If you thought blogs were just for first-time moms and baseball card enthusiasts, think again. Blogging can be a major opportunity to improve visibility for your business and engage with customers.
While it’s true that maintaining a personal blog can be very rewarding, the scope of blogging reaches far beyond the digital journal and can be a powerful communication tool for virtually any business. Successful companies, big and small, use blogging to communicate with customers and drive sales.
A blog is a simple, easy-to-use platform for sharing information. It unlocks a direct channel of communication to reach the whole world – for free. Anyone and everyone can start a blog and write about any topic imagineable. You are in complete control of the publishing and have the freedom to share whatever content you’d like, whenever you’d like. Did we mention it’s free?
In short, if you’re not blogging for your business, you’re missing out. Here are some of the great things a blog can do for your business:
Stand out as an expert in your industry
Your blog is an opportunity to build credibility in your field. It allows you to share your thoughts and opinions about timely and relevant topics. As long as you’re sharing accurate, well-supported information, people will come to trust your insights and brand.
Regardless of the industry you’re in, you can use a blog to position yourself as an authoritative thought leader. You don’t have to be a writer to show off your professional skills on a blog. Even if you’re a lawyer, for example, you can post about the latest legal happenings or share client testimonials.
Control your online footprint
Today’s consumer turns to the Internet when making their purchases and we don’t have a lot of control over what they will find. Plenty of popular websites exist that can provide information about your business, many of which syndicate user-generated feedback or references from not-so-credible sources. This can make the Internet a dangerous place for businesses.
Blogging puts you in the driver’s seat to tell the story of your business. You’re in control of the information that’s being shared and can organize it any way you see fit. Plus, since blogging improves search engine rankings, there’s a better chance that your own content will show up when customers are looking for you.
Get better search rankings for your website
There are billions of websites on the Internet and blogging can help potential customers find yours. If you are updating your website with valuable content, Google’s complex search algorithm will reward you with a better page ranking. While a static website remains unchanged, each new blog post is indexed separately and will help drive more traffic.
Search engines also love websites that generate traffic from lots of sources. When you are posting compelling content, other Internet users will link to your blog post for their own audience to check out. Basically, the more frequently you post quality content, the more traffic you’ll see to your website.
Your blog is something that’s all your own, so the nature of it’s content is up to you. You can get creative posting about the services you offer, new product launches, and sales and promotions. Since your blog can help to drive larger amounts of targeted traffic to your website, you can use it to secure new clients and make sales.
Build loyal followers
It’s no secret that having a social media strategy is a great way to reach new customers and maintain relationships with existing ones. Whatever your industry, whatever your market, it’s pretty much guaranteed that your customers and clients are hanging out on social media.
Blogging is a key mechanism of successful social media. You can share your blog posts on Facebook and Twitter to engage readers with your unique content. Readers can then share your content with their own social networks, driving even more traffic to your business. As long as you’re sharing quality content, people will have a reason to follow you.
Give your brand a voice
Part of what makes social media marketing so effective is that it personifies your business. People like being able to put a face to a name and they respond well to storytelling. Blogging gives your business a personality and allows customers to better connect with your brand.
Give your customers a voice
While harnessing your brand voice is important, the true heart of a successful social media strategy lies in two-way conversation. Your customers can interact with your business by commenting on blog posts and sharing them on their social channels. Replying to their comments can help you to foster a strong relationship with your readers. It’s a quick and efficient way to better understand your customers and address their questions.
Your blog will also provide you with other great analytics, including reader demographics and what type of content produces the most engagement. This kind of customer feedback and data should not be undervalued. Businesses can pay a lot of money for this stuff and your blog can give it to you for free.
Constantly grow and develop
To keep posting engaging content, you’ll want to keep up with newsworthy topics and industry trends. You may start finding inspiration, ideas and opportunities are all around you.
Many people find this part of blogging to be pretty awesome and energizing. So, have fun with it. Chances are, if you’re enjoying what you do, your followers will too.
Image Credit: Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos Blogging, after Franciso de Goya y Lucientes by Mike Licht, on Flickr