Consider a blog for your business
Every year, millions will go online and start businesses in the hopes of profit and self-made success. Unfortunately, most will fail, thinking solely that a “if you build it, they will come” mentality is all that’s necessary.
What if I were to tell you a simple way to drive traffic to your online website, and would even help you with conversion of visitor to customer/client? A way that your business could even stand up to the big names and others low-balling your prices.
This miracle idea isn’t anything new, it’s called a blog.
In all my years of building websites and offering consultation to small businesses, I’m amazed at how much resistance I’ve seen towards blogging. I assume many simply worry about online drama or problems from posting, and many more simply cringe at the notion of taking the time to create content. I would say that for all the “hard work” and “effort” one is ready to put into a building a business, blogging should be seen as part of that.
Here’s three reasons why you should consider it:
It drives traffic to your website through SEO. Blog entries of useful information and other topics related to your business will get picked up by search engines. Four pages on a website won’t get as many listings in a search engine as would 40 pages. Businesses with blogs have shown they have gained 126% more leads over those who have none.
It gives you a voice online, as well as building conversation with your customers. Now more than ever, Public Relations has become vital for many in marketing their businesses. You might think consumers are only looking for value over a low price, but studies have shown that 61% of consumers have made purchases from a company after reading their blog. A blog is your means to speak to your current and potential customers.
It shows your expertise and builds your credibility. Look at this blog. I’m not posting looking to become some blogging superstar, but more to display to potential clients and employers my expertise in web design, development, and online marketing. Jeff Jarvis told of a wine shop who saw a large growth in sales because they blogged, educating readers on wine. You would be surprised how many customers will pay more from a product if it comes from a reputable source.
What should I blog?
Now that I’ve given you the benefits, are you ready to dive in? Not sure what you should post? There are plenty of ideas you could try:
News/Press/Media: Many businesses will put out press releases and other news. Use your blog as your news and media section of what’s happening in your company. Why do a separate section when one will work for it all?
Case Studies/Sharing Knowledge: If you’re offering goods or services, then you should write articles sharing your accomplishments via the case study, or just articles as if you were advising someone on your industry. Some could think this is silly, like you’re giving away trade secrets, but in all actuality, this is what builds that trust you need with potential customers.
Messages from Customers: Let’s say you get a wonderful email from a happy customer praising your business. Post it with a thank you back to that customer. How about a complaint you solved privately with a customer? Post it. You might think I’m crazy, but Dell Computers built an amazing reputation by doing this. It shows you own up to mistakes and you care about your customers.
Opinions on the Industry: This is slightly different from sharing knowledge. If we use my blog here as an example, sharing knowledge would be me telling of how to code something in PHP, or tips for better marketing. Addressing the industry would be something like me criticizing the pitch process (with potential solutions), or telling how web developers should train their customers on their chosen CMS.
This gives you a voice and it even separates you from your competition in how you approach your work. Potential customers and peers will get to know you and how you operate.
Still feeling lost on how to get a blog started? Fret not, I have an easy solution.
Recently, I was turned on to a free and wonderful online resource called FirstSiteGuide. Created by a community of bloggers and social media professionals, FirstSiteGuide is a solid educational resource designed to help would-be bloggers get set up and running. Even a more experienced blogger like myself found knowledge in their guide, and I have utilized it.
I’ll state it too. I don’t work for them, nor do I gain any benefit out of sharing their site here. I like FirstSiteGuide because it’s an easy place for me to send clients who want to put a blog on their site. It’s totally worth checking out.
Have you thought about putting a blog on your business site?