Many small business owners have heard the recommendations to add blogging for business to their marketing plan, but with their ever-growing to-do list, it can be hard to find the time. This is especially true if you aren’t aware of the benefits or return on your investment.
In this article, we’re going to discuss 8 benefits that you can leverage by prioritizing your brand or company blog and creating an efficient blog business plan.
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What is Blogging?
Before digging into the details, let’s go back to the basics. What exactly is a blog and how can it be used in a professional or business-minded way?
The term ‘blog’ is an abbreviation of the word ‘weblog’. Originally started with more of a personal focus, they acted as online journals where people would share their personal thoughts, opinions, and experiences. Over time, the idea of blogging started to grow and evolve with a more focused and polished approach. Businesses recognized that they could use this opportunity to share articles pertaining to their industry, answer client questions and showcase their products or services.
Today, it Is estimated that there are more than 500 million blogs worldwide with many being published and shared by larger corporations, non-profit organizations, and small businesses as part of a targeted content marketing plan.
8 Benefits of Blogging for Business
Attract New (Quality) Visitors to Your Website
It doesn’t matter how well crafted your website is if you aren’t able to get it in front of your potential customers. This is one area where a high-quality blog really shines. By focusing on specific keywords and optimizing your blog posts, you can increase your ranking on search engines like Google. This means that your blog will show up higher on the search results for terms that your ideal customer is searching for.
By connecting with your potential customers where they are actively looking for products or services like yours, you are not only going to increase website traffic, but you are going to increase quality traffic that is more likely to make a purchase.
Increase Brand Awareness
A blog is a great way to showcase your business. Take this opportunity to educate the public on what your product or service can do and how it can benefit them in their daily lives. One of the great benefits of blogging for business is the way that this space can be used to set you apart from your competitors. Share the uses for your product, create an impressive portfolio of work you have completed, or use this opportunity to focus on the deeper meaning behind your brand and its purpose.
Build Trust with Your Audience
The internet has made it possible for us to search and find anything with the click of a button. Large online companies are able to use this to offer their products at surprisingly low rates due to larger volumes. Don’t let this discourage you, while you may not be able to match their incredibly low pricing structure, small businesses offer a different experience.
Large online companies are often faceless, there is no connection between the company and their customers. It’s merely a transaction based on price point, which works for some. However, many customers still prefer the connection that comes with shopping with a small business. They want to know you, build a relationship, and trust that you have their best interests in mind.
Small business blogs are a great opportunity to build these connections. Share your story and why you are passionate about your product/service, showcase your staff, or highlight the ways that you are giving back to your own community. By sharing who you really are and what goes on behind the scenes, you create trust by being open and transparent.
Establish Authority as an Industry Leader
Another way to build trust with your potential customers as well as with other industry leaders is to use your blog to share your knowledge and expertise. When creating a blog for business purposes, focus on publishing high-quality information including statistics, studies, and other details pertinent to your niche. Position yourself as a resource that people can turn to when they are searching for answers. This can create opportunities for networking, earn links from other websites in your industry, or inspire collaborations as more people start to see you as an industry leader.
Build Your Email List
Email marketing is a powerful tool in the digital marketing space, allowing you to nurture the relationships that you are building with previous clients, current clients, and those that are considering your product or service in the future. The ability to customize the content that is delivered to the inbox of each contact is a great way to provide them with a personalized experience. This allows you to continue nurturing and building that relationship even stronger.
Keep Visitors Around Your Brand Longer
While we would all love to think that every person who comes across our website is going to make a purchase, the truth is that not everyone is in a place where they are ready to buy. It could be that they are not financially able to make the investment at this time or that they don’t currently require your product/service. Avoid falling off that potential customer’s radar by sharing informative or entertaining posts that will keep them coming back even if they aren’t making a purchase.
For example: If you are a pet supplement business, a visitor may find your site with a dog that is too young to need your product yet at this stage of their life. However, that dog owner may stick around and keep returning to your site if you have a blog with valuable dog health information. During this time, they will begin to see you as a trustworthy resource, and it positions you to be their go-to brand when their dog ages and needs a supplement to improve their quality of life.
Answer Commonly Asked Questions
Many businesses will add a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page on their website, but these pages can be overwhelming if they are allowed to grow too long and detailed. If you have a question that regularly comes up and requires a more detailed explanation, consider writing a blog post (that will also work to help you in the other ways listed here) and link to it from your FAQ. This will also help to save you time and money in your business by making the answer easily accessible.
Increase Conversion Rates
One important statistic that you should be tracking to better understand your business’s success is the conversion rate. To break it down to its simplest form, your conversion rate is the percentage of website visitors that purchase your product or service. By positioning yourself as a leader in your niche and building trust with your audience, you can increase conversion rates which means higher sales.
Great Business Blog Examples
Do you need some inspiration for how you can make blogging work for your business? One great way that you can get your creativity flowing is by taking the time to read the blogs of other small businesses both in your industry as well as those in other industries.
While you shouldn’t copy (obviously) you may find that reading a blog post about topic X raises questions in your mind about topics Y and Z. This is a very effective way to come up with new blog business ideas.
Here are 10 great business blog examples from across a wide variety of different industries to help you get started:
- Teach Away
- A Concord Carpenter
- The Jewelry Box Blog from Jewelers Mutual Group
- Marlin Steel
- Dot Loop Blog
- Stonyfield Organic
- Mountain Equipment Company
If you are new to blogging for business, don’t feel like you must be perfect to get started. Many of the most successful blogs started out at a completely different level of quality and polish than you see today.
For businesses with a little room in their marketing budget, contracting with an experienced freelance writer is a great way to build up a blog of SEO-optimized, high-quality content that can be used to achieve your business goals.
Are you currently leveraging the benefits of blogging for business? If not, what is holding you back from starting a business blog?
Are you interested in learning more about Blogging for Business?
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