3 Ways Blogging Boosts Business


3 Ways Blogging Boosts Business

Facebook? Perhaps. Twitter? Maybe. Blog? Absolutely!

Blogs began as basic, often tawdry online diaries fueled by caffeine and wine. Some launched writing careers, but most simply enabled their authors to vent views or scratch creative itches. As the blogging craze grew, however, many corporate marketers adopted blogs to provide regular company updates and insights, and, almost as quickly, many marketers abandoned them. The reason? Regularly writing articles turned out to be challenging and time consuming; writing articles that attracted readers proved to be even more difficult. After all, who wants to read a corporation’s diary? So, when Twitter and other microblogging platforms came along, corporate communicators happily replaced their 500-words of weekly wisdom with concise 140-character tweets.

And that's when marketers discovered the real value of blogs.

For businesses, blogs serve multiple purposes that Twitter can’t come close to satisfying. In fact, many corporations are now discovering that it’s actually harder to create a worthwhile Twitter account, and we’re, in fact, seeing a blog revival. Below are 3 key reasons why blogging boosts business:

1. Blogs build better business brands.

It’s hard to provide much brand value in a tweet. As we have seen with some brands, with Twitter, it’s easier to make a brand-damaging mistake with an ‘accidental’ tweet than it is to build your image and reputation in 140 characters.

With blogs, you get all the words you need to communicate your business’ fully fleshed-out personality in a way that suits your brand, and appeals to your customers. And since full-length articles take more time and attention to create, you’re far less likely to “accidentally” publish a brand-damaging blogpost than a misbegotten tweet.

Blogging also enables you to demonstrate your expertise; you can show that you’re not just a product or service provider, you’re an actual expert in your field. And you can do so not by ‘flaunting’ your knowledge, but by providing valuable advice, and insights to your customers.

Blog posts should be delivered in a conversational tone (like this blogpost) — not in a stiff ‘corporate’ voice, and definitely not in the form of press releases — a conversational tone makes your business appear more personable.

It’s also critical to maintain professional standards when blogging. A hastily-assembled (not to mention ‘abandoned’) blog, or a blog post filled with empty hype or unimportant info can do more harm than good. And by all means, don’t be boring! As advertising legend, David Ogilvy, once said, “You can’t bore people into buying your product” — or into reading anything you ever write again.

2. Blogs give you the goods to get social.

One challenge that many marketers face with social media is simply finding something to say. Simply talking about yourself or your products every day turns you into a drone. (See the David Ogilvy quote above.) But using your social media to talk about irrelevant matters (the weather or holidays) is a waste of time and resources.

With regular blogs, you now have something of value to share on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Sharing a value-filled article with a relevant LinkedIn Group is a great way to drive potential customers to your website, which is exactly what you want to do with social media: drive all those fans, friends, and followers to your website (never the other way around).

Note that this sharing is critical for building a blog readership. The problem with the early business blogs is that marketers just built them, and assumed that readers would come. Now they realize that they have to get the articles out there. That’s why it’s important to have both social media and a blog operating side-by-side, working together to attract your customers.

3. Google loves blogs.

Google and other search engines will someday recognize photos and videos, but in the meantime, they want words, words, and more words. Blogs, of course, provide plenty of words — including keywords and phrases that your customers might be plugging into search engines. Indeed, many customers type in entire questions into search engines, so sometimes a great blog format is a Q&A.

What makes blog posts even more search-engine friendly is that they’re fresh. Google tends to favor websites that have been recently updated, therefore it is important to provide fresh content regularly.

Something else that Google loves is backlinks, which are the links from other sites to your site. If you have a blogpost that’s valuable and compelling, it may attract backlinks. In addition, it may get shared on social media, and that also helps boost search-engine results.

Finally, Google favors ‘high quality’ content. Google determines this by watching human behavior. Those backlinks and social shares are one sign that your content is valuable. Another sign is how long customers spend on your page, and whether they click on anything while they’re there. (Google can track all this when you install Google Analytics on your site.) A high quality blog post will guarantee that visitors will spend more than a few seconds on your site.

So, Let’s Get It Started…

Now that you see what blogs can do for your business, designate specific writers or an agency to create regular posts that are both relevant and valuable to your customers and your brand. In addition, consider inviting guest bloggers to provide fresh content while attracting their fans. These individuals often have significant followerships of their own, which means that fresh new eyes will be drawn to your site.

Don’t worry if your readership numbers don’t explode overnight. Blog posts are long-tail content, meaning that they might not get discovered until months or even years later. In the meantime, all those blog posts will provide a wealth of content that boosts your brand, gives you something to socialize about, and keeps Google well fed.

Happy blogging!

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