It’s become a cliché among writers to say “I hate writing but love having written.” Some variation on that maxim has been floating around the wordsmith community for more than 100 years. Like most clichés it has staying power because it encapsulates a universal truth.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about something as massive as the great American novel or as simple as a thank-you note, writing is hard. But you should do it anyway. That’s especially true when we’re talking about your business and the importance of blogging.
Following are a few ways in which blogging can help your business
1. Blogs help people get to know you
A blog can serve as a gateway to your brand. If you provide information that people are looking for, and refresh it regularly, you turn strangers into regular visitors. At that point they’ll be exposed to all you have to offer, such as ebooks and white papers, and every time they download something from your site, you’ll learn something more about them.
Blogs provide an opportunity to forge a deeper connection with your audience, who can get to know all about your business and your products without ever having to visit you in person. It takes a lot of visitors (and a lot of visits) to convert just one customer, so the bigger your audience, the better your chances of conversion.
2. Blogs drive traffic to your website
This is why blog posts should comprise the largest portion of your owned content. When it comes to blogging, the No. 1 rule is consistency. You don’t need to blog every day, but you do need to keep to a regular schedule. Develop topics that address your audiences’ needs, providing actionable, easy-to-understand advice like “Five Ways to Make Your Content Go Further.” And your blog doesn’t have to be limited to text. Mix it up and keep things interesting by including videos, infographics, or links to relevant podcasts along with your written posts.
3. Blogs build trust
A blog is a great place to showcase your expertise. It provides an opportunity to establish trust in your company’s brand, but it can also serve as the foundation of your personal brand. We hear a lot of talk these days about thought leadership and influencers on social media. Regular blog posts are a great way to establish both.
Your marketing materials tell people about your expertise. A blog lets you show them you know what you’re talking about. A well-written article can establish you and your company as critical thinkers regarding your industry. Become a trusted source for information and that interested browser may turn into a customer.
4. Blogs let you talk about yourself.
On Mad Men, Don Draper once said, “I'm from the Midwest...we were told it's not polite to talk about yourself.” That was a great line on TV and your mother may have told you the same thing, but in a blog it’s more than okay to talk about yourself—it’s expected.
If your company has a new product, your blog is a great place to talk about it in a human context. Either as a user or relaying the story of a real person. A blog gives you a chance to get beyond marketing jargon and use a much more conversational tone.
It’s never inappropriate in a business blog to talk about what your company does, as long as you’re honest and transparent. Consumers today are pretty savvy and they can usually see through phony testimonials and endorsements. They may be willing to turn to brands for more in-depth information about a product, but don’t try to fool them.
But remember, when it comes to blogging the most important thing is consistency. You don’t have to post every day, but you should have a regular schedule and stick to it. That’s the only way to build a loyal audience.