If 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.
- Get a member of your target audience to ask you one question about your services
- Record your answer (with their permission, obviously). Let them ask for clarifications, too
- Play back that recording and write it out as-is. Tidy up any obvious typos, then leave it for a day
- With fresh eyes, edit what you’ve written to polish it up a bit
- 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?