To blog or not to blog? That is the question… Wait, is it? The real question should be: How can I fit blogging for my business into my schedule?
There are three main types of blog:
Personal blog: This is where you (over)share your personal life to become internet-famous. This life isn’t for everyone, but there is a thriving community of influential bloggers who are great resources when it comes to reaching your target audience indirectly. If you should learn one thing, it’s that people connect with people. So if you aren’t willing to put a face to your brand, then you are going to have a tough time.
Career blog: The line between personal and career blog can sometimes be blurred depending on what industry you are in (ie. Beauty bloggers, parenting bloggers, food bloggers, are all great influences to tap into when it comes to personal connection to their audience). This type of blog is how an individual makes money. They could post regular paid reviews, set up an affiliate marketing program, or anything else that would be the sole source of their income.
Business blog: This is when an organization has a designated section on their website where they provide content that showcases what it does – the expertise. A business blog is a marketing channel, not the way an organization makes money.
Many businesses feel that blogging isn’t worth the time it takes to draft articles and post them on the website. However, there are a number of reasons why business owners should consider building blogging into the marketing strategy. Here are a few things to consider:
Increased website traffic
When you think about it, you already have a captive audience in your current customers. However, they won’t go to your website unless you give them a reason to. Creating well-informed, engaging content also gives your audience something to share that links back to your website. This can expose your business to new audiences through direct website traffic. Time to make sure your website is up to date and effective!
In terms of your target audience as a whole, regularly updating your website will help to boost search engine optimization (SEO) because there is new content to index and it gives you an opportunity to plug important keywords for your business.
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Establish yourself as the go-to expert
Blogging allows you as a professional to showcase your knowledge. Play your cards right and it can even create other PR opportunities. For example, you could find online channels where you can post your blog as a guest post. The other thing to consider is that the media often does their research online, so there is a chance that when you share it on social media it could get noticed by a journalist (I have had this happen to a number of clients!).
While it is always great to answer common questions related to your industry, blogging also forces you to think beyond your comfort zone to explore new sides of your knowledge. To keep your blog topically fresh so you aren’t recycling the same tired subject over and over you have to find new things to talk about. Sitting down with a colleague or even just a pen and paper and doing some brainstorming will help you come up with a number of great ideas. The goal is to put out a stream of well-written content that shows you know what you are talking about so it establishes authority and trust.
Increased opportunity for calls-to-action
Each new blog topic can trigger an “I need that” feeling in your target audience. While this might be enough to have them contact you to start business discussions, you should consider putting in a call-to-action in each blog you write. A call-to-action simply asks your reader to do something. Here are a few examples:
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Create “warm leads”
The concept of “warm leads” is pretty fantastic if you are uncomfortable with cold calling. The idea is that they would have already heard about you in some capacity before you reach out to them. It could be as simple as engaging them on social media and sharing a link to a blog post there. You could send a cold email with a link to a blog post with something they may find interesting based on what you have seen.
Engaging with leads using your blog posts will help prospects become familiar with your work and area of expertise. Without having started a formal dialogue you would already be developing relationships. By the time you make your first call, there is a good chance they would have read at least one of your blogs if not more so they will already have thought about what you have to offer their organization.
Connect people to your brand
Blogging gives you a chance to showcase the personal side of your business. I’m not talking about what you had for lunch, it’s all about giving a voice to your business. How you write – the tone, the language, the subject matter – all says something about who you are as a brand. Blogging is a way for you to create connections and build relationships based on the personality, vision, and ethics that are so important to your business.