As a small business owner, no doubt you realize the importance of having a presence online.
And if you took the plunge and created your first website, congrats! You just gave your business a huge boost in legitimacy and potential customers.
As essential as having a website is, the plain truth is that all of your competitors have websites too, and if they’ve been online longer than you have, chances are that their website shows up before yours does in a Google search.
So how can you compete in an already saturated market and boost your online presence?
Statistics show that companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website.
Blogging helps your business compete, to differentiate itself from your competitors, provide information to your customers, establish yourself as an authority, boost your SEO, and give you greater exposure on Social Media and E-mail lists.
But before we discuss these reasons why you should be blogging, I want to mention one mistake I see newbie bloggers making all the time…
DONT DO THIS!
In order to be effective, your blog needs to be relevant to, and targeted towards, your target audience. In other words, your customers.
For example, if you’re a Personal Trainer, writing a blog article on something completely unrelated to your business (like ‘Best Smartphones for 2020’) will not be a productive use of your time.
While your site may get a temporary bump of traffic from people researching a new phone they want to buy, these visitors to your site are most likely NOT interested in hiring you as a Personal Trainer.
A post on Smartphones does not boost your credibility as a Fitness guru, which does not help your sales. And such a post cannot be considered complementary to other content on your site, which makes creating internal links problematic.
With that caveat out of the way, in the words of my friend Nacho, “Let’s get down to the Nitty Gritty.”
1. Stand Out From Your Competitors
One troubling trend in new website I see often, is the prevalence of generic stock images, templates, and headings which don’t impel potential customers to choose you over your competitors.
Expressing yourself through your blog is one way to let your personality shine through, and imbue your business with a sense of genuineness.
After all, people want to deal with people, not faceless corporations.
Heres a great example of what I’m talking about. from ‘A Blonde Abroad’. In a few sentences the writer conveys warmth, enthusiasm, and openness by revealing things about herself.
Writing honestly and openly allows your readers to form a connection with you, and that fosters a sense of trust and authenticity.
2. It Boosts Your Website SEO
Blogs allow you to write posts that target certain keywords that you may not be targeting by your homepage alone.
Going back to our Fitness Trainer example, your homepage might feature the keywords “Personal Trainer” or “Fitness”.
But why limit yourself? No doubt you have a wide variety of areas of expertise that you can offer your clients.
So you can create specific blog posts that highlight these. For example, one post could be all about “Pilates Workout”. Another could target the keywords “workouts for women”, or “high intensity interval training”.
That way, when your target audience types these words or phrases into a Search Engine, your site now ranks for all these terms.
You are basically telling Google “Hey, I am an expert in all these different workouts, so please send some traffic my way!”
Having plenty of quality, related content on your website tells Google that you are an authority on the subject.
And if you write content that is truly helpful to your audience, it is more likely another blog somewhere will link to it. These are called back-links, and is whole strategy in and of itself.
But basically, if a reputable website has linked to your blog, that is viewed as a referral. It tells Google that your website contains valuable information, and you get a huge boost in your rankings as a result.
3. Establish Yourself As An Authority
Use your blog to showcase your expertise in your chosen field.
You do this by providing high-quality, informative content that is curated to your target audience (your customers).
Visitors to your website will then begin to trust you as a reliable source of information. In addition, you are providing a valuable service to your customers.
If you take a look at the screenshot above, from , you can see this blog for a Personal Fitness Trainer offers lots of useful, practical information that a potential customer would be interested in.
If you had any doubt about the qualifications of this Personal Trainer, visiting their blog would quickly dispel that concern.
It is clear this person knows what they are talking about, and a prospective client would feel comfortable that they are in the hands of a qualified professional.
4. Boost Your E-Mail and Social Media Marketing
E-mail marketing is a proven marketing strategy.
But how do you go about convincing a visitor to your site to sign up?
We’ve all seen those annoying pop-up boxes that appear as soon as we visit a website asking for our e-mail address. How inclined are you to give out that information on the first go?
But if people find your blogs informative and insightful, they will trust that your e-mail newsletters will be as well.
Having great content also motivates people to share it with others via social media.
So definitely include social sharing buttons and an option to subscribe to your email at the bottom of each of your blog articles.
Publishing regular blog content also gives you fresh ideas on what to promote and share on your social media account.
Rather than trying to come up with a new idea each time, simply share a portion of a recent blog article.
Just Do it Already
I hope I’ve convinced you by now about the virtues of starting a blog.
No matter how small your business or how long you’ve been doing it, you have valuable insights and experience you can share with others.
Blogging is personally rewarding, as you see your published content reaching new people and helping them. And it does wonders for boosting new leads for your business.