Remember the days when blogging was just something stay-at-home moms did to productively pass the time while the baby naps? As the internet has evolved, so have the rules and obligations of business owners. Blogs are no longer just opinions or advice from one mom to another; blogging is a critical part of your business’ online presence and your customer relations.
Think of the websites you visit the most. You’ve probably noticed they share something in common: they all have a blog (or a some sort of resource page that is updated on a regular basis) that you find valuable. And it may not always have the expected and commonly-used title as “Blog” (For example, Lowe’s refers to it as their “Ideas & How-Tos”, which is consistent to the brand and relatable to its followers) but it is almost always existent on the highest-ranking websites.
Okay, so blogs are everywhere, we get it, but what exactly is the purpose of it?
Blogging helps with:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Every time you publish a blog post, it’s one more page that is indexed by search engines. More pages translate to more keywords, which increases the likelihood of your site appearing high up on search engine results. Plus, Google loves websites that are updated frequently with fresh new content.
- Answering common prospect/client questions: Not only does blogging help you formulate your thoughts for common questions within your industry, but it now serves as a permanent resource to your prospects and clients.
- Driving traffic to your site: All of those articles you see going viral on your newsfeed started as a simple blog post. The more times your post is shared, the more exposure your site gets.
- Showing off your personality and your smarts: Blogging gives you the opportunity to prove that you are an expert in your industry and establishes authority with your followers. It also lets your personality shine while attracting the customers you want (and potentially steering away the prospects that might not be the best fit).
- Adding value to your site: Remember, the purpose of a website is to add value to your reader. Having a blog is a quick and easy way to share useful information to anyone who views your site.
I can see you right now, you’re rolling your eyes, you know blogging is important, but you keep throwing out excuses as to why it’s not a realistic goal for you.
Let us guess, you’re not blogging for at least one of the following reasons:
You don’t have time.
- News flash: blogs no longer need to be 1,000-word essays. Your readers are very limited on time and want to get straight to the point: keep it short (3-4 paragraphs is ideal).
You’re not a skilled writer and/or you don’t enjoy writing.
- Your blog doesn’t have to be a formal thesis paper, it just needs to be conversational and straight to the point. If you still don’t think you can handle it, hire an intern. Trust me, you can’t afford not to blog.
You don’t know what to write about.
- Ah, our favorite excuse. You think there’s nothing in your industry that’s interesting enough to write about. Well, I’m here to prove you wrong.
Here are a few starting points to help you uncover your next blog topics:
- Keep track of the questions that your prospects and clients ask you. You’ll be surprised that new ones pop up all the time.
- Keep track of questions that you have. If you have it, most likely, your clients or people looking into the industry have an interest in knowing the answer, too. Do the research for them and share your findings.
- What are common problems that you run into? How can sharing these problems help your clients or partners?
- What are things you wish your clients or prospects knew?
- What is something you can put online that would save your clients and/or prospects time? For example, you can blog about your project management process to give your clients a heads-up of what to expect while working with you.
Above all else, blogs should be valuable to your reader. We don’t care that your office just got a new cat. Yes, it adds that “personal touch” but this is the content that you’d occasionally spice up your social media accounts with, not your blog.
As proven by the many mommy-bloggers of the world, blogging (when done correctly) can get you or your business the exposure it’s looking for.
Get those typing fingers to work! If you still find it difficult to get started, reach out for a little inspiration.