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We talk a lot on this site about content marketing. The power of developing an audience, converting an audience, boosting SEO – that kind of thing. One question we haven’t yet answered is the first one some people ask.
Why have a blog on a business website?
I can understand where that question comes from. A blog (or web log) was treated like a public journal for much of its infancy as a medium.
Alternatively, it was for writers to share stories, journalists to create editorials. There were plenty of uses, but none of them were really about doing business.
If you were fortunate enough to be exposed to blogs during that time, you can be forgiven for thinking that’s ALL they were for.
In fact, they can be used for so much more.
Let’s start from the beginning of your journey as a new business.
The website is an online business card, it has the essential information you need to convey to your audience. Strictly business, it’ll have an about page, a products page, perhaps an FAQ and the contact details.
This kind of ‘static’ web page is step one of your online journey as a business. If you never get more than one step outside your front door, you’ll never know what a big wide world is out there waiting for you.
A static website means once people have visited it once, they’ve seen all they are going to see. This means they have no reason to come back, no reason to engage.
If you haven’t made a sale from that first visit, you’ve lost the customer for good. A blog can prevent his from happening, and in the process, open up a whole host of other opportunities.
So, why have a blog on your business site? Allow me to give you eleven answers to that question.
Let’s start with the most obvious and important reason to start a blog on your business website: it gets more visitors to your site.
As I mentioned above – a static site means one visit. A regularly updated blog means the same person might visit multiple times in a week. Good quality content can build loyalty among an audience, and make them more likely to recommend your business to their friends, family and colleagues.
Creating regular, new content is so effective at building audiences that the phrase “content is king” has been coined.
If a great product is available online but no one knows to buy it, what was the point of bringing it to market? Content helps you put you build the audience to put your products in front of.
How can you make an accident happen? With content! Content can help hugely increase your chances of people coming across your site by accident.
This is because, if you create content on a blog, search engines will start to throw your blog posts up for people searching online for things related to your business.
This means you can begin to introduce your products and services to people who have never heard of you before. The content isn’t the movie, it’s more like an usher at the theatre – it welcomes people in to watch your product pitch.
This is called “organic traffic”, because it came to you naturally, without you having to pay for it through advertising. SEOPressor is a tool we’ve created to help you maximize the bait for search engines in each of your posts, by easily integrating Search Engine Optimization in your contents.
Let me ask a question of my own. Why should anybody choose to use you instead of one of your competitors?
If you can answer that question, write it down and you have your first blog! Huzzah!
When you share insights that come from your expertise, especially unique insights that your competitors aren’t privy to, readers will have no choice but to acknowledge your expertise in the field you operate in.
Expertise is synonymous with trust, and building this “authority” with audiences will help you make more sales.
Think of it this way: would you buy a car from a second-hand dealer who won’t answer any questions about the cars, or by one who can tell you the complete history of every vehicle?
Demonstrating knowledge gives people confidence, and a blog is a great place to do that.
Following on from that analogy, you can even use a blog as a place to answer the most common enquiries publicly, which can save you time on handling individual queries.
What often happens with people setting up their own businesses online is that they spent so much time absorbed in their own product and processes, they become blind to what’s going on around them, what the competition is doing, and how the market is changing.
As such, people can be caught completely off guard by changes that could sink their product or service permanently, and end up starting from scratch.
Writing a blog gives you the incentive to continuously develop your knowledge and stay on the cutting edge. Just by commenting on current developments on your blog, you keep yourself abreast of those affairs, which can inspire you in ways you didn’t even expect.
Expertise in any field should never be taken for granted – academics know it takes constant work to keep up with progress. Blogging is a way to make that process fun, and useful too.
The oldest saying in the book is that people buy from people. It’s why salesmen have a career. It’s why sports brands spend millions on athletes to wear their gear. It’s why having a blog on your business website is a great idea.
Blogging is a way for you to share the passion you have for what you’re doing. When people pick up on that passion, it can’t help but be compelling.
As a rule, people don’t trust businesses, but they trust people. Anyone from Richard Branson to Steve Jobs to James Dyson become the faces of their companies because it’s as important to know who is making something as it is to know what they’re making.
Creating a business blog will give the business a personality, a face, a style. It will allow people to see something of themselves in the people that work in the business – that the people blogging face the same challenges as their audience, and overcome them in novel ways, which they’re now sharing with everyone else. Benevolence, warmth, trust.
Building on the previous point a little more, I want to talk to you not just about trust, but loyalty too.
There is almost no product or service that is designed to be purchased once, and never again by the same customer. Even those offering lifetime warranties will offer newer, better shinier alternatives to tempt people to part with more cash.
If you’ve started a business and created a website and you don’t know about customer lifetime value, then find out about it fast. This is what we call the total amount of money you can get a single customer to spend on your brand across their lifetime.
Obviously, this value goes up as loyalty goes up. Writing a blog increases that loyalty, because people see you going above and beyond to give them helpful pointers and advice – to enrich their customer experience beyond the minimum of what is required.
People will appreciate this effort, and the positive impression that creates will make them more likely to come back to you again and again.
If you can manage to update your website regularly, and keep the quality of those updates high, then people may choose to opt in to receive updates via their email. This saves them having to log in to your website to check for new content, so it’s convenient for them.
Far better for you, however, is that you now have a direct channel through which to contact them. By giving them freebies and rewards for being part of your email list, you slowly convert them into paying customers, and habituate them into receiving updates from you. Over time, they won’t even notice them becoming more and more promotional.
As an SEO expert, let me tell you – email subscriber lists are all that really matters in a long-term strategy for a successful online business. The fact that your blog will help you get to this point quicker is the only real reason you need, even though these other reasons are great.
No man is an island. The same should be true of businesses. No product works completely in isolation. An iPhone would be nothing without the apps.
By featuring other companies’ products and services that are complimentary to yours on your blog, you’ll build relationships with those businesses. People looking for them will find you, and they may well discover your site and choose to co-promote you in kind. Establishing connections with larger influencers in this way can hugely increase your perceived legitimacy. It can even open up opportunities to work together in the future.
Being a pro-business business is a great way to pay homage to your influences, and prevent your blog from becoming negative. A lot of new writers will seek to put competitors down in order to try and big up their own product. This is a really bad way to do things.
By focusing on the positives, you’ll create an upward spiral of momentum that will help to carry your business to new audiences without you having to push it uphill all the way by yourself.
If you’re still debating whether or not to have a blog on your website then you may not have thought about social media much either. Trust me when I tell you that all businesses need to be on social media these days.
The good news is that your blog can become the hub of content for your social media channels. Having a new blog post up can give you something to share on Facebook and Twitter, which can generate discussion among audiences on those platforms.
Even better, the discussion that gets started may well end up inspiring you for further topics, taking some of the burden of inspiration off your shoulders and allowing you to be more of a responsive writer than someone who has to generate all topics from scratch.
Best of all, social posts lead to social shares, and this can further increase your audience. That way you’re getting the credit and traffic for the work, instead of just sharing posts from other sources, which only helps other people.
By writing blog posts that cover the whole industry you work in and not just the specific niche your product or service operates in, you may start to attract people who actually don’t need your product. Or rather, people who don’t know they need your product yet. And that’s where you and your shiny new business blog come in.
Your blog is a space for you to educate on the niche your product covers. You can tell the story and make your audience the main character in it. In that story you can weave the need for your product, the advantages of having it and the perilous consequences of not having it.
I’m going to raise the curtain on this and explain it explicitly as it relates to this post. I want you to understand the value of blogging for business because I make tools that help you blog for business more effectively.
I’m helping you understand the need to do it, so one day you’ll realise how our tool helps you do it better. From there, you can decide if you want to do it better, and use our tool.
By helping change people’s minds one at a time, you can increase the size of your market.
Oh yeah, this one too!
If you have a website and you want to sell your wares without a blog, there are limited ways you can do it, and all of them cost money.
There’s an old saying “If you leave the gate open, the horse won’t run”
This means that by not trapping people, by giving them a sense of freedom, they’ll behave in the way you want them to.
The same goes for advertising. Nobody chooses to look at adverts – they’re paid for and they intrude into the experience we wanted to get. At best, they’re ignored, or at worst, they actively anger people and make them less likely to trust your brand.
Blog posts offer a softer way to advertise, by opening things up and allow for more freedom for the reader. As well as the ten different points above, all of which will certainly result in increased sales, you can create blog posts that are indirectly selling products to the audience.
By writing a post that allows you to present all the options, with your product as just one of them, you can subtly allude to the unique selling points of your product while trusting the reader to make the right decision. The reader retains their freedom of choice and feels like you respect them. Everybody wins.
If you think it sounds like a good idea but you’re not convinced, we have a whole
If you just read this and got super hyped up about writing your brand new blog, but you don’t have a clue where to start or what approach to take, don’t worry. My next post is going to be all about getting you set up to succeed.
If you read this and felt like I missed out a great reason why a blog would be really helpful for you, then leave a comment below and share with other readers – it’s probably true for some of them too!
Finally, if you have any questions about any of the eleven points, then let me know. You might inspire me to write a post all about it!
Updated: 19 November 2017