Ahhh, blogging. The trend of a decade. It seems like everyone has a blog these days. You can find them on just about every topic under the sun: from fiscal responsibility to owls that look hungover. But what about blogging for business? Does it really have any advantages?
There are plenty of real world benefits blogging will have for your business. A quality piece of writing can help capture leads, improve your SEO, and position your brand. It can humanise your company and build trust with your audience, while also giving you something a little fun to do on a slow day at the office.
If you don’t already maintain a blog for your company, hopefully you’ll want to by the time you’ve finished reading this article.
Blogging increases website traffic
First things first: blogging is a great alternative to paid advertising when it comes to driving traffic to your website.
So you’ve put all that effort into building up an impressive collection of Facebook likes or email addresses. Now it’s time to engage that audience to get eyes on your website (and hopefully subsequent sales). But what can you email them? What can you post on Facebook?
Unless you’ve somehow found success with a great Facebook meme strategy, you’re going to be stuck scratching your head about what things you can share with your audience. This is where blog articles come in super handy.
You can blog about your company (more on this later), market news, FAQs, success stories, industry secrets, how-tos and more. Blogging is a great way to get customers returning to your website and engaging with your brand again and again.
Blogging builds trust with your audience
If your blog is well written and informative, it’s going to build trust with your readership. Regularly offering your audience free advice or information on a topic you’re the expert on is a great way to position yourself as an authority. If you’ve shown customers how to do X, they’ll be much more likely to convert if you tell them why they need Y.
The most trusted companies build rapport with their customers and audience. You can turn a blog into a conversation by giving it a comments section. Simple plugins like Disqus make this easy. An active, public comments section is a great way to build engagement with your customers. Plus, it shows your readers you have nothing to hide. (But be careful of the trolls – you’ll need to make sure it’s properly moderated).
Blogging gives your company a voice and personality
It’s not just your colour palette and logo that gives your company its unique brand. Your voice and tone play just as important a role. Blogging gives you a great opportunity to show off this personality.
If you run a playful business and love to have a laugh, there’s no harm in cracking a few jokes or peppering your content with some funny gifs. If you’re a little more hardboiled and serious (say, a law firm), you can use your blog to show off your sagacity and wisdom.
Feel free to be a little self-indulgent. It’s your blog, after all. Write about who you are and what you do. Holding a company event? Put it in the blog. Have an office tradition you follow? Regular ‘bring your dog to work’ days? Is there a charity or cause you support? Write about it.
ProTip: Blog regularly – but don’t overdo it. Anyone pushing out five blogs a day can basically guarantee the majority of that writing is going to be of the kind of Buzzfeed-esque quality that already has Ernest Hemingway doing 500rpm in his grave. Make sure you’re putting more emphasis on quality than quantity.
Blogging increases your SEO
As well as giving you stuff to post on social media, blogging offers a cracking opportunity to expand upon the keywords you target for SEO.
Let’s say you run an online gift shop. The main keywords you’d probably be targeting would be along the lines of ‘buy gifts online’ or ‘online gift shop’. This would be the main focus of your homepage – but how about all the other long tail keywords you’re missing out on? A blog entitled ‘15 great gifts for Dad this father’s day’ would very likely pull in a tonne of qualified leads you may have otherwise missed.
Blogging allows you to broaden the range of keywords you target, letting you bring in far more organic search traffic, and, ergo, more paying customers. Always remember to use appropriate keywords in the title, headings, meta description, URL and first paragraph for best results.
Blogging lets you upsell or drive sales
While we recommend maintaining a conservative ratio of ‘salesy’ blogs to informative ones, your blog can be a powerful platform for upgrading existing clients, or driving new business.
For many companies, the blog is right at the top of the sales funnel. Here’s how your blog could help with generating new leads:
- Step one: write relevant content that people interested in your offerings are likely to search for online.
- Step two: place a cookie on their browser, or target them with a Facebook Pixel. This allows you to retarget them with Facebook or Google advertising tools, to keep your brand on their mind.
- Step three: if they like your content and return to your site, they’re now much more likely to give you their email address for further updates.
- Step four: nurture them towards purchase with educational content or targeted offers.
It all starts with the blog.
You could also try skipping steps 2 and 3 by offering a free eBook, discount code or something else your clientele would be likely to want at the end of your blog posts (in exchange for the visitor’s email address, of course).
Blogs generate leads for life
Finally, unlike paid advertising or an email campaign, once a blog is live, it’s a lead generator for life. At no extra cost to your business.
Sure, you’ll receive the lion’s share of traffic when it’s first shared with your audience. But if optimised properly for Google, you should see it still chugging along nicely months or even years after you’ve hit publish.
It’s best to avoid ‘flash in the pan’ topics like the day’s news if you’re looking for an enduring lead generator. How-to articles are a great example of evergreen content that’s bound to see sustained traffic.
Blogging has great returns on your time investment. Just make sure you give it the love it deserves!