Writing content is hard and a lot of work. Some people make it look easy, but not all of us are naturally talented writers. If we were, we’d be writing the next bestseller. But with all the benefits of blogging, we need to overcome the objections and add this task to our marketing activities.
Without content, there is no inbound marketing
When implementing an inbound marketing strategy, most small businesses begin with creating content for a blog. And there are reasons why this is popular.
- Adding content to your website increases your digital footprint. Search engines have more content to index. If optimized properly, your business will more likely to be found by people searching. A website with a blog has 434 percent more indexed pages than websites without. (Techclient.com)
- Businesses that blog see their monthly leads rise by 126% more than those who don’t (Hubspot). Whether you are selling a product or you are a service provider, people want to see what you know before reaching out to you.
- 61% of consumers have made a purchase after reading a blog recommendation (Content Marketing Institute). Blog content has become a fundamental part of the buying process. If you are providing a service, whether B2B or B2C, you can demonstrate your expertise through your posts.
- Small businesses with blogs get 126% more lead growth than small businesses without (Content Marketing Institute) – The more content you have on your website, the better your visibility will become. The easier your business is to find in the search engine results, the more likely someone will contact you for a quote or to discuss your services.
Dispelling the blogging myths
Now that you know the value you get from blogging, let’s dispel some of the myths. For small businesses there are 3 myths that are still circulating.
You have to blog everyday
Although it is true that businesses that blog 15 or more times a month get substantially more traffic, you don’t need to blog 3 times a week to gain visibility in the search engine results. With the amount of content being created today, creating higher quality content less frequently is a strategy that works.
Small businesses need to balance their time between working on your business verses working in your business. Client work comes first, life gets in the way and sometimes you just need a break. And in this case, your blogging frequency will depend on what works for you.
Frequency is important so your blog doesn’t get stale. But you need to pick the right amount for your business and be consistent. Set the expectations of your readers. It is better to know you will provide quality content once a month than get a lot of posts then silence.
You don’t write well so you can’t blog
If you understand your industry, you can create content for your blog. Writing isn’t a skill that many have naturally. This is where many small business owners need help.
You know the topics that your target audience needs. Get that information out as an audio file, a video or record the information and have a writer create the post. It’s your knowledge that is still being displayed in your blog. Just because you have a writer, doesn’t make it any less valuable.
No one will read it so why bother?
When you first start out blogging, if feels like you are speaking into a black hole. Your posts are out there but no one is listening.
But with the right promotion, you can help gain visibility for your posts. It does take time for your optimization to take effect, but you can help it a long.
- Use social media to share your post. Pick the right platforms and share them.
- Upload your posts to Google My Business. Your posts now become part of your profile and are displayed when someone looks at your knowledge panel.
- Send your posts out to your email list (if you have one). You want to stay in touch with your subscribers and having your posts sent out is a good way to do so.
Many people in search of a solution will read blog posts to educate themselves on the topic before choosing a vendor. If they read your post, you have a better chance of them contacting you than your competitor.
But marketing your business does need to happen, so let’s eliminate the “why nots” of blogging and let’s talk about the “why you should” blog as a marketing activity to help your small business develop a strong online presence.
Increases your reputation as an expert
Content that helps your audience solve a problem makes you memorable. When the challenge is bigger than they can handle on their own, they will turn to you for help.
Helps with search engine optimization
Writing unique content that relates to your ideal client helps your blog gain visibility within the search engines for your top keywords.
Makes it easier to get inbound links
Having a blog encourages inbound links from other blogs that find something you say interesting. I link to quality content and love to find a great post from someone I never heard of before. Providing a link helps them and helps my readers.
Enables you to show your personality
Blogging in your own voice helps people get to know you. Write as if you have having a conversation with someone. Make it easy for your reader to get the message quickly and easily.
Helps you to stay up-to-date within your field
Researching and writing a blog post helps you to stay current on what’s new. This becomes valuable to your clients because you are now the person they see as the leader in your field.
Makes you the central source for quality content
Content marketing includes creating your own content and sharing other people’s content. If people are following you on social media and you share other useful content, positions you as a content hub. You provide a service to those too busy to read a lot of blogs themselves.
Encourages people to connect with you
Searching for information is a passive activity. But a well written post that shows you can solve someone’s problem will encourage them to reach out for more information.
Keeps your website fresh
Out of date website content is the kiss of death. People who want to do business with you are looking for the most up-to-date information.
Some content is evergreen – i.e. never goes out of date. If your industry doesn’t change rapidly, your content can stay fresh for a long time. If you are in an industry (like mine) that changes constantly, you need to date your materials and post updates when things change.
Strengthen your web presence with quality content
A website built on WordPress with an active blog is just the recipe for a powerful online presence. The simplicity of updating content in WordPress will encourage you to add new, fresh content and keep your pages updated as well.
Just remember that every new blog post adds one more page to your website that can get indexed by search engines. With each post, you expand your digital footprint so that you have more opportunity to be found.