Small business owners often ask me, “Should I create a blog?” Or say, “I’m busy enough. And what should I write about?”
For my business, I’ve seen the difference that blogging makes to building trust, reputation, website visitors, and ultimately sales. And I’m not alone. Clients tell me that they’ve generated business from blogging as it’s an excellent way to introduce your services while providing honest and valuable information.
What is blogging?
The word Blog is a short form for web log and is a frequently updated part of your website. It is a place to provide useful information related to your business, industry, opinions and passions. It’s important to be regular and consistent, but don’t aim for too much. Create the habit of writing a simple blog post per week or month (or get someone to do it for you) and build it from there.
Why should I bother?
Here are nine benefits of starting a blog for your business. Pay particular attention to the bonus tips at the end.
1. Build trust. Who do you do choose to do business with? It’s usually people or organisations that you know, like, and trust. A blog humanises your brand by adding your voice to issues that your prospects care about. Showcasing your personality through your expertise and passions creates familiarity, so you’re at the forefront of people’s minds when they choose to buy.
2. Grow your audience. A blog can build your audience even before you have a business. Once you’ve built a niche following, you can monetise your products and services.
3. Boost search engine visibility and website traffic. Google loves fresh content and rewards your site with better visibility. It’s like fishing: You catch more with the number of hooks you put in the water. So, the more content you create, the more pages Google can index for people to visit.
4. Position yourself as a subject-matter expert. Insightful, quality, useful posts increase your industry credibility. It could be timely or news-related, meaning you’ll get exposure for trending searches.
5. Market research. You can ask for feedback in the comments section of your blog. This will improve your writing and provide valuable intelligence about what people need help with. Armed with this information, you can create products and services that people actually want.
6. Newsletter content. Many small businesses have a weekly, fortnightly, or monthly newsletter. Readers will usually appreciate the highlights from your most recent popular content.
7. Social media strategy. Sharing other people’s content is great, but you eventually want to direct people back to your site. A well-maintained blog provides regular, high-quality content to your social media channels.
8. Return on investment (ROI). According to Hubspot, businesses that prioritise blogging have a 13 times increase in ROI year after year. And businesses with 401-1000 pages of content get six times more leads than those with 51-100 pages. Such leads can become life-long customers.
9. Great for networking. Blogs increase your reach to potential clients, customers, and business partners, which can lead to speaking and consulting opportunities.
1. Integrate it. Ensure your blog is on the same domain as your business website and labelled on your homepage.
2. Maintain it. An active blog shows your business is alive and healthy. If you can’t maintain your blog, take it down or at least remove the publishing date.
3. It’s not about you. Focus on how you can help your customers. Become someone of value. Maybe it’s insight from a book. Or something you’ve learned at a conference. Overtly talking about your products and services is the quickest way to turn a potential customer off. Instead, your blog should be a resource for readers that provides relevant, valuable information not found anywhere else.
- a hairdresser could blog about current styling trends
- a real estate agent could write about how to sell your home and the best local areas
- a physiotherapist could write about the best stretches to do at the office
- a coffee shop could educate customers about where the coffee comes from
- a make-up artist could give tips on preparing for a night out
- a marketing company could blog about the current social media trends.
Blogging is a great way for your business to stand out from the competition. Your unique insights will build your search traffic, customer trust, and ultimately sales.