If your business doesn't have a blog, you're missing out on a powerful marketing tool
If your business has a website (and, let's be honest, it needs one), a blog can be a powerful way to boost your revenue.
Writing a blog may seem like a frivolous pastime with all the other concerns you have as a business owner, but blogging is actually one of the most effective marketing strategies you can employ. Not only will a blog drive traffic to your website and increase your leads, it will help you define your brand in the minds of your customers. It's an indispensable platform to market your business.
1. A blog positions you as an authority
A good blog helps build your profile as an expert in your industry. A business blog isn't a place to hard-sell your product or service. It's a platform to talk about the big issues in the industry you work in.
By taking a stand and offering your opinion and insight on your industry, you show potential customers that you're knowledgeable and authoritative. This builds trust in your brand. It makes you appear more credible.
A good way to build this kind of authority is to think of some of the most common questions your clients ask. You can address these in your blog to offer value to your audience, and show your knowledge and expertise.
Blogging puts your brand in front of an audience you might not otherwise have the chance to engage with. There's plenty of research to back up the effectiveness of business blogging.
A study by Hubspot found that businesses that publish 16 or more blog posts per month get 3.5 times the amount of leads of businesses that publish 0–4 posts per month.
Blogging helps you rank in search engines for terms that people are searching that relate to your business. These may be terms that don't specifically refer to buying your product or service, but rather to common questions people have about your industry. When you produce content that answers these questions (and that content is visible in search engines), it introduces you to a whole new audience.
Search engines proritize websites that frequently update their content. It's likely that your website's homepage will remain fairly static. But a regularly updated blog sends a signal to search engines that your site is active and that it's offering new content. Blogging regularly will help boost your ranking and market your brand.
3. A blog helps you communicate with customers
Blogging gives you a channel for regular, two-way communication with your customers. You can use a blog (and related comments section) to build a community. This positions your brand as a way for customers to interact with your industry and with each other.
This kind of interaction can be invaluable for your brand. It allows you to see your industry and brand through the eyes of your customers. They may have questions and concerns that wouldn't be readily apparent to you, but by creating a channel for them to interact with you, you can learn their pain points and how best to address them.
You'll also have a channel to immediately update your customers. If you roll out new products or services, or just make big changes to your existing product or service, a blog lets you communicate these changes immediately.
A blog is also a great way to begin building an email list. Direct email marketing can be an effective channel to gain new customers, but building up your list can be tricky. A blog gives you a way to engage with customers and offer them something of value in exchange for their email address.
4. A blog helps you highlight your product
A good blog shouldn't be about hard-selling your product or service. It should be focused on educating and providing valuable content to your audience. But it is an opportunity to help educate consumers about your brand.
A blog allows you to provide in-depth information on your product or service. While the copy on your homepage should be limited in its amount of detail, a blog can answer specific questions your customers have.
5. A blog helps you learn your industry
You're already an expert in your industry, but a blog will help you grow in this expertise. As you research your topic and interact with your audience, you'll learn even more.
It can be easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day details of your business, but blogging gives you a reason to keep an eye on developments in your industry and new moves from your competition.
How to start a great blog
Even if you're a skilled writer, the one big investment a blog will require is time. As a business owner, that particular commodity can be in very short supply. Fortunately, you can enlist some help to get your blog off the ground.
Consider hiring a freelance writer to help you with your blog. A good freelance writer can find the right tone and voice for your brand, and can write blog posts that engage and inform your audience. You can give your freelance writer a list of topics, and they can produce regular blog posts for you.