Are you confused by all of the hype surrounding blogs and blogging? People say that it’s good for business, yet people also seem to blog for a hobby. And how can keeping a blog, literally a Web log, or a journal or diary of sorts, lead to an increase in customers for your company?
Quite simply, blogging contributes in multiple ways towards improving your business’s performance – from positioning you as an expert in your industry to helping improve your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts; this article will explain not only how blogging can benefit you, but also how you can get started today.
Blogging is clearly a phenomenon that is not going away anytime soon. WordPress.com, which allows users to create and host blogs free of charge, registered a total of 70 million blogs in 2012. As reported by The Social Skinny, 50 percent of people follow their favourite brands and companies in social media, and 75 percent of companies have responded to those statistics, using Twitter as a marketing channel.
Blogging holds benefits for small businesses and entrepreneurs as well as large corporations. When it comes to search engine optimization, refreshing the content on your site is a good way to keep Google “interested” in your site, indexing it more often and helping boost its ranking in the search engine, so that your site shows up earlier in results than others. Therefore, if you are blogging for SEO, make sure your blog is hosted through your site rather than by an outside service, so that your site gets all of the SEO benefit.
A benefit that directly reflects on the quality and reputation of your business is that, by blogging, you are creating a name for yourself as an expert in your field. People will allow you more credibility when they see that you are a regular blogger on a topic. There is also a chance that your blog will be shared and seen by media professionals, leading to possible consultations for future news articles, which will contribute towards your reputation as an industry expert. That exposure can only equal business growth.
If you really want to help your blog to grow in popularity then becoming a part of your industry’s blogging community is key. This means finding similar blogs written by professionals in your industry and interacting with these bloggers on a regular basis, by commenting on their blog (which usually includes a link back to your own blog), following the bloggers on Twitter and Facebook and making sure you converse with them as often as is appropriate. Although in a sense they are your “competitors,” the world of social media is much more cordial and supportive than business, and fostering these relationships will only mean good things for your company’s name and performance.
When it comes to actual blog posts, remember that brevity is key. People do not have long attention spans, especially not when reading online, and they want helpful hints and tips that they can glean from the first paragraph or two. So, blog about topics such as how-to articles, quick tips and tricks, and takeaway checklists. These are quick and easy posts to write, while also producing content that will be the most searched and appreciated by readers.
Remember as well that most content management systems, or blogging platforms, allow you to schedule posts in advance, so you don’t even have to sit down every day and do this, but rather write a few posts on the weekend and have them go out throughout the week (or month, if you are blogging less frequently).
Just ensure that you have a friend, family member or an editing professional read over your posts. Proofreading a blog post is quick and easy and ensures that you don’t do your reputation any damage by publishing an error-laden post.
In summary, when considering blogging for your business, remember the following points:
- Blogging is beneficial as it helps you to become known as an industry expert and improves your website’s SEO.
- Interact with other bloggers in your field by following their blogs and communicating with them through social media.
- Write several blog posts at once and schedule them to be distributed several days or weeks apart, to save time.
- Blog posts are best kept brief to allow for short attention spans, and should cover helpful topics, such as how-to guides or tips and tricks.
- Ensure your posts are proofread before you publish them!
Following these simple tips will help get your blog up and running and soon you may find you are enjoying it. If you are not a writer, and don’t like the idea of keeping a blog, you can also hire a professional to write your posts for you. This is often inexpensive – particularly if you commit to using their services regularly and takes another task off of your to-do list.