No doubt about it: A professional, attractive, useful blog can produce a bounty of benefits for your business or nonprofit organization. When a high quality blog is associated with your name and/or brand, you’re ahead of the pack. Here are six of the benefits:
1. Boosting your all-important SEO, or search engine optimization.
2. Establishing yourself as a thought leader in your field.
3. Attracting new visitors to your site.
4. Sharing the more personal side of you and your business.
5. Communicating with other businesses with whom you may want to partner.
6. Becoming a possible source for media interviews, thus garnering publicity.
Usually written informally, a blog is an invitation to great storytelling —the genie in the marketing bottle.
A blog post is ideal for sharing stories of customer interactions, victories achieved, and obstacles overcome (in other words, the drama of real life, meaningful personal interactions, and small business). For example, maybe you’re the insurance agent that saved the day when a new homeowner’s basement flooded on the eve of a major holiday. Or perhaps you’re the baker extraordinaire that whipped up a wedding cake that absolutely delighted the bride and groom.
According to the website Demand Metric, 90 percent of organizations rely on content — such as blog posts and email newsletters — to boost their marketing mojo.
According to forbes.com, “Leads are the undeniable lifeblood of your business. And content marketing is often at the heart of lead generation, as one of the top most effective lead generation methods; in fact, 93% of B2B companies say that content marketing generates more leads than traditional marketing tactics.”
But like every other business decision, the choice to launch a blog should be strategic: How will a blog advance your business?
Know this upfront: blogging is a commitment that must be built into your “to do” list, which certainly doesn’t mean, however, that you must write your own posts. Many businesses collaborate with freelance writers (aka content marketers) to produce fresh, frequently updated, and compelling content.
It goes without saying (but I will say it anyway) that your posts must be presented with the utmost professionalism. Research shows it takes about three hours to research and write the kind of high quality blog post that will make your audience sit up and take notice.
Blogging tip sheet
1. Ensure your blog is mobile-friendly. According to Google, approximately 60 percent of all Google searches in 2019 began on a mobile device.
2. Prioritize SEO. SEO is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring the site appears high on the list of results returned by search engines.
3. Always include visual content and publish relevant data when possible.
4. A search engine’s idea of a good time is providing fresh, meaningful content to searchers. There’s no better way to “feed the beast” than by offering up frequent content via blog posts. By blogging consistently, you give Google and other search engines new content to index — thus increasing your visibility on search engines.
5. Cite your references in a blog post. Accuracy and accountability are essential, and you are responsible for providing credit where credit is due. Use hyperlinks (a link from a hypertext file or document to another location or file, typically activated by clicking on a highlighted word or image on the screen) in your posts to link back to original sources
I’ll end with a bit of full disclosure. Initially, I didn’t adopt blogging as a marketing tool. My (short-sighted) reasoning was, “I write for a living. Why would I want to do it for free?” But I’m a full-fledged convert now. Blogging not only offers me the opportunity to distinguish myself from other content marketers, it keeps me on high alert for the kind of news and developments that lend themselves to appealing blog posts that benefit my clients. I highly recommend it.
Content provided by Women Belong member Betsy Storm