Does My Business Need a Blog?
The answer is usually YES.
A blog gives you a convenient and cost-effective way to communicate with your existing customer base and attract new customers. You can also use your blog to create a voice and personality for your business, which helps you build relationships with readers.
Use your blog to examine topics in more detail than you can through your web site. Most people come to a blog wanting to learn more about a particular topic, so are happy to read longer articles. A blog can also be a bit more informal than your web site, more closely resembling a conversation that you’re having with your customers.
Share knowledge, opinions, tips & hints
If your products or services are complex, a blog is the perfect place to fill in details like who will benefit most from each product/service, how they’d use it, and what benefits it provides. You can also describe unusual or creative ways to use products/services that can help your customers to become more productive.
A blog can be more conversational in style than a corporate web site, which makes it ideal for describing more complex topics. Develop a narrative: make it engaging and make it relevant.
You don’t need to stick to your own products and services either. Write about a variety of topics to make the blog more interesting for you (in that you don’t have to write about the same thing every week), and more interesting for your readers.
Be aware though that while it’s easier to get complex ideas across in a medium where people are more tolerant about reading, you must be careful not to get carried away!
It’s not just about talking TO your readers: a blog gives you the opportunity for two-way conversations.
Making it easy for readers to post comments on your blog is a great way to learn from them: what are they interested in and what types of questions are they asking? A two-way exchange also helps to build relationships (and trust) between you and your readers.
You can also use comments to get ideas and feedback about topics your readers would like to see you cover in future.
Drive more visitors to your web site
A quality blog is GREAT for SEO.
Update your blog often for the best results. Google loves fresh content, and even though no one knows for sure how all of its algorithms work, most people agree that the fresher the content, the more Google loves you.
Write articles that target your main keyword phrases, and then add anchor text links from the blog post back to the relevant pages on your web site.
Promote your articles through social media channels like Twitter and Facebook, and through other channels like your web site and email newsletters. If your readers like what they see, they’ll share your posts with their own social media networks giving you a very quick, easy and affordable way to get your message in front of many people.
Brand and build relationships
A blog is a great way to teach readers a bit more about who you are as a company: what your values are and how you differ from other businesses out there. With a blog you can “show” readers who you are—rather than hoping they visit the About Us page on your web site where you “tell” them who you are. Customers prefer to deal with people/businesses they like, especially if you’re in the service industry.
You can also use your blog to establish yourself as a domain expert. People can link to you and quote you as an authority in your area of business. If someone has a question, you can answer it. And when they’re ready to buy, you’ll be the first one they think of.
Other blogging benefits
- For small businesses, a blog is an inexpensive way to establish an Internet presence.
- Blogs provide yet another way for potential customers to find you.
- It’s easy to add and update content to help ensure that there’s always something fresh on your blog.
- Blogs are the “new” newsletters. There’s no need for opt-in or opt-out: people visit you if they’re interested in what you have to say.
Before you start blogging
Determine who your audience is going to be and why you are blogging. What are you trying to accomplish? Education? Branding? SEO? A little bit of all three? Make sure you write posts that are relevant to your intended audience, and that are interesting and useful.
Looking for something to write about? Talk to your support team to find the common questions and problems that customers call them about. Talk to your sales teams and find out things about your products and services that you didn’t know before. Talk to your customers to find out what things they’d like to read about. Check out industry blogs and forums and look for topics that are of interest to your intended audience.
And consider that your blog isn’t only about sharing information with your customers: it’s also a great way to educate people within your organisation about what other departments and divisions in the company are up to!