Starting a blog for your business may initially seem like a lot of work—all those hours coming up with topics, writing posts, and finding images—for very little payoff (will it even lead to sales?).
So is it really worth it?
The short answer: YES, absolutely!
Before we get started talking about the numerous benefits of maintaining an active business blog, let’s clear up one misnomer right away. Many people think that business blogs don’t actively sell anything. WRONG!
While your blog might not directly sell a product or service, what it sells is YOU: the human behind those products or services. What marketers talk about today is establishing a human-to human-connection, and blogging is one way to forge that connection. It gives you the opportunity to share your expertise and insight with visitors while giving them a glimpse of your story and voice at the same time.
There are countless other benefits of business blogs, from bringing customers to your website to advancing a brand presence to increasing search engine optimization (SEO) to developing your organization into an industry authority. These benefits can be both short and long term and each of them make investing in a constant, high-quality business blogging practice an essential part of any successful marketing plan.
In this article, I cover some of the specific benefits of launching a business blog and share some tips for getting started.
1. Bring Visitors to Your Site
SEO, or search engine optimization, refers to the process that makes your business appear on search engines when key words or phrases are entered. By offering unique and meaningful content on your blog, search engines such as Bing and Google will automatically bring visitors your way for free. SEO is of course much more complex than that, with search engines’ algorithms constantly changing, but it all boils down to valuable original content.
This kind of traffic from search engines is considered natural, offering a reward for innovative, attractive, and significant content.
The type of content that, in fact, often appears in blog posts.
High-quality business blog articles will often address issues that are directly related to a business’s customers. If, for example, you own a real estate firm, you might create content related to getting your house ready to sell, avoiding foreclosure, determining your property’s value, the difference between new versus old construction, and other helpful information.
Or, if you’re an estate planning attorney, you might write articles related to the difference between a will and a trust, how to navigate retirement accounts, and establishing power of attorney.
Such relevant and informational material will answer direct questions that people who are actively interested in issues related to your business want answered. But it will also bring traffic to your website, which means that, if readers decide that they want to purchase a new home, they are already aware of your business and already on your website, making them far more likely to go with your service than that of a competitor. This kind of directly relevant traffic often leads to sales.
2. Establish Industry Authority
It can be extremely difficult to develop one’s brand into an industry authority. After all, you can’t just tell customers that you’re trustworthy—you have to prove it over time. And a new business just doesn’t yet have the years invested.
Your business can, however, demonstrate expertise by publishing informative content on a blog.
Helping potential clients with industry-relevant issues—particularly providing answers to questions that another business could not provide—elevates your organization in the public eye, positioning it as more trustworthy, knowledgeable, and community minded.
So, for example, if a client is searching for a means of securing their family estate, they may come across your estate planning website. They will then not only receive the appropriate knowledge to answer their question but they will also learn about an organization that clearly cares about the same issues. Your blog will make it clear that your business is preferable to the one that they’ve used in the past.
Or perhaps a reader needs help setting up a particular piece of equipment and comes across your website, only to learn that reputable companies (such as your own) actually perform such installations for their customers for free. With concrete, useful content of this nature, you distinguish your brand as superior.
The interest that your blog content generates is extremely likely to lead to new customers because it makes you, and by extension your business seem like an authority in the field. Visitors will be confident that you actually know what you’re doing!
3. Increase Brand Awareness
Making more people aware of your brand name is another aspect of developing a small company that takes time. However, brand awareness can be nudged along through a successful business blogging practice. This concept goes hand in hand with establishing industry authority because, as you build your brand’s reputation, you will simultaneously build brand awareness.
In all likelihood, most people will not be directed to your business’s website by simply typing your organization’s name into a search engine or entering your URL. Only those who already know about your organization will know how to find it. Instead, most people will be drawn to your website through search engines and social media.
By being more consistently drawn to your blog—and, in connection, your website—customers with interests related to your company will become increasingly aware that your organization exists.
Over time, they will even come to view it as an authority.
4. Develop a Social Media Presence
In addition to search engine traffic, many users will reach your website through social media. While people rarely share advertisements, overtly suggest particular brands, or “like” specific businesses, social media users share meaningful content in a variety of ways, and this content commonly includes blog posts.
As most of you know by now, social media provides a space for people with similar interests to gather digitally. This means that, if a visitor belongs to groups that they feel might also be interested in the content of one of your blog posts, they can easily share the article with hundreds if not thousands of their peers who are interested in similar issues.
Say you’re a life coach and you wrote an article on the power of positivity to reduce stress; an overworked professional who finds it useful might post it to her network, which includes many other stressed professionals who are drawn to this topic, and they in turn might share it with their connections. It’s simply impossible to pay for such good publicity!
Plus, because the traffic directed from a social media post comes from people already invested in your company’s industry, their visits to your blog are far more likely to convert into sales for your business.
5. Personalize Your Brand
As I mentioned earlier, your blog also acts as a platform through which visitors can come to know your brand as more than an anonymous entity—blogs give a voice to your organization and the person—or people—behind it. In fact, an effective blog can actually make your business or brand seem like an acquaintance or even a friend. This degree of personality comes from maintaining a consistent, friendly voice that doesn’t actively try to sell products, speak in overly difficult language, or talk down to visitors.
In particular, engaging with blog comments and answering visitor’s questions can help make your business more human and thus more likeable. This allows you to connect with your potential customers in an informal manner, increasing their familiarity with your company and likely converting many of them into new customers.
If you’ve seen the loyalty program for a large brand, such as Starbucks, then you understand how this works to some degree—the Starbucks loyalty program is referred to as “My Starbucks” because many Starbucks customers honestly feel that they are both represented by and representatives of this brand. They feel a sense of connection with it that goes beyond a simple customer/business relationship, ensuring that they have lifelong loyalty for the organization and actively share its products with others.
Start Your Business’s Blog Today
To get started, focus on the voice that you want to represent your organization and start writing. I strongly recommend having at least 10 blog posts ready to go before launching your blog in order to ensure regular new content. For more business blogging strategies, stay tuned for my upcoming post on “Six Tips for Writing Attention-Grabbing Blog Headlines.”
Founder & Chief Editor