In the post, we will discuss:
- What is a blog
- Why should your business be blogging
- Where should you post
- When should you be posting
- Who should do it
- How to Post
What is a blog
On our marketing terms page, we elaborate on what a blog is, but I will not bore you with the description here. In all essence, blogging is simply content and message creation that resides on your site and you ultimately control.
Typically a blog will follow some sort of a schedule and consistency to your posts. While a blog can be anything from your thoughts and musing to informing your audience about your latest product update or services. However, the best blogs and for that matter, the best content is that which answers people's questions, such as:
- How much will it cost
- What are the problems with it, what problems will I run into, etc.
- Comparisons of different products or services
- “Best of” Lists
Why should your business be blogging
The web has dramatically changed how businesses think about marketing and advertising. I have written about the death of traditional marketing. Consumers will not typically call you based on your television, radio, or phone book ad, they need to be able to find you with digital marketing on Google and have their questions answered.
There are six reasons you should be blogging:
1. Answering users questions
The number one reason you should be blogging, as I mentioned earlier, is having a platform where you can answer all the questions you are normally asked. How nice would it be to talk to someone who has done all their research, knows everything about your business and ultimately what they want? This only leaves you with answering the phone and executing the sale.
2. It supports your business
Hubspot, the content and inbound marketing specialist, has numerous articles and statistics proving small businesses should take blogging seriously. Here are merely four of them.
- The cost to blog is minimal if you hire an agency or can be free, costing only your time if you write them yourself.
- Blogs will help you build trust and authority and are among the top five most trusted sources of online information.
- Want a 434% chance in ranking in the search engines, add a blog to your website.
- Companies with blog content receive 97% more links to their site
3. Get Visibility & Exposure
As David Ogilvy is quoted as saying, “Every advertisement should be thought of as a contribution to the complex symbol which is the brand image.” So should your blog post. A blog should help gain you visibility and exposure to both your business and your own personal brand.
4. Build trust
Your blog can help you build trust with your customers. While you may be tempted to have your blog be your latest news feed or a sales catalog it should be much more than than that. You want the blog to help inform and educate prospects on your offerings, how to utilize your product or service. Ultimately you want to bring something of value to them.
5. Email and Social Media Content
As part of your content marketing and social media strategy, you can use excerpts from the blogs to spark interest and conversation on social media. You can also use the blog to get inside the user’s inboxes by leveraging your email list. However, you must be careful that you are sending them valuable information and insights, or your email marketing campaign can fall flat.
6. SEO and Traffic To Your Website
One of the best analogies that I tend to use with clients in explaining why blogging is good for SEO is this; Think of Google as Audrey II, the plant in the play Little Shop of Horrors. The more you feed it, the more it wants, and the more it comes around. The more Google and the search engines are indexing your site, the more likely they understand who and what you are. Then when a searcher searches for something that you have the answer for, boom, there you are!
Where should you post
If it isn’t clear by now, you should be posting on your own website. While there are websites and blogging platforms that you can get for free, or social networks that let you post on their platform as a personal blog. Start a blog - the best place you can post is your own site. You are the blog owner - you own it and you control it!
When should you be posting
You should post as often and as much as you can and or want to. As I said before, the more you have out there the higher the chance that you will be rewarded for your efforts. You can also look at your competition, and see how often they are posting if any. If you can simply post one to two more times than they are, you should be set up for success.
At a minimum, you should be posting at least once a month.
Who should do it
Business owners, marketers, and anyone in sales are always a good choice for writing blog posts and posting content. While we do write most of the content for our clients, we will never turn down a client's own work and help them post it.
How to post
While the debate rages on, I like to take a cue from my senior English teacher, Mrs. Nichols, "It should be like a woman's skirt, long enough to cover the subject but short enough to keep it interesting."
While that may sound a bit crude, it is the honest truth, and you can use it in your own writing. In the digital age we live in, we skim more than we read word for word. According to a HubSpot report, “43% of people admit to skimming blog posts.” We scan for the keywords, and we are looking for the answers to our question(s).
Use headlines and bullet points to make it easier and don't ramble on and on just trying to hit a certain number of words. It doesn't do you any favors in both the eyes of the user or that of Google. The bottom line when it comes to content length is quality over quantity!
Adding videos and images will help your readers engage with the page. According to John Medina, author of Brain Rules, “Individuals retain 65% of information when visuals are paired with written content, vs. only 10% of information when there isn’t a visual.”
As the saying goes (in your best parental voice) “If I have said it once I have said it a thousand times…” you need to answer your audience's questions.
Blogging is an important piece in our archway that will help you break on through to the other side of the wall that is preventing people from finding your business.
Next up we will discuss backlinks, what they are, how they help you build authority and how to get them.
If you find yourself being overwhelmed and in need of help, feel free to contact us and we will be glad to help you better understand your content strategy and how blogging plays a role in it!