Let me start by saying, in my opinion, there is no one size fits all cookie cutter purpose of a blog. In fact each and every blog is unique and that uniqueness is something that any potential blogger should be looking to create. In this post I am going to discuss the main advantages of blogs in business and how it can help your business grow.
It brings your website to life
It is seldom the case that you can find a niche market where there is little to no competition. This means that as a small business owner you have to do something to make your small business stand out from the crowd.
By starting a blog you are making a commitment financially and, more importantly, an investment of your time to provide valuable insights into your industry or niche. Be ruthless with yourself because if you have nothing interesting to say or no value to add then your blog will soon become a ghost town and will in fact have a negative impact on your site.
It helps you become a teacher
In the process of winning business you often get asked questions about your products and services. When you blog on a regular basis you find that your approach to explaining these details changes (Well, it does for me anyway!). When you read something back to yourself in black and white and it doesn’t make sense then you need to amend it until someone can understand exactly what you’re saying.
By creating several articles on a weekly basis you inadvertently
- sharpen up your sales pitch for when you are addressing clients.
- You are forced to stay up to date on industry trends.
- You’ll have answers for the most taxing of questions.
In essence one of the huge advantages of writing a blog is that you are practising your pitch and enhancing your repertoire so that when you do get in front of clients your demeanour is more confident and relaxed, allowing the client to feel more relaxed resulting in more sales.
It gives people a reason to return
I know of a small business owner who vehemently refuses to update his website and swoons at the thought of including a blog. In his opinion there is only one reason people visit the company website and that is to use a free sample of the company software.
My thought is this: if you only give people one reason to visit then they will see your site for that one purpose and no other. Give your audience that reason to return again and again by creating valuable content that provokes curiosity, inspires or educates. By doing this your blog can quickly and easily build a loyal following that can share the name of your business and brand through referral.
It helps search engine rankings
A stand alone website is pretty much an advert in a sea of other adverts. Worse than that if there is no structure, and by that I mean no search engine optimisation, then effectively your website is stranded in an ocean without a lifeline.
Adding a blog to your small business website means that you are constantly adding fresh content, when you add fresh content to your blog and promote your blog in the correct manner the search engines recognise this and if you tell them what your blog content is about by using the correct SEO on page optimisation, you will be rewarded by having your content indexed where you most want it to be found. Namely, in front of the eyeballs of targeted prospects for your business.
With a solid inbound marketing strategy and patience you can build up a vast resource for your business that can provide solid value for your audience and position your business as a leader in your industry.
It helps qualify prospects in and out
When you produce great content on a regular basis then over time you will inevitably cover the majority of aspects of your business, from products, services and solutions through to after care and the results that you provide for other clients.
Having great content available to people who are reviewing your business is a great way to qualify them in or out of your business. And those that take the time to read your content and dissect the information available to them are going to be a much better lead for your business. They will be educated in your business methodology and by the simple act of following your call to action will be signalling to you that they are serious and ready to do business.
The other benefit this has on your business is it saves you time.
As business owners we all want to speak to as many new people about our business on a daily basis. Agreed? Of course the answer is yes! However the truth of the matter is that in a hectic schedule there can be nothing worse than giving up time to speak to a tire kicker.
As well as acting as a lead magnet for qualified clients one of the advantages of blogging is that it acts as a way to repel those that are simply looky loo’s.
It provides social proof
Blogging is about striking up conversation with your audience. It’s about bringing your business and brand to life. The more content you write then the greater the chance of you eliciting a response.
The responses that people in your community leave are great fuel for you to highlight your expertise in your niche and also to outline your approach to customer service.
Many people and businesses don’t like the idea of opening up their blog or website to comments. This myopic approach can actually damage the visibility of your blog in the search engines as the search engines look for social signals as a factor that a blog is actually of good quality.
On top of comments helping with your ranking, they also provide great blog post ideas for further content creation!
It establishes authority
Establish your small business as an authority in your industry by creating highly enriching blog content. If you are able to do this, it is a sure fire way to gain credibility with prospective new business partners. Highly effective peopleknow the more authority you have, the more likely people will open their ears and listen to you without being overly critical, giving you the ability and time to influence this is the purpose of a blog that most small business owners and business professionals desire the most.
How can you increase your authority? Get your blog noticed, write a book, or provide guest content to influential websites in your niche. Ask your prospective customers what they actually want and provide resources where they can find it.
The advantages of blogs vary from industry recognition to SEO benefit but one thing remains constant and that is you will need to learn how to write blogs effectively and integrate your blogging within your marketing strategy to see success. Blogging is not something to be taken lightly it is a huge investment of time and money so make sure you are clear as to what you are looking to achieve before penning your first words.