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Should my business have a blog?

Updated September 2020

The short answer is yes. But you may need more concrete facts and figures to gain approval for a blog and win over your boss.

Today there are more than 150 million blogs on the internet. This number hasn’t happened by accident, as millions of people have realized the benefits of blogging. Blogs provide a platform to share ideas, learn something new, and build a network of like-minded individuals.

Recent studies show that 70 percent of consumers prefer to engage with a company through articles rather than ads. Think about this – when was the last time you intentionally clicked on an ad and made a purchase?

Keen to learn more about blogging? Read on…

BENEFITS OF HAVING A BLOG

1. Increase Traffic to Your Website

All businesses strive to increase traffic to their website. The more visitors to your website – the more sales your business will gain. Blogs encourage you to share interesting and relevant content with your audience, and each post can be a new page on your website. A blog with valuable content will encourage visitors to view multiple pages on your website to access all of your content. If you are writing to solve the problems of your ideal client, this is likely to attract visitors to your website.

2. Search Engine Optimization

Blogs also assist with search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines love new content. If you are constantly adding new content to your blog, search engines will continue to regularly scan your website. The more relevant the content is, the higher search engines will rank you. Let’s be honest, how often do you update your about us or contact pages? Probably not too often. To achieve maximum benefit, it is important that the blog is part of your website, or you will lose the SEO benefit of having the blog.

3. Keep Your Website Current and Active

Keeping a blog that is regularly updated will convey to clients that your business is active, and not a website that hasn’t been updated for two years and perhaps is no longer in business. It’s also important to note that if you are planning on starting a blog, you need to be committed to maintaining it, otherwise it will have the opposite affect – people will visit your website and see a blog that hasn’t been updated in a long time. “Companies that do moderate blog posting between one to two times per month have 67 percent more sales opportunities than companies that do not blog.” (InsideView).

4. Link Building

“Companies who blog receive 97 percent more links to their website.”(Hubspot). In terms of SEO, having quality links from third-party websites to your own website improves your search engine ranking. By creating high quality valuable content, other leaders in your field are likely to link and share your posts – creating inbound links.

5. Social Media Content

Blogs provide a constant stream of relevant and interesting content that you can share on your social media channels. Not only will you be able to share the content, but it’s likely that others will also share your content if it is valuable and relevant to the industry. Sharing your content on social media will also drive traffic to your website and generate potential leads for your business.

6. Generate Leads

“B2B marketers who blog generate 67 percent more leads than those who don’t.” (www.business2community.com). Your blog should form part of your sales process – you need to navigate your visitor through your website and educate them, but leave them wanting more. The majority of your blog posts should include a call to action where you collect contact details in exchange for additional information or an offer. Visitors reading your content are likely to be prospective future clients.

7. Learn About Your Ideal Client

Blogging is a two-way street, you are sharing content with your audience and they are commenting on your posts, giving you instant feedback. Use this opportunity to learn about your clients, ask them for feedback, and if they had dealt with a similar problem and found a different solution. This information is valuable to assist you to meet the needs of your clients and ensure your products and services fulfil those requirements.

8. Demonstrate Your Expertise

Blogs are a great platform to demonstrate your skills and knowledge in your area of expertise. Sharing valuable information that solves a problem builds trust and clients are more likely to engage with you in the future. Particularly in the service industry, clients are hiring professionals to complete tasks that they do not have the skills or time to do themselves. Blogging regularly about all aspects of your field will establish you as a genuine expert who understands their subject area and is willing to help businesses achieve their goals. Make your blog a destination for learning and knowledge in your area of expertise.

9. Long Term Results

Blog posts will continue to yield benefits long after they have been written. Unlike tweets or Facebook posts that have a life of a few hours, or one day at most, blogs will serve you for years to come. To get the best value out of your posts, ensure you include some evergreen content that will be valuable no matter when the post is read. All blog posts within your site are indexed by search engines and will show up in results when they are relevant. You will also continue to receive leads from your posts well into the future, provided they contain a call to action. “More than 79 percent of companies that have a blog report a positive return on investment for inbound marketing.” (HubSpot State of Inbound, 2013).

If incorporated into an overall marketing strategy, blogs can be beneficial to your business. However, be prepared for some experimenting, and learning how to best meet the needs of your customer within your industry sector.

blog

WHAT SHOULD YOU BLOG ABOUT?

Your blog posts should ultimately aim to provide a solution to your clients’ problems. Consider the types of information your clients may find useful and provide them with the resources they need.

Some examples:

1. Tips
E.g. A photographer could write a blog post with tips on what to wear to a portrait photoshoot.

2. Checklists
E.g. An accountant could develop a checklist on what documentation to prepare for your tax return appointment.

3. How To Guide
E.g. A kitchen designer could create a ‘how to’ guide on planning the layout of your kitchen installation.

4. Write about something topical
E.g. A nutritionist could provide advice on dietary guidelines to help boost your immune system during the current pandemic.

5. Share a video, Facebook live or ‘how to’ video as a blog post
The format of your posts can take many different forms, and you should try to include a variety of content styles to see what your audience responds to. Videos are a great way to change things up and have also been shown to drive better engagement.

 

WHERE TO GET IDEAS

If you are stuck for ideas, then these websites are a great tool for seeing the types of questions people ask and search for on a variety of topics.

https://www.quora.com/

http://keywordtool.io/

Also use any online groups you are active in as inspiration for content ideas. Visit the group and search for yourself to see what questions you are answering, and what types of info people are seeking. In addition, be sure to check your inbox for questions people are asking via email, social media, on your website forms etc.

 

WHAT ARE THE BLOG BASICS I SHOULD KNOW?

So you’ve researched and decided on your blog topic and now the time has come to put it all together and get writing. Here are the essential components of a successful blog post and how you should set about writing it:

  • Your word count should be at least 500 words, with it ideally being between 800-1000.
  • Write an eye-catching headline that ropes the reader into wanting to read more.
  • The first paragraph should explain what the blog is about.
  • Structure the article with plenty of sub-headings to organise the information into different sections (a lot like what I have done in this post). This allows the reader to scan the blog, get an idea of what it’s about and then follow along easily without having to read through reams of unorganised information.
  • Add bullet points. Once again this helps to make your post easier to follow.
  • Break up content with images.
  • Focus on one key idea, if you have lots of ideas, write more than one blog. Be really specific and not too broad.
  • Always finish with a call to action. For example – ask the reader a question and encourage them to leave an answer in the comments, or direct them to share an image relating to the post via social media with a relevant hashtag.
  • Link to other relevant information.
  • Use data and research to back up the claims you make in your posts and include examples to back up why what you’re saying is important. Doing this will help position you as an expert in your field, and builds confidence amongst your followers and potential clients.
  • When drawing from others’ ideas, cite them.
  • Write like you talk. Speak from the heart, make yourself approachable.
  • Show your personality; don’t tell it.
  • Don’t overthink, write, edit and publish, better done than never.

 

ONCE I’VE WRITTEN A BLOG – WHAT DO I DO?

Keep sharing it!

Share it to your email list and on your own social media. I set all of mine on auto repeat, set up once and they keep resharing.

If a follower asks a question that can be answered by one of your blog posts, then share the link to it. It saves you the time of having to draft an entirely new response, and it directs traffic to your website and blog. Win win!

 

DO I NEED A SCHEDULE?

It’s not mandatory to write a blog every week but by writing regularly it does keep your website fresh with new content, which also helps with ranking on the search engines.

 

HOW TO GET STARTED?

  • Think of 5-6 topics, these will then become 5-6 blog posts
  • Start with some bullet points about each topic
  • If you can reference a good source in your blog, that helps also with ranking.
  • Get writing!

 

If incorporated into an overall marketing strategy, blogs can be beneficial to your business. However, be prepared for some experimenting, and learning how to best meet the needs of your customer within your industry sector.

Have you recently written a great blog post? Tag me on social media @creativedeskaustralia, I would love to have a read.

Michelle Tolhurst

I'm Michelle Tolhurst the owner, director of Creative Desk Pty Ltd. I'm your virtual marketing assistant working with small businesses around Australia in their creative communications, email campaigns, websites, social media and desktop publishing.

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