As a Search Marketing Company, we are often asked a few fairly generic questions when it comes to websites and search engines. Questions like: “Will I ever hit the number one result in Google search results? How can I increase traffic to my company’s site? How can I win more loyal customers?”
These are questions asked by many business owners who have decided to expand their boundaries online. It all seems like a daunting task to establish and maintain a successful online presence for your business, especially when it comes to driving traffic; but the decision to launch and maintain a company blog can be one of the most rewarding choices you could make for your business online.
When people ask about blogging, the advice we give them is based on our own experiences as a small business who blogs, and that it could really help your business if you blogged regularly on your website.
Here are some ways that blogging can help your business:
- Makes your website more lively and friendly
- Brings more web traffic to your website
- Builds brand awareness, which gets your business known globally or wherever you are looking to be found
- Lets you easily provide news, specials, etc.
- Establishes you as a subject-matter expert and thought leadership
- Gives you free publicity through search engine results
- Helps build links to corporate websites which will help people find your business in online searches
- Helps you reach out to clients and potential clients
- De-mystifies your business and makes it (and you) more approachable
- Builds a following of readers or visitors, who might turn into clients one day
- Helps you communicate in a timely fashion
Blogs have existed for more than 10 years and have become respectable news outlets, vehicles of change within organizations and communications tools for product announcements and updates. They also provide an opportunity to humanize a company to its market.
Every year the powerful blog search engine Technorati publishes a “State of the Blogosphere” that surveys bloggers of all backgrounds for information and trends about the state of the blogging affairs. The latest report has compelling data on the growing impact of business blogging. In fact, Technorati has tracked more than 133 million blogs, an indication by itself that blogging’s impact is not about to diminish anytime soon.
In the State of the Blogosphere, Technorati found that:
- 71% of bloggers are blogging to speak their minds
- 72% of bloggers want to share their expertise
- 61% of bloggers do so to make money or for business purposes
- 53% of professional bloggers aim to attract new clients
Almost all bloggers have found that blogs have made them better known in their industry as a result of maintaining and updating their blogs. While blogging is a great way to benefit your small business, we try to remind people that success with blogging isn’t easy and doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of hard work, but that’s a concept that any small business owner already knows. So let’s dig a little deeper into what blogging for your business does:
Blogging is Sharing.
Many people think that Social Media is all about the conversation and engaging in the conversation. We believe what makes any media “social” is the ability to share it and to help you to open up. Not only can you share the concepts by telling your peers and friend about a Blog, but everybody shares in the insights as well. A Blog makes you think more about how you can share your content, your thoughts and why others may want to work/connect to you. It has changed our culture and the way we communicate our business to others.
Blogging is Critical Thinking.
If everything else went away (the readers, the comments, the community, the feedback), Blogging is an amazing place to think about an issue, a product launch, service process or news item and work through it.
Blogging is Ideation.
In using your Blog as a platform for your critical thinking, you will quickly start uncovering new and interesting business models and ideas for how you can push your industry forward or how it can/should be thinking differently. Writing a Blog, reading the comments and providing feedback is the ultimate petri dish for ideation and innovation.
Blogging is Tinkering.
The ideas and critical thinking are not always one hundred percent final. Blogging allows you to tinker with ideas, to work at them. Over time you start realizing how wrong you were, how visionary you were and how much further you still have to go.
Blogging is Business.
Make no mistake about it. Our business blog started out as a way for us to tell the world how we think differently about Marketing, Advertising, Social Media and our industry. Over the years, this has attracted clients, speaking engagements, and other interesting business opportunities. So while it is not a place where we sell our wares, it is a place that is directly tied to our overall business objectives/strategy.
Blogging is Relationships.
It’s not about sitting in the dark recesses of your basement as you tinker away with words and thoughts. It’s about using this platform to connect. It’s about real interactions with real human beings. If you Blog, step out into the physical world. Meet other Bloggers. Meet your potential customers; share, learn and collaborate with them.
Watching a clip of Seth Godin (best selling author and entrepreneur) above struck us because of how powerful the sentiments were and how relevant they still are today in a world that has almost forgotten the power of the published Blogging word in lieu of shinier objects like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and more. Although the new shiny things are very powerful, blogging can be your hub to all of them. Here is one of our favorite quotes that reminds us why we do it and why you should too!
“Blogging is free. It doesn’t matter if anybody reads it. What matters is the humility that comes from writing it. What matters is the meta-cognition of thinking about what you’re going to say. How do you explain yourself to the few employees – or your cat – or whoever is going to look at it? How do you force yourself to describe – in three paragraphs – why you did something?”