Are you thinking to start a blog for your business?
Or maybe you already have one… but you’re not sure that it’s worth it.
After all, blogging takes time. You have to decide what to write about (which can take anywhere from hours to days). You have to do the actual writing, then edit, then find an image and put it online.
Is there a good reason to spend all that time and go through all that effort? Is blogging for your business really worth it?
Yes. Absolutely. 100%.
Blogging can be a great tool in your business arsenal. It can be … if you don’t make the mistake that I see 8 out of 10 clients making with their blog.
The worst blogging mistake you can make is to treat you business blog as an afterthought, rather than as a strategic marketing tool.
THE CONFUSION ABOUT BLOGGING
I frequently have trouble explaining the work that I do, even though I have a pretty standard explanation of what my work entails:
Most people get it. But all to often, I get a particular sort of confused look and a hesitant, “So… you’re a blogger?”
Then I have to explain the difference between being a blogger and having a blog, as well as the fact that not every bit of writing that goes online is blogging.
I understand where the confusion comes from. The rise of the business blog has created a lot of confusion, especially because it happened at the same time as the rise of the blog that is a business. And then, of course, there are still the personal blogs that people write just to share experiences and updates with their friends and family. It’s a lot to keep track of.
A lot of people don’t understand the differences between different types of blogs and blogging, and for the most part, that’s okay.
But it becomes a problem when business owners who should be writing a business blog don’t understand what it is they are creating.
I see a lot of this confusion with my clients. Someone told them, once upon a time, that they needed a blog on their website. So they created one… and then they had no idea what to do with it. They didn’t know what it was for. They didn’t know what type of content to share.
So they end up writing haphazard blog posts with no real plan behind them and only a passing relation to their business. Or worse, they throw together a few posts then abandon it, leaving that “Blog” header at the top of their menu, lonely and outdated, telling customers, “don’t buy from this business, there’s no one here.”
THE BENEFITS OF BUSINESS BLOGGING
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t be blogging — there’s a good chance you should! A business blog can do a lot for you, especially when you’re a small business trying to gain traction online.
A business blog can…
- gain you loyal customers and regular followers
- give you content to share on social media
- help people find your website
- show off your expertise
- improve your SEO
- provide a platform to share your products and services
- give your customers insight into you as a person
(Skeptical? Then you need to read about the pool business which slashed its marketing budget and gained millions of dollars in revenue, all from blogging!)
But before your blog can really benefit your business, you have to start using it properly.
A business blog needs a purpose, a plan, and a direction. It needs to constantly advance your business goals, whether those are improving your search engine rankings or creating an audience for your products.
Do you blog for your business, but feel like it’s not getting anywhere?
Are you constantly wondering what to write about?
Do you neglect you blog for months at a time?
You may need to rethink your blog strategy. You may need to create a blog strategy.
CREATING A STRATEGY FOR YOUR BUSINESS BLOG
If you’re going to write a blog for your business, it should not be an afterthought. It shouldn’t be something you plan to do when everything else is finished (let’s be real, nothing in a business is ever finished). It shouldn’t be something you pass off to a friend to relative who needs a little extra cash.
A business blog should be treated like an integral part of your marketing strategy.
Because, surprise, that’s what it is!
But most small businesses never think of their blog that way, so they miss out on the incredible benefits. The never create a strategy, so they never see results.
Do you want to…
- improve your website’s search optimization? Research keywords and phrases that bring people to your website (and your competitors’ websites!) and write blog posts targeting those words.
- create stronger connections in your industry? Start an interview series with industry leaders and invite them to be featured on your blog.
- show your expertise and gain your customers’ trust? Brainstorm questions that customers need answered and write blog posts answering them.
What you get out of your business blog depends on what you put into it. And what you put into it needs to start with a plan.
Before you write your next blog post, take some time to decide what you actually want your blog to accomplish. How can it support — or even replace — your other marketing efforts?
Once you know what you need your blog to do, you’ll have a much easier time figuring out what to write — and you’ll find that your business begins to grow with your blog!