81% of U.S. online consumers say blogs are trusted sources of information and advice. While there are very few marketing tactics that win such high trust, many businesses are still on the fence about blogging. Is time for you to start a business blog?
Blogging is time-consuming and planning out content can often be challenging. I’ll periodically survey companies asking if they blog regularly for their business and if not, explain why they don’t. Over time, only 20% have said yes…and 80% say no. While my informal study is a small group, many business owners and corporate managers are likely in the “no” column.
Here are the top reasons why businesses don’t blog regularly:
- Not enough time.
- Don’t have enough resources.
- Don’t know what to say.
- Industry compliance regulations.
Do not despair because you’re about to read some pretty compelling reasons to forego all excuses and give it a go.
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21 Reasons to Start a Business Blog Today
Have you been wanting to start a business blog? Maybe you’ve wanted to but still have reservations about it? You’re in luck. After you digest these 21 reasons, perhaps you’ll be closer to making the move.
1. Boost traffic to your website.
Publishing content on your blog enables you to attract organic traffic to your site (traffic you haven’t paid for). These are new visitors who are finding you because of your content and not because they are searching directly for your business or company name. In so doing, you are expanding the circle of awareness and opportunity for your business.
Remember that generating blog momentum takes time and commitment – not too different from investing; the sooner you start, the sooner you see results. Plan on a minimum of 6 months before you can expect to see marked results.
2. Establish your business as an industry expert.
When you start a business blog, part of your strategy should be to keep your finger on the pulse of industry trends and offer your perspective. Quote other’s opinions and link back to important articles that help give your reader an expanded view of your industry.
3. Attract potential clients into your pipeline.
The path to purchase is no longer linear. Consumers engage with multiple touchpoints before deciding to buy. Perhaps they see an ad on TV, engage with a post on social media, read a white paper, attend a webinar and consume content on a blog.
Thoughtful blog posts introduce a potential prospect to a brand in a non-threatening, passive way, driving a contact deeper to a company website or product page.
Regardless of whether you are marketing to businesses or consumers, blog posts drive interest to your products and services, ultimately dropping them into the purchase cycle.
4. Rank higher in search.
Optimized website content is one of Google’s top three ranking factors. Fresh, relevant blog content, that’s optimized for keywords and phrases your clients are searching for, will bring coveted organic traffic (ie: not paid for) to your website. As people click on your blog post link, your rank improves over time.
5. Educate buyers.
A blog is essentially a publishing platform for your business. It allows you to speak directly to your prospective customers and educate them about what your business does.
Educating is far more powerful, more trustworthy and more relevant to website visitors than outright selling. Blogging and sales work in tandem. Companies that have a blog as part of their content marketing mix get 67% more leads than those that don’t. (Source: Hubspot)
Education means that you have thought about your buyer’s situation and can anticipate the questions they may have. It also means that you understand who they are.
6. Turn blog posts into Webinars.
Using your blog content to create a free Webinar is a great way to boost your business.
- Email list building
- Brand awareness
- Reach a new audience/market
- Connect with decision makers
- Increase sales
7. Use your blog posts in a newsletter.
Monthly or weekly newsletters keep clients in touch. Blog content is perfect for newsletters because it’s informative, helpful and relevant to client needs.
8. Blog posts are fantastic social media content.
If you’re having trouble finding ideas for social media content, your blog posts are certainly a great way to get more people interested in your business.
Here’s an even smarter tip: consider pulling out points of your blog post and make each one a social media post. Use images to convey your story (great on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest). Take quotes out of your post and share them on Twitter.
9. Internal links increase search visibility.
- Allow users to navigate a website.
- Help establish information hierarchy for the given website.
- Spread link equity (ranking power) around websites.
10. Boost brand value by turning blog posts into ebooks.
There are tools like Beacon that turn blog posts into ebooks.
- You can give your ebook away to prospects as a thank you gift.
- Build your email list on your website by offering a free ebook.
- Print some up and hand them out at conferences and trade shows.
11. Answer FAQs about your products and services.
What are your clients most frequently asked questions? You may have a place on your website that addresses FAQs already. But answering each question in a blog post further defines the answers and provides clients with another way to get comfortable with buying.
If you’re looking for inspiration, here are two tactics to consider:
- Ask each salesperson to provide you with their customers’ top three FAQs.
- Send out a short survey to your email list asking what are their top three pain points or challenges right now.
12. Promote special offers.
A lot of people think blogs should not promote anything. In the early days of blogging, that was the consensus. But today, without going overboard, it’s completely accepted.
The caveat is that you refrain from making your blog post sound like a commercial.
13. Spotlight employees who make your business successful.
Employee satisfaction is integral to a successful business. Happy employees deliver great service to your customers.
Just like the old tactic of “Employee of the Month”, blogging about employees motivates them to continue providing great service. Clients read about how you value your employees and see themselves being valued as well.
14. Support offline activities.
You attend networking events and trade shows, you participate in in-person interviews and maybe even TV shows or radio endorsements.
You can provide show notes and background perspective on presentations and interviews, or address discussion questions that came up and include links to relevant resources.
15. Announce new product launches.
Regular readers will appreciate hearing about new products. Blog about the details of your new product or service and illustrate how it will provide a positive impact on your clients’ business.
Give your loyal readers an opportunity to buy your new product before launch. They’ll appreciate the gesture, you’ll get more data for the actual launch, and you’ll most likely get some sales, too.
16. Develop a community around your brand.
Advertising has its place in business promotion but today, people are also looking for a deeper connection with brands. In fact, studies show that consumers are more interested in the experience they’ll have than the actual products.
Developing a community of “Raving Fans” (and spotlighting them in your blog posts) further strengthens the bond.
17. “Break the Ice” with a prospect.
Every salesperson resists cold calls but they are often a necessary part of developing new business.
Learning something about the prospect before you call has been a favored tactic for years. If the business blog has a post that relates to the issues or challenges that your prospect has, offer it up as part of your calling strategy. It’s a great way to “break the ice” …and who doesn’t like useful information?
18. Blogging is a critical content marketing tactic.
Blogging is still top of mind for in-depth material and discussions.
When it comes to drilling down and providing the nitty gritty on a subject, long form content (2,000 words or more) performs systematically well.
This especially holds true when, according to Google, up to 10% of users’ daily information needs involve learning about a broad topic.
19. Blogging encourages inbound links (hyperlinks that go back to your website).
Businesses that blog receive 97% more links to their website than those who don’t. That’s a staggering statistic and one you can’t ignore.
Inbound links are the lifeblood of any website. They’re the currency of the internet because high quality backlinks, from a variety of sites, give your website a higher rank in search engine results. The more useful information you offer, the greater the chances of getting those inbound links.
20. Blogging boosts your online reputation.
A blog series that tells stories about the customer experiences you’ve provided allows new customers to get a taste for what it’s like if they decide to buy.
21. Blogging ties all your digital strategies together.
Digital Strategy is a new term that basically means tying your online and offline operations into one frictionless customer purchase experience.
A business blog represents and illustrates all these touchpoints where clients can learn more and eventually purchase. A blog, when leveraged correctly, can often be the catalyst to converting visitors into clients.
Start a business blog today*
*(or improve your current blog if you’ve ignored it for too long)
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