12 Most Glaring Reasons Why Businesses Should Blog
So, if you’ve crossed the hurdle of really understanding exactly what blogging is, it’s time for stage two. It’s time to understand why blogging is important for you as a business person.
The excuse of “I just don’t have time to blog” borders on the absurd when you really start to consider the benefits you can reap from devoting yourself to it. When the words, “I don’t have time for blogging” begin to roll off of your lips, you are really saying that you don’t have time for the activities below. Because if done right, blogging is the single greatest tool for making these things happen.
1. Driving web traffic
Your website, regardless of the industry you are in, is the end game for your customers. Here, they either decide they will buy or they won’t. They either make an appointment or they don’t. They either get directions or they don’t. It’s the next best thing to you standing right in front of them. According to a recent study by inbound marketing firm, HubSpot, businesses who blog have 434% more pages indexed in search engines, 97% more inbound links from other sites, and 55% more traffic to their websites than businesses who don’t blog. In a nutshell, this means that blogging drives web traffic. If you blog it, they will come.
2. Building a network
There’s no easier way to build a professional network than by blogging. When you blog, you are putting material out there that says what you do… and proves it. Your blog is a tangible representation of the knowledge you have about your industry. If someone is looking for a partnership of any kind, do you think they are going to throw darts at the Yellow Pages or come to you? Many times, you will receive comments on your blog from people in your industry or related industries, asking you questions and offering you opportunity for a strategic relationships. A blog can quickly become a virtual referral group.
3. Answering frequently asked questions
It happens with me… I know it’s happened with you. The same questions gets asked to you over and over again. By. Every. Single. Customer. You’ve gotten to the point that you have a programmed response. Here’s an idea, why don’t you write about it? When asked the question the next time, refer your customers to your blog or offer to send them a link. That way, they can get the complete answer and even share it with other people that may have the same question.
4. Demonstrating expertise
There’s no quicker and more effective way to show what you know than to start blogging. Read almost any book on any subject and you’ll find that the person who wrote it actually works in that industry. Books on plumbing are written by plumbers. Books on screenwriting are written by screenwriters. Books on real estate are written by realtors. Guess what a blog is? For all intents and purposes, it’s a current, ongoing, easily published “book.” It’s a resource written by you about what you do.
5. Solidifying purpose and ideas
Are you ever confused about what products/services you want to provide, how you want to provide them, or at what prices? Do you have find yourself having difficulty in conveying how you add value for your customers? Well, there’s no easier way to give yourself some clarity than to write it out. Write an article about why your product or service is important and what value you specifically bring to the table.
6. Differentiating yourself
How many people in your industry blog? Probably not many. And if your business is location-based (you only serve geographically local customers), chances are none of your competitors are blogging. If you start providing free content for your customers, that’s going to be one more thing that sets you apart. Again, who is going to be seen as the authority in your industry — the one who is writing about it or the one who isn’t?
7. Branding and creating awareness
If you’re like most business people in most industries, you are facing the ever-growing pressure of commoditization. There’s no zing to what you do; you’re just another ___________. If you’re a plumber, you repair pipes. If you’re a realtor, you sell houses. If you’re a landscaper, you do yard work. Boring. Blogging provides an opportunity for you to develop an exciting and engaging brand around your business. People won’t see you as just another realtor; they will see you as the author of the “Showing You the Way Home” blog. They won’t see you as just another landscaper; they will see you as the author of the “This land is your land blog.” Branding is everything.
8. Telling your story
Each business has a unique history. Each business has a myriad of failures, successes, customer experiences, employee breakthroughs, and effects on community. But, if you aren’t telling your story, who is? Chances are, only the people who are mad at you! You’ve done a lot of good in bringing your product or service to your community. You now have a platform to talk about it. Tell the world how it is better off because you are here.
9. Building anticipation
Thinking about launching a product or service in the near future? There’s no better way to hype it up than to start writing about it. People aren’t going to line-up for what you are selling unless they know about it far enough in advance. A little mention here and there about what’s going on in your business’s kitchen is a great way to draw people in when you’re ready to launch.
10. Increasing your knowledge
To write, you have to know. Blogging forces you to do research on your industry to make sure you know what you’re talking about. You never know too much to stop learning, but there’s always the temptation to stop anyway. Blogging prevents you from falling into that rut. It keeps you sharp and engaged in your business. If you have to write about, you’ve got to know it inside out.
11. Feeding social media
Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. YouTube. Whatever platform you use to promote your business, each of these sites require consistent updating in order for them to be effective. When you blog, it provides you with a consistent stream of content for sharing on these networks. You can share the entire post on Facebook, tweet snippets from a post on Twitter, or record a video of yourself talking about your article on YouTube. However you choose to share it, the blog provides content for you to distribute on these channels.
12. Revealing your humanity
You aren’t a business. You are a business person. But, often, when customers look at you, they see your company. Maybe you prefer it that way. But, it’s a lot easier for a customer to leave a company than it is for a person to leave a person. In other words, if people can see the face behind the logo they are much more likely to be loyal. When you go from being a real estate agent to being Kathy or from being a chiropractor to being Phil, you’ve crossed into a whole new level of connectedness. Blogging adds personality to your business, because it’s written by you — not your company.
So, what are you waiting for? Get with your web designer and/or branding agency and add a blog to your site. It will revolutionize your business.
Are you already blogging for your business? Drop me a comment and let me know how it’s going.
Featured image courtesy of Thomas Hawk licensed via Creative Commons.