Blogging, if done for the purpose of content marketing, is a powerful lead generating method and a necessary addition to the overall marketing strategy of your business. Pair content creation with search engine optimisation and you will take your first steps towards online success. Here’s how you will greatly benefit from a well-developed blog:
1. Blogging drives more traffic to your website
When someone looks for information online and lands on a web page, they expect to find useful and entertaining content. Your blog can provide clever ideas, know-how, or products and services descriptions that many users would set aside a moment or two to read. This way, not only does the traffic on your website go up but so does the average time every user spends on reading.
2. Blogging then converts this traffic into leads
There is always the possibility to turn a person who was just looking for information into a customer. This, however, can only be achieved if you provided the right information to the right person. And that’s yet another reason to strive for delivering high-quality blog posts and displaying your expertise in your field of business.
3. It is (generally) a free marketing tool
Assuming you already have a business website hosted on a fast and reliable hosting service, you can create a blog on a subdomain or a subfolder, with just several mouse clicks. Blogging is one of the very few sources of organic traffic nowadays and is basically free exposure but be prepared to spend some time creating content.
4. Traffic spikes help you rank higher in search results
Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo use machine learning algorithms to rank search results by their relevance to a particular query. If your “answers” are better than those you compete with, you will have more visits and better engagement, which will reserve you that sweet, coveted first spot.
5. Gain authority in your niche
By interacting with your audience and giving valuable insight about products and services in your niche, you establish your brand better. You earn your prospects’ trust by shedding light upon their questions and concerns.
6. The human factor
A user is more likely to become your customer once they realise that there is an actual human being behind the product or service in question, rather than an automated software.
7. Builds your industry credibility
By speaking openly about your niche and the details of your work, you let everyone see that you’re a professional who knows what they’re doing. And this goes not just for the user, but for the search engines as well.
8. Comment section
Your blog’s comment section can bring you closer to your customers and help you give and receive instant direct feedback. One of your blog’s advantages is the ease with which the users can get in touch with you and ask for clarifications. You can establish contacts and even convert a curious user into a customer, if you play your cards right.
9. Blog analytics
Do you monitor how users behave on your website through various analytics tools? Dedicate a separate property view for your blog and see how readers interact with your content. A simple tool like Google Analytics, which is also free to use, gives you insights on your most popular posts, how people find them online, how much time they spend reading, and much more.
10. Organic social media engagement
Happy customers and readers captivated by your informative posts tend to share them with other users on their social media profiles. This is a great way to gain new blog readers and exposure for your business.
11. A possibility to attract contractors.
Blogs help your business build niche authority online. This will attract not just potential customers but also contractors looking for serious business partnerships or franchise opportunities.
12. One of the best SEO strategies
If executed right, blogs guarantee positive results. As you may or may not know, search engine optimisation is a time-consuming effort. It takes a lot of dedication to promote your website reasonably well. Links pointing to your site lose their value over time, but informative content pages can bring you long-term results.
13. PR opportunities
A well established business blog also sparks the attention of journalists looking to interview industry experts and include quotes in their articles. If you impress them enough, you will get even more exposure through free press.
Now that you have a clear picture of how blogging can boost your site’s performance and help your sales, let’s jump straight into a few tips that will get you started.
How to Define Your Niche
1. Find out which category fits your business best. Ask yourself these simple questions:
- What do you offer – products or services?
- What category do they belong to ?
- What are your unique selling points?
- What kind of topics are directly or indirectly linked to your business?
Say you own a cleaning business: you should write about topics that revolve around health, lifestyle, home improvement, home organising, and information about your cleaning services. For reference, check out Fantastic Cleaners’ blog and how they mix business with blogging.
2. Look up your competition and make observations on:
- What they do better.
- Do they focus on something in particular or do they try to interlink their product or service with something else.
- Do they market their products to something outside of their niche.
- How does all of the above work out for them.
3. Think about your customers:
- Are they looking for any specific information?
- What are their concerns?
- Is your niche general enough to be interesting for anyone or does it only attract people with a particular interest?
You can gather a lot of information about the category of your business, as well as your target audience and their needs. Once you outline the borders of your niche, you can start working on the element that will bring out the traffic – your blog and its content strategy.
Bear in mind that content comes in many forms, it’s not just text. Pictures, videos, e-books, presentations, infographics and other forms of media also tend to perform well, sometimes even better than text. In fact, it’d be best to surround your words with other types of media and do an all-in-one approach.
How to Distribute your Content
Naturally, when you finish a blog post and click the “Publish” button, you’d like your message to be heard. There are both free and paid ways to do this but none of them is definitely better than the other. Here are a few ways to promote your content without spending money:
- Social media. If you haven’t already, create profiles and business pages on the most popular social media platforms such as Facebook, G+, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin. Share your posts there, as well as in groups relevant to your article topics. If you have a social media marketing budget, try boosting your posts’ reach or work with niche influencers.
- Newsletters. Install a newsletter widget in your blog’s sidebar for users to subscribe. Craft a unique email template and notify your subscribers and existing clients once a week about your latest posts, promotions, products or services.
- Answers. Websites such as Quora are perfect for distributing content that solves a particular problem. Find and answer questions related to your field of expertise.
- Online forums. Register in forums relevant to your business and share your knowledge. Use Reddit to follow “subreddits” that cover topics you write about.
- SEO. Gain organic traffic by finding the right keywords people type in search engine. Optimise your content around them, update your blog posts regularly, and sooner or later you will attract visitors to your business’ website.
And hey, starting a blog might seem like a big and scary endeavour bit this shouldn’t discourage you. Besides, everyone is doing it and all the information you need to create a decent blog is readily available. All you need to do is to plan your content strategy carefully and to stay consistent with your posts. After a while, your website (and sales) will reap all the benefits that come from a helpful and interesting blog. Good luck!