Blogging is popular. It’s a great content marketing strategy for lots of businesses. But it can be scary if you’re just getting started. It can also be frustrating when it doesn’t work how you expected.
Let’s look at the top eight things we think every business needs to know about blogging. Some of them might seem obvious. But, they are all crucial to using blogging as a successful digital marketing tactic.
1. Anyone Can Write a Blog
You don’t have to be a digital marketing guru to blog. You just need to be confident in yourself. You are an expert about your business, your profession, and your industry.
Once you realize you have something to say, you just need to write. Anyone can write a great blog post. Just get started and keep it related to your business or industry.
You can ask yourself two basic questions to stay on track:
- Is this something I know about?
- Is this something I care about?
Beyond that, the next most important thing is the headline. That is what will cause people to click when you share your post. It’s also what will entice people to stay on the page and continue to read.
Make sure that your headline is enticing and engaging. There is also a fine line between enticing and clickbait. Don’t cross that line, because clickbait can make you look bad as a business.
Everyone knows the “this one weird trick” scam. That might work for some people, but, as a legit business, you want to keep it more professional. Leave the crazy headlines to the purported marketing rock stars.
2. It Helps Shape Your Brand
Another benefit of blogging is the boost it can deliver to your brand. Branding is an important aspect of marketing for any business, regardless of size.
When you blog you build your brand image and develop your brand voice. This tells people how you want them to see you, hear you, and also perceive you. And, the blog is on your website, so you have full control of the process.
Brand perception gets established regardless of your involvement. If you stay out of the process, your customers and the public will do it for you. With blogging, you can build authority in your industry and impact the public’s impression of your brand.
When customers, and even competitors, see you putting out useful information, it makes you and your business look good. You become the go-to person. More and more people will hear your story and learn why you do what you do.
People love storytelling, so tell your story with your blog. It is a great way to improve your branding. You develop and nurture your brand image in a way you control and own. It’s a win-win situation for your business.
3. You Connect More Deeply with Your Customers
Blogging allows for deeper connections with your customers. When done correctly, you’re offering detailed information not found elsewhere on your website. You reveal your inner soul and expertise to your customers.
Blogging can transcend what you might traditionally think of as branding. There is a deeper level to achieve with your blogging process. This happens when blogging becomes part of the story and strategy of your business. You take your brand and interweave your customers’ questions.
You create a story that answers their questions, and then you listen. Not only do they learn what you do, but you learn more about them. You learn how they react to the blog post. You might shift your strategy based on their response.
You see the blog posts that do well. You read people’s comments. You see what brings them back. You then iterate on what and how you write. It then becomes a two-way street that can benefit you and your customers.
You can also use this valuable information to improve other areas of your business. These more detailed answers can be used to improve your customer service and sales process.
4. It Helps Your Website SEO
You probably shouldn’t make your own website. But, you can improve your website with no special technical knowledge with blogging. It’s the easiest way to increase your rankings and traffic from search engines. You just have to answer questions with your blog posts.
Answering the questions people are asking is looked upon favorably by Google. Search engines want to find the website with the best content that answers people’s questions. That’s their job as a search engine.
When people search, the search engine wants to provide the best answers. That is why you should write the content that answers the questions people are asking. It’s at the core of search engine optimization (SEO) and ranking higher organically in Google’s search results.
We recommend starting with something specific. In general, the more specific, the easier it is to rank higher when you blog. There are two main reasons for this:
- It’s easier to write a clear and comprehensive answer to a very specific question.
- There are more specific questions. This means fewer competitors offering answers.
Generic topics, especially in competitive industries, are going to be a nightmare. If you’re new to blogging and SEO, don’t go generic. You will be going up against digital marketing pros.
These pros will have tons of history and authority with Google. This helps them rank regardless of the quality of their content. They likely also have answered the questions really well with amazing content. They’ve captured the featured snippets at the top.
You can certainly compete with them if you see an opening. Maybe their answer isn’t the greatest, and you have a much better answer. If so, go for it. But if you’re just getting started out, that’s probably not the best move.
Don’t look at blogging exclusively from an SEO perspective. Unless you have a really big budget and a lot of time on your hands, SEO will be tough when you’re just starting out. Search engine optimization is definitely a benefit of blogging, but don’t make it everything.
5. It’s the Perfect Choice to Go Omnichannel
You’re also building your brand and generating good content when you blog. You can use that content for other purposes. A great digital marketing strategy will take advantage of omnichannel marketing and reuse of content across several promotion channels.
Omnichannel is a big buzzword out there. What does it mean exactly? It really just means using multiple channels together to get your message to your target market. It’s a situation where there is synergy, and hopefully one plus one equals three instead of two.
You can share your blog posts on social media. You can share the entire post, or break it up into smaller more digestible nuggets. Consider how different target audiences might respond to the same content in different formats in different ways.
This means it doesn’t, and shouldn’t, stay all text either. You can add overlay a pithy quote from the blog on a graphic. Turn the content into an infographic with quotes, facts, and figures. Or record a YouTube video or audio podcast with the same content.
The content can be converted into marketing or sales collateral. For example, consider a situation where your salesperson is asked the same question a lot. If you answered that question previously, you can reuse it. If you haven’t, maybe it’d make a great blog post.
Then, when you follow up with that sales lead, you can refer them to the blog post for more information. Explain that you actually get that question a lot. For that reason, you’ve taken the time to answer it in more detail. That’s going to instill confidence that you know your stuff. And it will increase the chance you close the deal.
6. It’s a Promotion Channel You Control
This is a super critical, but often underlooked point. Blogging allows you, as a business, to really control your promotional efforts. You get to craft, frame, and write the story. You present the story your way.
This gives you a lot of control over how you promote your business online. You no longer are beholden to Twitter or LinkedIn. If there is an outage on Facebook or Instagram, you are a little bit safer. When your blog content is on your website, you own it. You also have the luxury of repurposing it more easily.
You can take a blog post, make it into a video and feature both on a single page. Facebook lets you share text and video, but they don’t let you present it your way. For example, you can collect people’s email addresses on that blog post.
You can send your subscribers notifications when a new blog post comes. It can be via email or push notification. Both are very powerful. This is a great way to keep people coming back for more. You’d have to pay a search engine or a social media platform to guarantee they notify people of your content.
You stay in more constant contact with your potential and existing customers. This means they keep your brand at the front of their mind.
You become your own hub by blogging on your own website too. When you control your website, your content, and your email lists, you are in the driver’s seat. You then can go use any platform that pops up anytime.
It might be Facebook or Snapchat now. But you’ll also be ready for whatever else pops up. You have this core of marketing material that you control. You can then use any other promotional channel to get more exposure. But, critically, you’re not reliant on them for your business. You control your own destiny.
7. Getting a Positive ROI Takes Time and Effort
Blogging is really easy in the sense that it’s easy to do. But it actually takes strategizing and planning to do correctly. This means you will need to put in the time and effort to see a positive return on investment (ROI).
But all you need is a website and some blog posts, right? And it doesn’t have to cost a lot to get a small business website, right? Plus, we already said anyone can write a blog post.
All of that is true. You can actually get a free website using a website builder, and start blogging. We just don’t recommend that for two very important reasons:
- Without a strategy and dedication, it’s hard to write great content consistently.
- Without an established audience, it’s hard to grow your readership.
It takes a lot of effort to write something that people actually want to read. You have to do the research to get that unique idea. Or you have to brainstorm your own spin on an existing idea. It takes time and energy to make that work on an ongoing basis.
And time means money. That is regardless of if it’s you doing it, or an employee or you hire a freelance writer. Plus, you will pay a premium for high-quality content. That’s why it’s an investment to be successful with blogging.
It’s not just the content either, it’s the promotion of the content. Unless you have a large existing audience, you will need a marketing budget to promote your content. If you don’t have the money, you’re going to need to dedicate even more on outreach and organic readership growth.
The reality is that it can take months or even years to see a positive ROI on blogging. This is especially true if you’re a new business and your goal is to boost SEO or branding. It just is going to take time for the results to accumulate, especially on smaller budgets.
It takes time for people to recognize you as an expert. That means it takes time to grow your brand. It takes time for Google to recognize you as an authority. That means it takes time to move up higher organically.
It’s easier if you have an established business because you have a customer list. You can start sending these blog posts to them. You can take more of an immediate advantage of the posts you write.
And then it also depends on how competitive your industry or your space is. If you have tens of other savvy digital marketers operating in your industry and region, that makes it harder. If they are blogging beasts, you’re going to need to go into beast mode too. And it’s going to take you longer to actually surpass them. If you are in an industry with less competition, you can sometimes get ahead very quickly. It takes some research and expertise to get a good idea of the competitive landscape.
While it will most likely take some time for your blog posts to gain traction, it’s worth it. Just like most things in life, overnight success is not realistic. You have to put in the work and time to start seeing real results. The good news is that hard work pays off.
8. Missing or Bad Information Costs You Money
When blogging, don’t hide important information. Be careful to ensure all information is relevant, accurate, and timely. Incorrect, inaccurate, or otherwise outdated information on your website will cost you money.
The goal of blogging is to answer questions. If you ignore or obfuscate important facts, you will lose the game of blogging. This is true even if it might mean losing a customer in the short term.
For example, a lot of business owners don’t disclose pricing on their website. They fear they will lose the sale. In reality, they are already losing sales. For every one lead that jumps through hoops to get pricing information, ten will go elsewhere.
People want information provided in a straightforward manner so they can make an informed decision. It’s better to just explain the pricing of your product or service. Some people aren’t going to buy. They’re going to go somewhere else. That’s good for both you and them.
Put the customer first. Consider their wants and your needs. Get them the best service or product that matches their needs. If you’re not that person, be okay with that. Offer them the best match for what they’re looking for. Most of the time, people are going to appreciate the honesty.
Later on, they may realize that your product is a good match. If you educated them and they trust you, they will buy from you then. If they never buy from you, they may never have anyways. And even if they were, you’ll gain more other customers.
Keep in mind that information is readily available online. The first thing someone does when your website doesn’t mention the cost is they leave your website and turn to Google. They just search for “company name” plus pricing. You’ve likely lost the customer at this point, and you’ll never even know it.
That same customer will end up on a competitor’s website. They will explain their pricing and have a chance at closing the sale. Or the customer could end up on a review site that discloses everyone’s pricing. That just gives the customer even more options to buy from someone else.
What You Need To Know About Blogging as a Business
Blogging can be a huge boon to your business. However, this will only happen if you take it seriously and put in the effort.
Provide the information that’s relevant and shows that you care about your customers. Take the time to actually answer the question in the form of a blog post. That will convey to customers that you are the more caring business. Explain why he or she should go with you.
Remember, you can’t win every customer. You shouldn’t even try to win them all. If you attempt to be a solution for everyone, you will actually be the perfect solution for none of them. This is a bad strategy for you and the customer, and poor strategies are one of the top reasons businesses fail.
Focus on getting the right customers the right way. Blogging is a great way to build your business. You can find new customers, connect with existing customers, and foster more purchases that solve real problems.
What do you think about these seven blogging facts? Did we miss one that you think is important? Or maybe you disagree? Let us know in the comments. We’d love to discuss further.