Why You Need A blog
When it comes to blogs, there is a massive misunderstanding by many as to their purpose.
Some think blogs are the sole domain of the individual. Blogging about their hobby, or experiences or latest holiday. Whilst others believe they are the only for people and businesses in the creative industries. And then, of course, the biggest mistake of all when it comes to blogs is that they are no longer relevant since the advent of social media.
The fact is, though, nothing could be further from the truth.
As competition on the internet hots up for pretty much everything, blogs have never been more critical to the success of a website. And with many giving up on blogging, big doors are opening up, just waiting for the more clued-up operator to walk through and pick up new clients.
Look around the internet, and chances are if the business is booming, the blog. Regularly. I bet your successful competitors have a blog on their site and post to it regularly. I'm also willing to bet that the less successful ones either don't blog or have a blog that was last updated in 2019.
From the biggest companies like Coco-cola to the smallest, like Caffeine Injection ;-), they are all at it. With very good reason: A well-maintained blog will get you business. Period.
How is a blog going to get me business?
The oldest saying in business is "people buy from people", and a blog helps give your business a "persona", and it's based on this persona that people will decide if they want to work with you or not.
Blogs are also a great way to show people you know what you are doing. Take this blog, for instance. I regularly post topics relevant to my industry, websites and marketing, which tells readers I understand my business and can be trusted.
But best of all, blogs are also fantastic for search engine rankings. Google loves sites that are regularly updated, and the easiest way to update most sites is via a weekly or monthly blog post.
What do I blog about?
Don't blog solely about yourself and what you do. No matter how awesome you are, it's most likely that your readers don't much care. Your greatness doesn't direly benefit them, so won't keep them reading. Blog about the stuff your users want and need to know.
So again, take this blog post. I could have used it to bang on about how one of my services is writing blogs for clients, but that isn't really going to be of interest to most. So instead, I've made it about why they should have a blog and how they should use it. This makes the post about them, not me, so it is of interest to people.
And of course, I cleverly got in a line about my blogging service without it feeling like an advert for me, so I managed to slip in a bit of self-promotion without anyone even noticing ;-)
Don't be scared to give away your knowledge in your posts. Sharing will encourage trust, and good long-lasting business relationships are built on trust. Don't give everything away, but remember, the most successful blogs are max an 80/20 split. That's 80% about stuff that will help the reader and 20% about self-promotion.
How do I blog?
The best way to blog is by having a blogging system added to your website, but it's not the only way. There are a million independent blogging platforms out there. Many are free with a bit of advertising. As mentioned a few weeks back, Google has a simple blogger system built right into your free Google listing. So as long as you've already followed my previous guide to getting your Google My Business listing set up, you already have the resources you need to hand.
But there are loads of others, just hit up Google and start looking around. You'll be sure to find something that ticks your boxes within a few clicks.
Just make sure that if you use an external blog, as in, one that isn't embedded into your website, you include links back to your website in every post.
Finally, how to get people to read it.
Once you have your blog set up and a few posts published, go forth and tell everyone about it. Post a snippet from a recent post to your social media accounts (along with a corresponding image) and link to the full article. If you send out regular newsletters, send one about your new blog post (as I do most Fridays). If you see any discussions anywhere online that you feel is relevant to any post you've made, jump into the discussion and offer a link back to it.
Keep this up, and before long, your website traffic will grow, and people will get to know (and trust) your business. So the next time they need the services that you offer they will be in touch.