Why Bother with a Blog?
Guest Post by: George Nielsen
You always hear that your business should have a blog and that you should post on it frequently. But all too often I find businesses wasting a lot of time because they don’t utilize their blogs correctly. They simply have a blog because they’ve been told that they “should” have one, but they don’t have a strategy for how to use it to their advantage. Because of the time investment and knack for writing that’s needed, some businesses choose to ignore their blog altogether and it becomes a ghost town.
Let’s take get down to the details and look at why you need a blog and how to effectively use it.
1. Show Off Your Expertise
If you teach people something useful, they’ll view you as an expert in the industry and they’ll associate that expertise with your product or service. Use your blog to make this happen. You can give commentary on news within your industry, publish studies/reports, and give useful tips that will benefit your audience. The main goal is to teach something, write something interesting, and keep your readers engaged.
2. Build Trust and Show Personality
Beyond brand building and SEO, blogging comes down to connecting with people. Your company’s blog should have a personable feel to it. Depending on your audience, you can try a number of tactics, like being funny, showing personality, and building trust with your readers. Don’t hide behind the curtain – let customers and prospects get to know you. The more they trust you, the more likely they are to do business with you.
3. Improving Search Engine Rankings
In a nutshell, the more quality links to your website, the higher it will rank in search engines. An active blog builds internal links to your website and naturally improves your rankings over time. Be sure to link to different parts of your website from your blog as appropriate.
4. Nurture Relationships
Your blog can also serve as a great platform for building relationships, giving recognition, and giving endorsements. Use it to your advantage! You can feature customers, endorse partners, facilitate guest blogging opportunities, and other positive activities.
How to Use Your Blog Effectively
1. Have a Plan
The last thing you want to do is spend too much time thinking about the next topic to write about. Have a plan for what content you’ll post, who will post it, and when to post it. These don’t need to be strict guidelines, keep things loose and flexible as new things will come up throughout the year. Sign up for Google Alerts on specific subjects and always be on the lookout for topics, like your customers’ pain points.
2. When to Post
Post when you have something worth sharing. Don’t get caught up in a strict schedule of blogging because then you may end up posting for the sake of posting, not because you have something your audience will want to read.
When you’re first starting out, you’ll probably only be able to post once a week. This will keep your blog active and prevent it from becoming a ghost town. If you have the resources and the time, then try to get up to two posts a week. That’s the ideal amount for most businesses. Keep in mind that your articles don’t need to be huge essays. 300-500-word posts provide enough content while also retaining readers’ interest.
The main point is to know your target audience and provide quality content for them. This is what transforms a blog from a hassle to an effective marketing tool.
Special thanks to our guest blogger George Nielsen.