Blogging: A Business in its Own Right
Over the last decade or so, blogging has transformed from a humble pass-time into a lucrative career.
A quick YouTube search reveals hundreds of tutorial videos from master bloggers. They’ve turned their passion into a major source of income, and now make money showing others how to do the same.
It’s clear that blogging is big business.
But if it’s not your business, do you really need to have one? Absolutely!
If you want to boost your company’s presence online, you can’t afford not to be running a blog on your site.
Now, let’s look at some of the reasons why your business needs a blog.
5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Blog
Firstly, anyone who knows anything about sales is probably familiar with the theory of reciprocity. Robert B. Cialdini Ph.D. illustrates it perfectly in his seminal work, marketer’s bible Influence.
He writes about multiple experiments where it was shown that even a small, unsolicited gesture of goodwill – like offering someone a bottle of coke – could invoke the powerful force of reciprocity. The recipient felt obliged to return the favor and was much more likely to make a purchase from their benefactor later on.
It’s a common technique. Ever felt tempted to buy a block of cheese after the supermarket assistant kindly offered you a taster? Yep, same.
But what does that have to do with blogging?
Well, think of your business blog as a freebie for your customers, a bit like that cube of delicious cheese.
It’s a place where your visitors can gain knowledge, insights, and entertainment, and you’re asking for nothing in return.
Thanks to the powerful sway of reciprocity, however, they might just feel more inclined to make a purchase further down the line.
Information is free, and it’s great to share what you know with potential clients.
Ideally, you want your audience to be well informed and educated about what it is you do. This is especially true if you’re in an industry that’s not well understood by the general public.
Plus, it works the other way around, too.
You can learn a lot about your prospective customers by analyzing how they interact with your blog, and what comments and feedback they leave. You’ll gain insights into what they’re looking for, and what questions they have.
This is incredibly useful information that can help you tailor your business, and your marketing strategy, to get the best results.
Driving traffic to your site could be one of the most important ways to grow your client base.
A blog is an excellent way to do this. Adding content to your site will expand your digital footprint, and increase your chances of being found by the people who need you.
Posts that are optimized for relevant keywords have a much greater likelihood of getting clicks from Google searches. If you provide an answer to their query through your blog, you’ll attract potential customers.
And of course, good quality content can be shared on social media. Consequently, this leads to more people discovering your site, building trust and raising awareness of your brand.
Show off your expertise
You have total freedom to write whatever you want on your business blog. It’s a perfect excuse to show off your professional knowledge and expertise in your area!
Clients and prospects will see that you know your stuff, and will trust you to deliver the goods.
Aim to become a “thought leader” in your specialized area -you’ll gain respect, authority, and more traction.
Persuade and convert
Why should people buy your products or services?
Hopefully, you have plenty of persuasive copy on your site and built into your marketing and sales strategy to answer that question.
However, the blog can be a clever tool to persuade potential clients why they need your help.
Carefully craft blog posts that are centered around the problems that your clients are likely to face, and prove that you can help them. You’ll go that bit further to winning them over.
How to Run a Great Business Blog
So, we’ve talked about why your business needs a blog.
Next, let’s go over how you go about writing those winning blog posts that achieve all of the above-mentioned goals.
Reciprocity is most successful when the person on the receiving end feels like they’ve had a great deal.
Your most important consideration when blogging should be offering something valuable to your readers.
If you’re providing highly useful content, with actionable tips and detailed info, clients will have a more positive view of your brand.
You might worry you’re “giving it away for free”. Don’t! Show clients how to do things for themselves, and you’ll give them a powerful incentive to trust you to take it further.
Optimize, and produce well written, relevant posts
Do not ignore this step!
It’s absolutely essential that your copywriter is familiar with SEO best practices. Check out our blog post with more on this subject.
There are 2 key aspects of SEO: content and keywords.
Firstly, you must make sure that your content is well written, detailed, informative, and totally relevant to your chosen keyword. It must answer the original query that was typed into the search bar, so stay on topic.
Secondly, choose a relevant keyword and make it the focal point of your article.
When it comes to SEO, there aren’t really any shortcuts. Keyword “stuffing” is no longer effective, and irrelevant, poorly written articles won’t get a positive rating from search engines and, as a result, are unlikely to show up in searches.
Base posts around new developments
A great way to show you are at the cutting edge of your industry is to write blogs based on current news and events within that industry.
Therefore, you should always be following the news, trending topics that are relevant, and going to conferences or events.
This can provide you with a burst of inspiration when you’re not sure what to write about, and you’ll always be up to date with what’s happening in your sector.
Do your research, and quote statistics and evidence. Read your competitor’s blogs as well!
Additionally, don’t be afraid to give your opinion, and establish your brand’s tone and voice. Remember your company’s principles and vision, and let your personality come through as you communicate with the customer.
Be subtly persuasive…but not overtly sales driven
Nobody likes to be on the receiving end of a hard sell.
There are so many articles coming out these days which are basically just straight-up sales pitches. It’s very obvious to anyone reading, and it totally cheapens your brand’s image.
Reading a 1000 word ad is no fun, and your customers will quickly wise up to your game.
Of course, when it feels natural, explain what you do and promote your business. Just don’t make it the sole focus of the text.
Post regularly and consistently
Once you commit to running a blog, you’ve got to make sure you’re sticking to a regular posting timetable, whether that be every two days, once or twice a week or once a month.
The more often you post, the better, but don’t box yourself in with a rigorous posting timetable that you have no hope of keeping up with.
Be realistic – one post a week, or every two weeks, would be a great start.
Get structured – use tools like Hootsuite or Buffer to help with post scheduling.
Get someone on board to manage your content
If all this sounds daunting, don’t fear.
Certainly, as a business owner, you have a lot on your plate. Maybe it’s going to be difficult to fit blogging into your schedule, and maybe writing isn’t something you excel at.
You can always outsource to an employee, freelancer or agency. Get a writer on board who specializes in your industry and really knows their stuff, and understands your business needs.