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start a business blogIf you own a local business, you may be won­dering whether to start a business blog. Perhaps you aren’t sure how it could help you, or you lack the time to create quality content consistently.

On the other hand, you’ve heard that content mar­keting can take your business to the next level.

So, is starting a blog worth it? How could it help your business? Let’s review a few of the best reasons to start a business blog.

1. Drive Website Traffic

The most obvious part of running a business online is that low traffic to your website means low sales. That’s why many business owners spend lots of money each month on PPC ads to boost site traffic.

Here’s the good news: starting a local business blog is a very cost-effective way to increase traffic to your site. You may have heard that before — after all, it’s why so many other firms do it — but how does that work?

Well, Google alone pro­cesses over 3.5 billion searches every day. This means mil­lions of people rely on online content to find answers to their ques­tions. Where is most of this content hosted?

That’s right — on blogs!

Quality content is good for SEO. When search engines see that you’re updating your blog with quality content reg­u­larly, they’ll reward you with higher search rankings.

Writing around your topic also means your site will seem more rel­evant to a wider range of related queries. You’re also more likely to earn links from other sites, which is vital for SEO — espe­cially on eco­m­merce sites. Folks link to useful art­icles far more often than to product pages.

True, you could achieve much of that by building extra pages for everything you want to talk about. A blogging system just makes that a lot easier.

So, starting a business blog is a rel­at­ively easy way to get better rankings for a wider range of search phrases. That makes your site more visible to more people, attracting more vis­itors to your site and building trust in your brand — all of which leads to more sales!

2. Prove Your Expertise

As an entre­preneur, you’re an expert in your field. You use this expertise to create products or ser­vices that add value to your cus­tomers’ lives.

How do your cus­tomers know that you’re an expert, though? After all, anyone can claim to be qualified.

Starting a business blog is an effective way to demon­strate your expertise to your target audience. It also provides value up-front and shows that you’re con­fident in your abil­ities. That builds trust — which drives sales.

So, what should you write about? Simple — answer the ques­tions your target audience are likely to ask.

If your tips and advice are actionable and helpful, you’ll establish yourself as an industry expert — and get new cus­tomers as a result.

Top Tip: If you find it hard to get started, here’s a five-step process to an effective blog post:
  1. Get a member of your target audience to ask you one question about your services
  2. Record your answer (with their per­mission, obvi­ously). Let them ask for cla­ri­fic­a­tions, too
  3. Play back that recording and write it out as-is. Tidy up any obvious typos, then leave it for a day
  4. With fresh eyes, edit what you’ve written to polish it up a bit
  5. Find an illus­trative picture, do one last review and polish, then publish and share your work!

Wait — Free Advice?

Now, some business owners — espe­cially con­sultants and advisers — worry that giving out free advice will undermine sales. It simply doesn’t work that way.

Like you, most people are very busy. They may want advice, but putting it into action is another matter alto­gether. They know that reading it once won’t get it done, let alone make them an expert — and some­times, reg­u­la­tions (e.g. licenses or required qual­i­fic­a­tions) stop them from even trying.

Besides, you couldn’t fit all your expertise into a few 500-word blog posts, right? As an expert in your field, you know that reality has a sur­prising amount of detail. So, what if a potential cus­tomer does try the DIY approach? The learning curve will often cost them more than just hiring you would have — espe­cially if they actually value their own time!

In any case, it’s often more than just time and reg­u­la­tions that stop folks attempting DIY. Sometimes, health, the avail­ab­ility of tools or materials, or just plain lack of skill get in their way. Most know, too, that even if they manage to make an attempt, they’ll usually end up with an amateur result, not a pro­fes­sional one.

3. Sharpen Your Knowledge

If you want to stay com­pet­itive, you need to keep up to date. In most fields, that means you need to keep reading and honing your skills.

As a busy busi­nessperson, finding time for that can be tricky. Blogging helps with that by adding an extra incentive to keep checking your facts and learning new techniques…

…but wait, there’s more.

If you want to master some­thing, teach it. A great way to learn is to teach. — Richard Feynman

Variations on the quote above have been attributed to sources ranging from Hindu pro­verbs to Nobel award-winning phys­icist Richard Feynman. Notably, though, it has been refined into The Feynman Technique for learning.

Answering basic ques­tions about things you already think you know can lead to insights that reading and even practice don’t always provide. For instance, I’ve been teaching folks about the web for decades, yet still find this to be true. Of course, teaching through your blog lets you double-check your facts before pub­lishing, too.

So, give it a try. You may learn something.

4. Build Branding and Customer Loyalty

Effective blogging builds cus­tomer loyalty — and if you wish, can even turn your business into a com­munity. That can be great for your branding efforts, because engaged cus­tomers often become brand advocates.

You see, each piece of valuable content you add to your local business blog will help you to earn new readers, as well as keeping your existing ones engaged. If you let them comment on your posts or sub­scribe to your blog, that helps you to stay in touch with them. Even if you don’t though, some will get in touch with you dir­ectly with their ques­tions or comments.

Many busi­nesses will develop those con­tacts into mailing lists, or even mem­bership sites. There are right ways and wrong ways to do such things, though. For UK and EU busi­nesses, these are cur­rently reg­u­lated by the GDPR and PECR (with more on the way).

So, it takes some effort to avoid the pit­falls — but the stats on email mar­keting still make it worth considering.

Even if you don’t build lists or com­munities though, becoming a trusted source of advice can still keep your audience engaged with your brand. People prefer to buy from familiar, trusted sources, so blogging for branding gradually improves con­ver­sions and your bottom line.

5. Keep Up with Your Local Competitors

Blogging to build business has been a common mar­keting tactic for over ten years. So, the chances are that many of your com­pet­itors already run a business blog, or are building one.

Let’s be clear, though — mar­keting is a race that never ends, and blogging is a business strategy, not a short-term tactic. As with most things in business, per­sistence and con­sistency are key.

So, if you were to start a business blog today — could that really help you catch up with com­pet­itors who have been doing this for a while? Yes — but the longer you leave it, the harder that will be.

Don’t Delay — Start a Business Blog Today!

Clearly, then, the answer to the question, “Should I start a business blog?” is a resounding, “Yes!”. A blog will help your business in many ways. Does it take time and effort? Yes — though the link below can help with that.

So, here’s the real question — can you afford to get left behind?

Keen to start a business blog?

See how I can help!