It won’t surprise anyone on this site to know that I’m generally in favor of business blogs.
I’ve had success with blogging for my own small business (you’re here reading, after all!) as well as for the businesses of clients.
But of course, a blog isn’t right for every business. And for some of you, other forms of content marketing may be the better choice.
After all, Blogging can take up a lot of effort and energy, especially if you do it correctly. And you don’t want to make that investment if it doesn’t suit your business and audience.
So how do you know if Blogging is the right move for your marketing strategy?
Answer these six questions to determine whether your small business needs a blog.
#1. Is SEO Part Of Your Marketing Strategy?
If you’re improving your search engine optimization, then a blog can give your website a considerable boost.
Blogging allows you to constantly add new keywords to your website without changing your main web pages. So instead of trying to fit every search term that would lead someone to your site on your About page, you can divide up search terms between blog posts.
Blogging also allows you to double (or triple or hundred-ple) down on your main search terms. Notice how many of my blog posts include titles and content about “improve your website,” “small business,” “marketing strategy,” or “search engine ranking”? That’s not an accident.
My main customers are small business owners trying to improve their websites and rank on search engines. Blogging improves my SEO, allowing me to include these search terms as many times and in as many ways as I want without stuffing keywords onto a single page.
If you want to rank high on Google searches for keywords related to your business, having a blog for your small business will help you get there.
#2. Do Most Of Your Customers Find You Online?
Okay, but you might be wondering, why do you want to improve your SEO? What does Blogging do for you that other forms of marketing do not?
If most of your customers find you online, making your website search friendly with good SEO is one of the best things you can do to get their attention.
Here’s why: Google alone is used in more than 3.5 billion searches per day. Think about how many of those searches are done by customers who might like your business
Think about how many customers are entering search terms that could lead them directly to your website.
Blogging is incredibly search-friendly. If you want new customers to find your small business online, then blogging creates a direct path to your website that anyone on Google can find, not just people who follow you on social media or see your name in the media.
#3. Do You Never Know What To Share On Social Media?
Speaking of social media…
Every small business owner I have ever worked with has a love-hate relationship with social media. They know it helps them; they know they need to do it… but they’re stumped about what to share and how to get anyone’s attention.
If you are constantly wondering what to share on your social media accounts, Blogging is going to be your new best friend.
Not only does writing a blog post give you something to share this week, but it also gives you something to share next week. And the week after that. And the month after that.
As long as your post isn’t time-sensitive, you can share it literally as many times and on as many platforms as you want.
Of course, I am not advocating spamming your social media feeds. Posting the same content in the same way 50 times in a row is a sure way to lose followers.
But if you share your blog post today, then share a product link, then share a personal anecdote… well, go ahead and share that blog post again!
Sharing blog posts on social media is also a great way to direct people back to your website, especially if your post answers a question or starts a conversation. And that’s the whole point of social media marketing: you want to get your followers’ attention, start a conversation that catches their interest, and direct them back to your small business’ website.
An exciting blog title gives them a reason to click over, and engaging blog content gives them a reason to stick around.
#4. Is Part Of Your Brand Personal?
For many small business owners, you are your brand.
Sole proprietors who interact one-on-one with clients, success stories who teach others to do what they do, innovators who convinced backers to support them online, bloggers who turned pro, artists, creatives…
The branding for these kinds of businesses depends on the personality behind it. Followers and customers are in it as much for the person as the services. They want to know who you are and what your story is.
Blogging gives you a way to tell them precisely that.
Unlike other forms of marketing, Blogging is an opportunity to get a little personal. The combination of written and visual content gives customers a behind-the-scenes peek into your brand, allowing them to understand the story you are telling and why that story matters to them.
This isn’t to say that Blogging will only work for you if part of your brand is personal. An accounting firm with multiple employees can benefit from blogging just as much as a designer who launched a business on Kickstarter.
But if you are the face of your brand, your customers will want to know who you are and why they should trust you.
Blogging allows you to share the person and the personality behind the business, which will build relationships, trust, and loyalty with your customers.
#5. Do Your Customers Ask The Same Questions Over And Over?
Speaking of that accounting firm’s blog…
If you have a business that works with many customers, and if those customers are likely to ask many of the same questions, a blog is a great way to answer those questions.
For example, an accounting firm could blog about advice for identifying tax deductions, the process of working with an accountant, or tips for financial management, to name a few. This provides valuable advice to customers, which will help them trust your brand and encourage them to contact you.
And here’s the best part about using a blog to answer questions:
If customers are asking questions in person, there is a 100% chance they are also asking them online.
That is, people who fit the profile of your ideal customer are plugging those same questions into search engines and trying to find answers.
If you provide those answers on a blog, search engines will be able to send them straight to your small business’ website.
(If you’re noticing that a lot of these signs tie together… you are not wrong. The best part of creating a business blog is that it works on many levels at the same time.)
#6. Are You On A Budget And Need Inexpensive Marketing Tools?
Running a business is a constant balance in how you use your resources, and the two many resources involved in that balance are time and money.
If you are at a point when you are more able to spend time than money, whether you are just starting or have been in business for a while, Blogging is the solution to your marketing problems.
Rather than investing money in ads, pay-per-click, or other costly marketing strategies, you can invest your time in Blogging and still see fantastic results.
You already have a website, after all. Creating a blog doesn’t cost you extra money. Brainstorming keywords and writing posts don’t take anything away from your budget.
Blogging is a free form of marketing that any business owner can start implementing at any time.
And if you do invest that time to create valuable, keyword-rich, audience-attracting content — and then share that content — it works. Then, once you turn that corner and find yourself with less free time but a bigger budget, you can keep your blog going by hiring a writer or outsourcing the blog to one of your employees.
All those blog posts you wrote will continue to be there online, getting shared on social media, ranking in search results, and helping drive customers to your site.
Convinced that you need a blog but not quite sure how to make it work for you?
I’ve got a free worksheet that will walk you through:
- generating ideas for new blog posts
- Make sure your posts solve a problem or answer a question
- planning the title, keywords, content, and visuals
- integrating each blog post with your marketing plan