We’re on the doorstep of a new decade- is blogging still relevant? Or is it a crusty leftover from the SEO feast of yesteryear?
Blogging originally started as a creative outlet for many aspiring writers- think food bloggers, travel bloggers and parenting bloggers. Now it’s a staple marketing tool used by businesses in all industries, as a way to communicate with their audience.
A 2019 survey conducted by Databox found that:
68% of marketers believe that blogging for your business is more effective now than it was 2 years ago.
Yet many entrepreneurs aren’t blogging for reasons such as:
-Lack of confidence. Unless you’re a writer, you may not have written anything since your University or high school days. You’ve probably forgotten some of the basics and lack the confidence to blog.
-Not knowing what to write. Blog post ideas don’t always come easy, and we all know about writer’s block. If you want to blog regularly, you need to have lots of ideas.
-Thinking that blogs aren’t suitable for every business. Years ago, blogs only existed for creative businesses and entrepreneurs. You wouldn’t have found a blog on a real estate company website.
-“My audience doesn’t read”. Society has become obsessed with visuals. Not all businesses have a website- some have a strong social media presence on Instagram and Facebook instead.
If your business has an online content strategy, it should have a blog as part of that strategy.
I’m going to give you some solid reasons why your business needs a blog. If you’re still not convinced, then read on and I’ll share how to overcome some of your hesitations (and I share examples of great business blogs).
Don’t have the time to read? Check out the following audio of this blog post:
Reasons why your business needs a blog
“What are the benefits of blogging for business?” I hear you ask.
To build trust with your potential clients and customers
People choose to work with those they know, like and trust.
Trust can be built through communication, whether it’s talking to potential clients or sharing content with them via blog posts.
You could share helpful information that solves a potential client’s problem. You could write tips and ideas or interesting topics relating to your industry. The more you write, the more you become known and trusted.
Even if a potential client doesn’t need your services or products now, they’ll be more likely to contact you in future or recommend you to others.
To sell without being pushy
What’s your perception of a business that doesn’t share much information about itself online? A business that doesn’t have a website, or has very little content? It doesn’t tell you much about them or why you should use them.
Most people don’t like cold calls and emails. In fact, direct marketing laws are making it harder to reach out to people who you’d like to work with.
By blogging, you’re communicating with your audience in a non-threatening way. Your potential clients can read your content at their own leisure. They can decide if they want to contact you for further information or for a quote.
To share your knowledge and skills
Is it important for you to be perceived as an expert in your field?
Existing and past clients are familiar with your knowledge and skills since they’ve already worked with you, but potential clients wouldn’t be familiar.
Let your readers and potential clients know your skills and your level of expertise by writing blog posts that allow your knowledge and skills to shine.
To gain more organic traffic
Publishing well-written and useful content can help you improve your website’s SEO. Blogs give you a chance to rank for more keywords and get more organic traffic. Optimise your blogs to increase your chances of ranking in Google. Need help with this? My keyword research services help you with optimisation.
Blogging can also help you collaborate with complementary businesses and bloggers through link building, which improves your authority and trust with Google. The more you improve your trust and authority, the more search engines will send organic traffic to your website.
Other websites may find your blogs and link to them or promote them via their social media profiles. This can increase your traffic and introduce you to a new audience.
To build your brand
Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.
Blogging gives your brand and business a voice and personality. It allows you to connect with your audience and share your personality, even if you’re writing about business topics.
The content you share on your website, social media, emails, voice message is part of your brand.
How to overcome blogging resistance
(otherwise known as, stop making excuses!).
Excuse: “I don’t have the time.”
Are you too busy to market your business? You may not be blogging now, but I bet you’re marketing yourself on social media or in person. If you are, blogging will save you time.
For social marketing success, you must create content for the different platforms. You might be writing a Facebook or LinkedIn post. Considering this, wouldn’t it make sense to write a blog post and use this as the basis for all your other social media content?
Solution: Repurposing blogs will save you time
You’ll need to set aside time for writing and editing your posts but blogs are great for repurposing content. One blog post can create multiple opportunities for content for your social media platforms.
How does this save you time?
You’ll spend less time searching for social media content when you know you can use your blog content.
Blog content can be repurposed in ways such as creating videos, social media posts and podcasts. Here are some examples:
Use a quote from your blog post in a graphic created on Canva and share it on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
Record a video of yourself talking about the blog post topic and upload it to Facebook, LinkedIn or IGTV.
You can link to your blog post via your social media profiles (although I’m not a huge fan of this as most social platforms prefer native content over shared content).
LinkedIn Publishing allows you to publish articles on LinkedIn. Turn your blog post into a LinkedIn article.
Record a Facebook Live about your blog post.
Turn your blog post into a podcast. I record myself reading my blogs and embed the audio file within the blog post so that people who don’t want to read it can listen to it instead.
Use some of the content from the blog post in your next Facebook post and ask your audience questions such as “do you agree?” or “what are your thoughts?” to encourage engagement.
Another solution is to outsource your blogging to a content writer- there are writers who specialise in blogs for businesses. If you’d like to be referred to someone, please contact me as I work with many copywriters and content writers.
Excuse: “I can’t write.”
That boring report you wrote back in University or college may have scarred you for life and put you off ever writing again. You may not have had to write much since your high school days (and you were bad at grammar and spelling).
Solution: If you can talk, you can write.
Forget everything you were taught about writing back in high school. And don’t worry, we’re not writing a thesis either.
Blogging for your business is much like having a conversation with your clients. If you can talk to your clients (which I assume you can or you wouldn’t be in business), then you can write for them.
It’s acceptable to write in an informal way. In fact, it’s preferred by most people. If you want to engage your audience and have them reading your content, it’s better to use a conversational tone. Like I am in this post. Let’s call a spade a spade.
Can’t spell? Use the spell checker tool. Crap at grammar? Use the grammar checking tool or install Grammarly.
My quick tips for better writing:
-Have your key message and audience in mind. Pick a topic and stick to it. This will help you structure your writing and stop you from waffling on and boring your readers.
-Keep the structure simple: Introduction, main points, conclusion.
-Use what my kids call a “sizzling start”- make your headline and first sentence attention-grabbing (without being weird).
-Use contractions when possible. It’s instead of it is; we’re instead of we are and you’re instead of you are. This will help make your writing less formal.
-Read your blog post aloud before publishing it- anything that doesn’t “sound right” will stand out more than if you read it.
Excuse: “Blogging isn’t suitable for my business.”
In the past, blogs were mainly created for hobbies and fun topics but this has now changed. You’ll find blogs for many industries and business types including real estate companies, financial advisors, business coaches and those in a legal profession.
Solution: Look for blogs in your industry
Have a look at some of your competitors’ websites to see if they blog- I’m betting if you look around you’ll find at least one that does.
If you believe blogging isn’t “professional sounding”, you can use other words to describe it. You might call your blogs “articles” or even create an online magazine on your website.
To inspire you, here are some great blogs for businesses in different industries:
Examples of great business blogs
Showing a real commitment to blogging for her business, Karen from Think Bespoke has been blogging weekly for the past couple of years. Think Bespoke specialises in LinkedIn, social strategy, and content marketing. Karen has covered diverse business topics, from how to optimise your LinkedIn profile, to how to improve your creativity and productivity and everything in between. Karen’s shared a lot of useful and clever tips for using LinkedIn (I refer to her as a LinkedIn expert).
Photographer Julia from Julia Nance Portraits is a regular blogger covering topics such as: tips for corporate head shots, headshot clothing choices, her studio, the different types of portrait lighting as well as a look at some of her client work. I like that Julia freely shares her knowledge and skills to help readers while highlighting her beautiful work.
Simon from Personal Protection Training uses his business blog to interview people in the self-defence/personal protection space as well as other businesses and individuals he connects with, and general topics his clients would be interested in (such as rising above adversity). This is a great way to collaborate with others and build your audience.
Tina from Catherine Trenton Jewellery has been blogging for just under a year. The business sells pre-loved jewellery from Tiffany & Co and other luxury brands, as well as Tina’s own jewellery line. The blog covers diverse topics such as how to authenticate second-hand jewellery and reasons to buy vintage or second-hand luxury jewellery, as well as interviewing customers (and the very useful guide to diamond sizes for engagement rings). Tina’s blog is an example of how you can highlight your business’ products in an interesting way, rather than just listing the product in an online shop.
Karen from Great Products Consulting uses her blog to educate her audience and explain a lot of the technical language and processes used in her industry. Great Products Consulting guides businesses as they build and grow their online platforms and mobile apps. Karen’s blog topics include how to validate your app ideas, how to choose the right developer and the different steps involved in building an online platform. What I like about the blog is how the content makes the technical aspects less intimidating for Karen’s clients.
Anne from Summation Strategies regularly writes for her business blog “The Anne Files”. Finance can be complicated! Anne covers a lot of finance-related topics without sounding dry or boring: from the art of mindful spending, to women and super, and how to pick the right financial adviser. I like how Anne writes about interesting topics to keep her readers engaged, but also lets her financial knowledge and skills shine through in her content.
One final word
I’ve shared some compelling reasons why your business needs a blog.
Blogging for your business is a great opportunity to build an audience and showcase your business’ products/services, knowledge and skills in a helpful and informative way.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to choosing topics for your blog posts. Once you start blogging, you will find it easier to write and your writing will improve. Taking the first step is the hardest- if you’d like some coaching or help with mapping out a blogging or content strategy, contact me.
Do you blog for your business? What have been the benefits of blogging? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments.
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