You’ve heard of blogs, but you may have wondered what they can actually do to help your business grow. In this day and age, if your business does not have a blog, there’s a good chance you are missing out on attracting customers that your competitors (who consistently post blogs) have gained.
A blog provides a great, informal way to communicate with your customers and helps to create a lasting relationship with them. So, without further ado, let’s just go ahead and jump right into the exciting benefits blogs can provide for your business.
What are the Benefits of Blogs?
Blogs Drive Traffic to Your Site
If you think about it, the content on your individual site pages may not change all that often. But, every time a blog is posted, it creates one more indexed page for your website, which means one more opportunity for your site to appear in organic search results.
A blog also gives people a reason to visit your site on a regular basis. Let’s not forget though that the content you post should be relevant, entertaining, and useful in order to generate the most traffic.
Getting people to your website is the first step. Once they are there, there is a likelihood that they will stick around and browse through other pages on your site if they like what they read. So, it only makes sense that the more visits to your website, the more conversions your business may get. According to a HubSpot survey, 60% of businesses that blog acquire more customers than those businesses that do not.
Share your blog to your social media accounts to bring even more traffic to your site.
Blogs Attract New Customers
Customers tend to conduct at least some research before making a purchase, especially if it is a large one. By creating a blog, you will not only be providing information to potential clients, but you will also have the opportunity to encourage them to bring their business to you.
Blogs do not necessarily need to encourage the visitor to make an immediate decision. An informative blog will allow the visitor to gather their thoughts and then use the facts you provided to make their choice and contact you once they are ready.
In order to best reach potential customers, it is beneficial to write blogs with SEO practices in mind. An effective blog also inspires the viewer to take some sort of action, whether that is to visit another page on your site, sign up for a newsletter, or even to simply call your business for more information.
You can also use the blog to connect with potential customers by adding a section for discussion and feedback at the end of the page. Businesses are much more successful when they connect with and respond to customers; creating what the customers feel is a personal relationship.
Blogs Turn Your Website Into a Destination
There are a couple of different avenues in which you can take when developing a blog. You can create want-based content in which people will read at leisure, or you can create a blog that is based more around a need for information.
A need-based blog will provide answers to the visitor’s questions and (hopefully) offer a solution to their question, in return. A want-based blog, on the other hand, will create a demand for something the reader didn’t know they wanted and further demonstrate how whatever it is you’re offering can improve their lifestyle – think of food products, clothing, electronics, etc. This blog, for example, could be classified as need-based content.
The most important part to remember when writing a blog is to create something visitors want to read. Again, in order to achieve this, the content should be engaging and interesting for the reader.
Blogs Allow You to “Show and Tell”
A blog also gives your business the opportunity to “show off”, if you will, success stories and what type of results they can expect from your services. For example, let’s say you are an owner of beauty salon. You could use a blog to show the viewers before and after photos of your current clients’ transformations after visiting your salon. Without even using words, potential customers will be able to see what results they may expect from utilizing your business.
A blog gives your company “a voice”. It gives you the freedom to announce current and upcoming events, discuss company initiatives, showcase new products or services, and so much more.
Blogs Create Results Long After the Initial Post
Days, months, and even years after you post a blog, it continues to attract new leads. A well-written blog works for you, even when you’re not.
It’s been proven that old blogs gain authority and increase in ranking and, in turn, bring in a significant amount of organic traffic to your site. Edits can even be made to an older blog in order to keep up with search engine traffic patterns. To further benefit from blogging, make sure to track the analytics of the blog to fine-tune your future efforts.
Blogging also helps to:
- • Nurture and convert customers.
- • Keep current customers engaged.
- • Differentiate you from other similar businesses.
- • Grow demand and interest in your products or services.
It’s also important to point out that, along with all of the other benefits that blogging can bring to your business, it is also an incredibly affordable way to connect with potential customers.
How to Write an Effective Blog
We previously mentioned that your blogs should be relevant, useful, and entertaining. So how is this done?
First and foremost, you must understand your audience. Ask yourself things like: what do they want to know, what are their interests, what are their spending habits like, and define whether you are writing for a B2C or B2B audience.
Next, you should decide on your topic. Once you know what you want to write about, you should also come up with a working title for the blog post. Coming up with a working title will help to guide you into narrowing your focus of the post. If you just can’t seem to get the title right from the get-go, don’t fret. Many times it takes finishing the blog first before a great title comes to mind. Nothing is set in stone, so do whatever works for you in order to come up with the best content you can.
Once you’ve narrowed your topic down, you’ll begin the writing process. The first thing your audience will read is the introduction, so it is incredibly important that it captivate the audience’s interest right away. This is also where you will let them know what information they can expect to get from the rest of the post.
As with all those pesky essays we had to write in school, you may find it helpful to write up a general outline before you begin the writing process. This will help you to organize your thoughts, clarify what you want to discuss, and how you will go about breaking it up. Your post should be organized and easy to read. Try to avoid long, clustered paragraphs. You can break up topics by using lists, sections, or tips.
Now, you can start writing. Using your outline as a guide, expand on your points and do additional research, if necessary. Don’t forget to proofread, edit, and format it before its posted.
Mistakes to Avoid When Blogging
The first common mistake businesses make when blogging is the frequency of which they publish a blog. In order to make the blog work, you need to develop a consistent schedule. Posting a blog here and posting one there is not an effective tactic. Keep a schedule and follow it. That way readers will know when to expect a new post. It’s also important to keep in mind that there is such a thing as posting TOO much. Don’t overwhelm your customers, but post often enough to stay relevant in their minds.
Another common mistake is creating boring content. Even if your business doesn’t seem “exciting”, you can still come up with exciting topics for blogs, it just might take some out-of-the-box thinking. Get creative, do some research, or even ask around for other’s ideas.
Don’t forget the importance of visuals. Many tend to underestimate their effectiveness. There are several different types of visuals you can choose from to add interest to your blog. For example, apply graphics, videos, audio files, and more to your posts to grab your viewers’ attention and keep them engaged.
Finally, don’t make the mistake of not promoting your content. Share your blog posts on social media and send it to your e-mail marketing subscribers to help reach the most people.
The benefits of business blogs speak for themselves. It’s not too late to start-up or step-up your blogging game.