Do you run a business? If so, do you have a business blog?
I know from speaking to many business owners that they often don’t see the business benefits of blogging. They usually think that no one could possibly be interested in what they have to say and that therefore it just doesn’t justify the investment in their valuable time.
But what if I was to tell you that having a business blog is one of the smartest decisions that you will ever make in business?
Would that change your mind?
Well that’s exactly what I’d like to do today. Just give me a few minutes of your time and I’ll present to you seven compelling reasons why you should start and maintain a company blog.
Compelling Reason #1 – More Traffic
Let’s cut to the chase. Having a blog is going to get you more website traffic and I have the evidence to back up this claim.
We recently researched over 540 UK B2B websites and one of the clear factors that separated ‘the best from the rest’ was the number of pages. You can find our UK Local B2B Research Executive Summary here.
Basically we split the businesses into two groups – ‘Best in Class’ and ‘Industry Average’. The Best in Class had a top 3 ranking in local search in 100% of cases whereas the Industry Average were chosen at random and had a top 3 ranking in only 25% of cases.
We identified 4 main factors that distinguished the Best in Class and one of them was the number of pages. In fact the difference was that Best in Class averaged 104 pages versus 48 for the less popular websites. Remember that’s an average, so some of them will have had many more than that and some less.
Now you can create pages for your website in a number of ways. One of them is to have separate service pages on your website. I call these your ‘money pages’ and the intention is to sell your services.
One big mistake I often see with small business websites is that they don’t have enough service pages – they tend to group everything together in one generic ‘Services’ page. They may have done this to save money because they are paying a web designer by the page.
Whatever the reason though it’s a big mistake. Google doesn’t like ‘thin’ websites with little content. Google favours websites that create content on a constant and consistent basis.
So setting up individual service pages is a good start. Let’s say you’re a printing company. Maybe you can create a page for each type of printing service you offer – Digital, Litho, etc..
However, for most businesses that would maybe add half a dozen or so pages. That’s not enough. You’re not going to increase the number of pages enough.
That’s where a company Blog comes in.
With a blog there is no limit to the amount of content you can create. If you just publish one or two pieces of new, original content every week you’ll soon have more content than all of your competitors.
If you’re stuck for inspiration then check out our recent post with ideas for your business blog.
Compelling Reason #2 – More Social Media Interaction
Another area where I sense a degree of confusion is social media. In fact that’s a huge understatement. My experience is that most business owners see social media as either an amusing sideshow or a complete waste of time.
Again, it’s an area where they just don’t see the value add.
More often than not that’s because they aren’t placing their blog at the centre of their social media effort.
Try to think of your blog as being the centre of your social media universe. All of your social media profiles are like planets gravitating around it.
That’s quite poetic isn’t it 🙂
But it’s a metaphor that makes a serious point. If you have a great blog then people are far more likely to engage with you on social media because they can see that you have a voice and you are contributing to the conversation.
Think about it, why would people like or tweet or share your money pages with their followers? OK, sure we have some great customers and our friends and family who’ll do that, but that just isn’t enough.
But once you create some interesting content you can start to share it on social media and get some traction. OK, not all of your social media effort needs to revolve around you, but frequently you can drop in your content and your followers can share it with their followers.
Let’s say that you are a jeweller. With your blog you can show the commissions you are working on. Maybe you can make short videos to show progress or to demonstrate the techniques that you use.
This type of content will get shared. It’s interesting and share worthy and you’re not asking anyone to do something they wouldn’t naturally do – like share your home page. Why would they want to do that unless you specifically asked that favour?
With a blog you’ll find that you’re pushing at an open door when it comes to social media and if you need some extra inspiration check out our Guide To Twitter for Local Businesses.
Compelling Reason #3 – You Become A Problem Solver
Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon once said something to the effect that Amazon’s job isn’t to sell, its role is to help their customers to make the right decision.
And they haven’t done too badly now have they?
If you think about it like that then it makes blogging seem like perfect sense.
Just by switching to that mindset of helping people to make the right decision you become a problem solver.
These days that’s a powerful place to be. People are looking for solutions. They don’t know you or your company yet, but they’re out there 24 x 7 looking for help.
Your blog is the perfect place for you to solve their problems.
Just think of all the questions you probably answer every day. You’ve probably got all these written down somewhere. The chances are they’re somewhere on your hard drive or in your outbox.
You just need to get them out there on your blog.
It’s a conversation you’re having with your prospective clients that’s all. Keep it simple.
Compelling Reason #4 – You Develop Relationships With Influencers
But your blog is not just about looking outwards to your customers and your prospective customers.
Look sideways too at non competing, complementary businesses. Your blog is a virtual foot in the door to help you grow your network.
Here’s how you can do it.
First, think about some possible outcomes you’d like to achieve. Don’t sweat too much about what the end result will be. Everyone is different and there is no way of predicting where things will lead, but here are a few possible ideas to get you focused on the end game.
Next create a list of blogs that you want to become associated with. These are your ‘Influencers’ and they should typically have either a high traffic blog or plenty of social media followers, or ideally, both.
Once you’ve got your list you need to start warming them up. You could start by following on social media and generously sharing their content.
Sign up to their blog and their mailing list and start to contribute to the conversation in the comments. Don’t be shy to join in – people love comments on their blog and if your name keeps appearing they’ll start to recognise you, even top bloggers.
After a while you should feel confident enough to pitch to them This is where your blog comes in handy. You can demonstrate that you also create great content and you have an audience. Make an offer to them for some content you can create for them or explore the options and see what suggestions they have.
This type of collaboration is extremely popular and the more you do it, the more confident you become.
By working with people who have a bigger following than you currently have you will start to build up a bigger following and drive more traffic to your website.
Compelling Reason #5 – You Become The Voice Of The Industry
By creating a blog filled with expert insight and industry know how, you are clearly saying one thing to the world: I am an Authority in my field.
The point is that someone needs to claim authority. It might as well be you!
By answering all of the questions you answer and by demonstrating your expertise over time people will tend to seek out your business.
And being an Authority isn’t just about bragging rights. Being an Authority is good for business.
Compelling Reason #6 – It’s Free (And Easy)
Setting up a blog is easy. Its also free.
We would recommend WordPress. It’s the world’s most popular blogging platform.
If you want you can install a WordPress Theme to make your blog look really attractive.
From there you can start to add new content on an ongoing basis.
Compelling Reason #7 – It’s The Future Of Marketing
Finally, I can’t sign off without reassuring you that the direction of travel when it comes to marketing is clear: Blogging is a key component of Content Marketing.
Content Marketing is the central point where blogging, SEO, Social Media and increasingly even paid search converge.
Your blog is the starting point in your journey into Content Marketing. And what you’ll notice as you create more content for your blog is that it becomes easier and easier.
Then you’ll notice that social media becomes easier and easier. It’s like a huge flywheel that takes a bit of effort to get it moving, but once it’s spinning it’s easy to give it more and more momentum.
But this isn’t a flash in the pan. The content that you create is going to deliver results for your business day in day out.
It won’t sleep. It won’t ask for pay rises or take sick days or need holidays. It will just keep on bringing in new prospects for our business for years into the future.
You’ll find that you get more traffic to your website. You’ll get more backlinks to your website – those all important signals that Google looks out for. You’ll find it easier to convert browsers into buyers because you’ve done all the hard work and answered all of their questions up front.
But ultimately you’ll find it easier because people want to do business with experts.
Experts like you!
So do you have a company blog? Are you thinking of setting one up and do you need some ideas to get you started? Let us know in the comments below.