The Unignorable Benefits Of Blogging For Business (And The Risks)
Online business is the wild west: there are people making their living dropshipping toilet brushes and financially dominating people. There’s no one recipe telling you what you *need* to make it online, but the benefits of blogging for business are so clear that they are unignorable.
Yet, if you’re here reading this, I reckon you might not be convinced that the benefits of blogging for business are worth the effort. You may even have heard the widely touted yet totally mistaken “blogging is dead” maxim.
Make no mistake: blogging is alive and well. Amateur blogging can be life-changing, and blogging for business is so valuable that I hope I can convince you to tackle it right now.
What Exactly Is Blogging? And Other Quick Blogging FAQs
Blogging has been around since 1994, yet there’s still mainstream confusion about what blogging actually is. (source) This may seem trivial, but I bet we can all learn something new about blogging in these quick FAQs.
What is a blog?
When you Google something and click a link to get your question answered, you most likely arrived at a blog. It’s a mistake to hear “blog” and think “online diary” or any other correlated description.
A blog can also be referred to as:
- A website (this is both a blog and a website)
- An online magazine
- A publication
This website is a blog. Huffington Post is a blog. Thanks to the massive benefits of blogging for business, most brands have a blog.
Blogs are powerhouses for driving traffic and wooing potential clients while you sleep.
Is blogging still relevant?
Every single day, an estimated – hold onto your hat – 7,500,000 blog posts are published. (source)
Yet, for some reason, the phrase “blogging is dead” gets thrown around like a weird online catchphrase. Make no mistake: blogs have never been more essential to stay relevant for anyone with an online presence.
It’s the most powerful medium for you to connect with your audience, because it’s endlessly flexible and you reap all the benefits of all of your work, unlike with social media.
How is blogging different than social media?
You own your website. You do not own your Instagram account, YouTube channel or Facebook page. Someone else built that platform and lets you use it, for now. There are endless records of people losing their social media accounts. Let’s talk about Instagram, for example.
The Instagram obituaries are robust. Tales of mistakenly banned accounts are plentiful, or accounts being hacked and held hostage for thousands of dollars or the plug will be pulled (this is an entire slimy sub-industry of Instagram).
Not to mention the accounts that don’t technically have any problems, yet can’t reach *their own* audience anymore. Brands spend years accumulating an audience on Instagram, and yet no one is able to reach all of their followers anymore. Content is being shown to a dwindling and dwindling percentage of followers, and it shouldn’t be a surprise: it’s exactly what happened with Facebook pages.
Facebook owns Instagram, yet creators are still shocked by this shift and clinging onto a platform that, for many of them, isn’t working.
Vine and Myspace were once a central part of people’s digital lives and collapsed almost overnight. We’ve seen a collapse in the reliability of Facebook and Instagram.
If, and when, the platforms that you invest time in now lose relevance, your achievements will be difficult to salvage.
Blogging has more predictable benefits than social media. It’s going to take longer to build an audience, but your efforts will outlast your efforts spent building an audience on 5 different platforms.
What do you need to have a blog?
If these benefits of blogging for business inspire you, you can start your business blog today. First, you need a website if you don’t already have one. GreenGeeks is my favorite website host, and you can launch your site there in only a few minutes:
Next, create a “blog” tab on your menu and set all of your blog articles to publish there.
Then, start publishing content that potential customers want to read. Make sure the content you write is well optimized for searches (more on that further down).
With that understanding of what blogging is, let’s dive into how it can benefit your business.
3 Unignorable Benefits Of Blogging For Business
Now that you have all of the confusing kinks of blogging ironed out, it’s time to dig into the tofu and potatoes of what the can’t-miss benefits of blogging for business are and how it can really boost your digital marketing.
Let’s compare two theoretical companies that each dropship 3 different types of face rollers, and see what difference a blog can make for one business over the other.
|Company Without A Blog||Company With A Blog|
|Has 3 URLs and therefore 3 bridges built for potential customers to discover them in searches||Has dozens or hundreds of URLs, and are ranking for hundreds or thousands of keywords on Google|
|Expects customers to pay to participate in the brand||Provides value to customers without requiring them to buy|
|Gets very few backlinks from other websites, which would, in turn, would raise their domain authority (DA) and raise their rankings on Google||Gets 97% more backlinks than their counterparts|
|Doesn’t offer any expertise or position themselves as authorities||Explains and answers the questions that customers have, showcasing themselves as authorities and experts|
|What it offers to readers: |
– buy my jade roller
| What it offers to readers: |
– benefits of a jade roller
– how to use a jade roller for beginners
– different types of jade rollers
– how to clean your jade roller
– is a jade roller right for you? And so on
This case study shows that the benefits of blogging for business are substantial. It all boils down to this: you cannot stay competitive as a small business without a blog for your business.
1. Woo Potential Customers
We’ve all heard that it takes 7 touch points with a business before a customer is ready to buy. I’m not sure how true that really is, but we can all agree it takes more than a customer simply arriving at a sales page and going straight to checkout.
In order to turn people into customers, you have to woo them. The marketing principle that people buy from people that they know, like and trust means you really have to work for it.
On a blog, you can be as personal as you want to be. In order to allow people to get to know you and your brand, it’s a good idea to show who you are. The secret is to own your brand personality, and let it draw people in. Put yourself out there, make a joke every once in a while and overall be as genuine as you can. After all, people buy from people that they know and like.
On top of that, people need to trust you and a blog is the perfect tool for establishing that trust. On your blog, you can display things that are hard to put into a sales page. By consistently blogging about your niche in a personal and approachible way, you naturally sell your expertise to your audience in a way that they’re happy to consume.
Besides the obvious expertise, showing that you’ve been around the block further builds towards trust. On a blog, you can share your past experiences with your audience.
In order to build a loyal audience, you have to show them who you are. By consistently offering quality, insightful content, you show them that they can trust both you and your expertise. Furthermore, by being genuine, you create transparency which helps deepen this relationship further.
2. Search Engine Traffic
Google likes words. That’s a really unsophisticated sentiment, but it’s true, and it boils down to Google’s mission statement:
Our company mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. (source)
You need to have information for Google to organize. A business website with 100 words on it doesn’t provide any significant information. Google will have no idea what that website is about, and will be very unlikely to display it as an answer to viewers’ search queries. This where the SEO benefits of blogging come in.
Going back to the example of the jade rollers, let’s say that the jade roller company with a blog wants to write a blog post on how to use a jade roller. Using Keysearch, the keyword research tool screenshot below, you can see that the average word count on the first page of Google for this search is 1,471 words.
Another way to look at the benefits of blogging for business is to consider your website to be an island. Every blog post you publish is a bridge into your island.
On top of all of the “bridges” your site now has, you will also increase your backlinks significantly which plays a part in search engine optimization. Backlinks are links to your website from other websites. Businesses that have an active blog get 97% (!!) more backlinks to their websites than their counterparts. (source)
Having links builds up your authority, known as domain authority (DA). As you get more backlinks, your DA will rise and therefore help you show up higher in search engine results.
Finally, running a blog enables you to cast an even wider net using other search engines. Publishing content on other platforms, such as Pinterest, can drive serious traffic to your site. Since you need multiple URLs in order to make the most of Pinterest, a blog is the best way to go here.
3. Help Your Customers Self-Select
A brand that’s for everyone is really for no one. Paradoxically, a brand needs to repel the incorrect buyers as much as it needs to attract its customers.
The more you speak to your audience, the more likely they are to turn into customers. Think about it, the more you customize your brand to resonate with your target audience, the less it will resonate with everyone else.
Although this may sound like bad advice, you might as well ignore anyone that is not part of your target demographic. After all, it is probably very unlikely that these people would have turned into clients anyway.
Instead, the goal here is to attract those people that are already interested. By giving them that final incentive they need, you can turn them into customers.
A blog helps you with branding. The better you develop your brand, the less time you have to spend on people that are not “your people.” Having a blog can help your audience understand who exactly your product is for.
2 Downsides To Blogging For Business
All of the benefits of blogging for business aside, if you throw any old content up on your website and call it a business blog, none of those benefits will come to fruition for your brand. There are some tangible risks involved.
1. A Bad Blog Can Actually Repel Customers
Your business blog shouldn’t make readers feel like they’re on a bad date with someone who talks about themselves constantly. A good business blog isn’t about you at all; it’s all about the customer.
Blogs should be stuffed with as much value as possible, and answer questions that readers will have before making a purchase from you.
Think about your service or product from the outside. Here are some ideas and examples to get your wheels turning:
- FAQs about [topic] (example blog post)
- What you need to know before hiring/buying [topic] (example blog post)
- Advice from the pros on how to solve an industry/niche/product problem (example blog post)
- Read additional suggestions for effective blog posts here
Value-packed blog content will help move customers from being strangers to your brand to knowing, liking and trusting your product. Short, empty, uninformative content will directly drive customers away from your website.
2. Blog posts That No One Will Find Are A Waste
Blogging effectively requires doing research into what people are searching, also known as keyword research. Generally speaking, a blog post written off of the top of your head is a waste.
Let’s circle back to the example of the jade roller companies. Each brand decides to write a blog post about using jade rollers, but one company doesn’t do any keyword research.
As you can see, you’re leaving money on the table if you don’t do your research! Blogging comes with its own learning curve. Unless you’re prepared to put in some time, it will not work for work.
Having said that, the rewards can be plentiful if you are. As you can see from the volume for that one search term, there is a huge number of potential clients out there! Makes you want to learn how to do it properly, doesn’t it?
Final Thoughts On The Benefits Of Blogging For Business
There are some big advantages of blogging for businesses. Having a blog will hep establishing your brand and widen your reach.
If you do it correctly, you can create a loyal fanbase of customers.
Now that you have become aware of the importance of blogging, do you feel ready to start yours? Make sure to browse writingfromnowhere.com for extra tips and tricks on how to make the most of your blog!
As always, I am rooting for you!