Blogging is very popular — now more than ever. And, with good reason. There are a lot of benefits to blogging. But, are those benefits worth the time for your business? In this article, I'm going to go over the benefits of blogging. I'll cover businesses should avoid blogging, and businesses that would I would encourage to start.
How Would A Blog Help My Business?
There's a long list of benefits from blogging that depend on your angle, niche, and goals. But, I would like to cover the top three here. That way, you can go from this article into more specific content with the knowledge to move forward.
To start things off, the first benefit is:
Search Engine Optimization
This is how well search engines rank your website. Everyone wants to be at the top of Google. Blogging is a good way to get there because Google likes content. The more quality content you produce, the more Google begins to trust your website. Having more content also gives you more keywords to show up in searches.
Producing quality content also means that your site will get more traffic. This also increases your rank with Google. Those people will then post links to your content. Links to your website (often called backlinks) are important ranking factors for Google. The more content you have, the more opportunities for backlinks.
Establishing Yourself As An Expert
This may apply more to service based businesses. When you offer a special skill or product, a sale can often depend on trust. An established body of work that shows that you have a solid understanding of your craft is a great way to quickly build trust. Your readers grasp your understanding of the topic and know that they can come to you for help.
It may seem counterintuitive to publish your ideas and methods online. But, posts like these are perfect for people trying to solve problems. These are your ideal customers because: they've identified a problem that you fix; They're on your website already; You've established yourself as an expert. A well-written blog can be a great tool for customer conversion.
This is also effective for specialty products. Sometimes your product has more uses than you can fit on the description page. An in-depth blog post is great to give your customers more information. Posts about problems that your products solve are great also. A person looking for a solution that finds your post will see your product as a godsend.
Building A Community
The benefits of a community aren't as apparent as getting at the top of Google or building trust quickly. But, a community of your most passionate followers can be a great asset.
Let's say that you're planning on launching a new product or service. You can save time from advertising and A/B testing to build awareness and gauge interest by proposing it to your followers. These are likely people that have already given you money. Their opinions and engagement can cover a lot of ground for free.
Seeing as they likely are your customers, they're great for feedback. Through the perspectives of your audience, you can see where you need to improve the most. Often, they're happy to tell you if you just ask. It can be a great way to find which direction your business needs to go.
I'm In. Let's Do This!
Before you jump into WordPress tutorials or make a Medium account, I would like to go over businesses that may not benefit from blogging.
Getting higher on Google is great. But, when your circle of customers is confined to a small area, you may not see the engagement you were expecting. It may be easy to get at the top of results for your area, but the number of potential customers is much smaller. Unless you operate in an area with a lot of people that get online, there are better ways to be found.
In this case, I would suggest advertisements. Both online and offline would work. This would take less of your time, and reach more people outside of Google.
It's A Necessity
Some businesses provide things that everyone needs. I'm not going to read an article before I pick up groceries or buy clothes (it shows). In this case, you would build trust more quickly by providing a quality service or product. Customers don't need to be convinced to go to a dentist or understand how to fill cavities.
Although you can still blog about your business for the other benefits, it may be difficult to come up with relevant content. A better way to benefit from blogging would be to use someone else's. Sponsoring a post or giving away a review sample often costs less than advertising to the same number of people.
Here are some examples of businesses and the actions I would take:
Local Grocery Store
With this business structure, I wouldn't recommend a blog. For the number of people you would benefit from reaching, there are better ways to get in front of them. Potential customers also understand your products well enough to not need an explanation.
Specialty Farming Equipment, Local Only
In this case, your customers could learn a lot from your experience. Some may not understand the benefits that your product provides either. But, if the area you are selling to is small and has few people even looking online, I would reconsider.
A good way to determine for yourself would be to try something like Google's Keyword Planner. You can check the number of searches for what you're offering in your area and decide if you're comfortable with those numbers.
This is very local. Likely confined to a single town for customers. It's also likely that there isn't much you could inform people about that would generate more sales. In this case, I would pass on a blog.
An Auto Parts Store, Online also
This is the ideal business structure for a blog. A business with a large reach and specialty products. Posts about parts and problems they solve could generate lucrative content for years. Establishing yourself as an expert would also instill trust in your customers that they're getting what they need.