers do!