7 Benefits of Having a Business Blog

 

Have you started a business blog yet?

Or have you started, uploaded a couple of posts and then let it fade?

I mean, you have other stuff to do, right? You know, designing, coaching or whatever it is that your clients pay you to do…

I get it. Blogging takes time and it takes effort.

You have to set aside time to research, write and (for the love of the wee man don’t forget this bit), promote your blog posts.

Given the whole ‘time and effort’ objection to blogging, you might wonder why I made such a big deal of it in my previous post ‘How to market your business when you’re broke’. Sure, it’s free but is it really worth the hassle?

In a word, yes!

Now, if you’re happy to take my word for it, then you can go and get started right now.

If you still need a bit of convincing, I’ve listed below the most basic benefits you’ll get from starting your own business blog.

1. Improved SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

Now, many copywriters are SEO experts—I am not. I’m not super- techy and they keep moving the damn goalposts on this one. Google changes its algorithms more often than I change my mind about my favourite Game of Thrones character.

 One thing that remains constant though, is that search engines love fresh content.

There is absolutely no point getting yourself an all-singing, all-dancing website and then letting it stagnate.

And that’s what’ll happen if you don’t keep updating your content. All of the well cared for websites, with new and exciting content will float to the top of the search pile, leaving yours to sink lower and lower into the depths.

It’s heartbreaking. Especially if you paid a fortune setting up your site in the first place!

The easiest way to introduce fresh content to your website: a blog.

2.Long-tail keywords

While we’re talking search engines, it’s worth knowing about long-tail keywords. This is something that probably deserves a post of its very own but I’m going to stick with just a simple explanation for now.

What are long-tail keywords and how are they going to help your business?

Let’s take my own business as an example. A relevant long-tail keyword might be ‘how to write a great landing page’. In search engine terms, this is going to have far less competition than the more generic ‘copywriter’ or ‘marketing copy’.

The more long-tail keywords your website contains, the more people will be able to find it —providing you are not jamming keywords in just for the sake of it. (Don’t do this! Google will recognise that you’re trying to cheat the system and will penalise you for it. Always remember you’re writing for people, not search engines).

Blog posts are a brilliant way of naturally incorporating long-tail keywords into your website.

3. Building relationships

Blogging is NOT about making sales. Increased sales will happen further down the line, but when you’re writing it’s worth remembering that the main purpose of your blog is to help your customers.

Before you even start blogging, it’s a good idea to spend some time putting together a strategy.

Consider who your customers are, what they want to know and how you can help them. What kind of topics could you cover that will improve their lives or their businesses?

Assuming you’re providing useful content and showing a bit of personality, your customers will come to know, like and trust you. When they get to the point that they’re ready to buy, they’re far more likely to come to you, the person they know, like and trust.

4. Establishing credibility

In a similar vein, by posting useful information about your industry you’re proving to your audience that you know your stuff.

Diplomas and qualifications are great but producing relevant content highlights that you are constantly honing your skills and keeping your knowledge fresh.

This shows your professionalism and your expertise —and instils confidence in your customers.

5. Getting to know your customers

When you’re blogging, invite your readers to comment on your posts. The conversations that can ensue here are a goldmine.

Are customers frequently asking the same questions? Great, there’s a topic for a new blog post or even a new page on your website.

Is there a recurring problem with one of your products? Great, now you know about it, you can fix it and tell everyone about the improvements you’ve made.

Maybe some of the comments are highlighting a particular problem that your clients are experiencing — here’s an opportunity for you develop or repackage one of your products or services.

6.Improve your industry knowledge

Not every blog post you write will require research. You are writing about your own industry after all. Some will though and when you’re researching these topics, I guarantee that you’ll improve your professional knowledge along the way. This will ultimately improve the service you’re offering your clients and help you grow your business.

7.Increased visibility

I’ve mentioned it before but it’s worth saying again:

Promote your posts!

There is no point in writing a post that no one will ever read. As soon as you’ve hit publish, promote your post on every social media account you have, including your personal ones.

It is also worth adding any new posts to your newsletter or automatically emailing any new content to your email subscribers.

This is a great way to increase your visibility and stay at the forefront of your customer’s minds.

 

I’d love to know…

If you were on the fence about starting a blog, has any of the info here changed your mind one way or the other?

Have I missed anything out?

If you’ve been blogging for a while and spotted an obvious benefit that I haven’t mentioned here, let me know!

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Want to know how to write an article that people want to share?

 

What makes a great article?

It’s not just an article that people want to read; it’s an article that people want their friends to read; a post that they’ll share on Facebook, Twitter and all the rest.

Anyone (well, almost anyone!) can string a few sentences together but to actually engage your audience is a little more complicated. The following tips will help you get started, whether you are submitting test pieces to magazines you’d love to write for, have a journalistic deadline looming or simply want to get your new blog off to a great start.

1.Choose your subject wisely – get chatting.

It should be a given but many writers seem to ignore this vital piece of the puzzle. If you have free reign over the subject matter you’re lucky. Write about what interests you – your enthusiasm will shine through and you’ll find yourself happily typing away rather than looking for any distraction to drag you away from your desk.

If you are writing for a particular publication, you may be somewhat restricted on what you can write about. That doesn’t mean you can’t get a little creative though.

My top tip here is to visit a few online chat rooms or forums relating to your topic.

I know, I know, I should be telling you to avoid chatting online; just get your bum in gear and start writing! However, chat rooms can provide a wealth of ideas. What are people currently talking about in your chosen sphere of interest? What are the hot topics? Are there any new controversies or is there a particular line of questioning that keeps cropping up?

For example, when I was blogging about birds, I discovered that people were frequently talking about how to avoid birds flying into their windows. It became clear that advice on how to prevent this was something that would interest a lot of folks. When I was writing about veganism, one subject that kept appearing in groups and chat rooms was the question of vegan role models so I did a bit of digging around and dedicated an article to that topic. Because I had tapped into a current trend, my article was shared widely and prompted many more discussions.

That said, if people are talking about it, it’s likely that you’re not the only writer lurking who has grabbed onto the same subject matter. It’s important to put your own spin on things. No one will read your article if there are already 20 identical pieces floating about. Find an angle that hasn’t been covered and make it personal to you.

2.What’s in a name? Choose your title wisely.

You have probably about 5 seconds (if that!) to convince someone to click on your link. So give your article a damn good title. Questions are always good; you’ve got your reader formulating their own answer to the question before they’ve even read your piece. And they want to know if your answer matches theirs!

A controversial title can work in your favour too but only if it’s actually relevant to the body of the text.

3.Be flexible.

As you delve further into your subject matter, be prepared for your opinion to change. Before you even put pen to paper you probably had a good idea where you were headed with your article. You may even have had a conclusion formulated in your mind. If that’s where you end up, then fine. But sometimes the best articles are the ones where your readers join you on your journey and you end up somewhere completely unexpected by the time you finish typing. As long as the journey is cohesive and easy enough for your reader to follow, this is not a problem. And be sure to write down any unexpected thoughts that pop into your mind as you work your way to your conclusion – these could well be fodder for related articles further down the line.

 

4.You’re boring me now.

Don’t go on for too long or you’ve completely lost your audience. Keep it to the point and no longer than strictly necessary.

 

On that note…