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Everyone is Blogging in Small Business! Why? Should I??

Updated: Feb 14

Blogging for your small business website blog

Blogging in small business has become a central pillar in digital marketing strategies. Why? What is a blog? Why is everyone blogging? How can it help my business and digital process? Blogs are actually a stealth weapon in the marketing mix. Used properly, it can catapult your business into a front and center position in the digital marketing arena. The last thing a business owner wants to see is any marketing dollars go to waste by not. As such, it would be well worth your while to start blogging in order to hit a target customer. Let me explain.


Table of Contents

 

Blog Beginnings

In 1994, Swarthmore student Justin Hall is credited with beginning the first web-based diary. He is credited as being the founding father of personal blogging. In those days, it was called a world wide web log which was subsequently shortened to weblog. Later, it was shortened even further still to blog, the term we use today.


This format took the internet by storm. It is a user-friendly platform for non-technical people to get their voices, points of view, and instructions heard. Though it was only 34 years ago, this digital marketing platform has become so entrenched in our lives that it is hard to imagine what life was like before.


Definition of Blog

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a blog is “a website that contains online personal reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks, videos, and photographs provided by the writer” and is “a regular feature appearing as part of an online publication that typically relates to a particular topic and consists of articles and personal commentary by one or more authors.”


Today, the explosion of blogs encompasses just about every subject from politics and religion to cake baking and dog grooming. The formats vary extensively and include all levels of graphics and videos. There are over 600 million blogs on the web and the number is actually growing. This platform, used fin both business and personal applications, is thriving!


Trusting Blogs

Even though they are extremely biased and are not at all peer reviewed, it seems people tend to trust blogs as sources of information. In fact, 77% of internet users say they read blog content regularly and 55% of them say they do so to learn something new. This trusting of largely anonymous sources coalesces with the phenomenon of trusting platforms such as Yelp and Google. These are generated from unfamiliar, unvetted, and unverified sources, yet they have credibility. More than half or 61% of people trust reviews on product websites and Google. In sum, even though they are from unknown sources, people trust blogs. Moreover, businesspeople have adapted very quickly to take advantage of this.


Blogging in Small Business

Almost businesses have websites today and the most up-to-date ones have blogs attached to them. The benefits that flow to businesses that have blogs are exponential. Blogging is an excellent way to introduce yourself to new customers and keep in touch with old ones. Yet, there is so much more to it than that.


Wholistic View of Blogging

We at Write Content Solutions are of the opinion that content marketing should be viewed wholistically. In essence, everything flows from the blog. Practically speaking, you set up your website as best you can. You do all the keyword research, competitive analysis, marketing research, and user experience design to be the absolute best and on target as possible. Then what? The store is open, but you need foot traffic.


That is where the blog comes in. it is a dynamic tool to be used as much as possible so that people visit. It can be the man on the street handing out flyers in front of your store to attract new business.


Below you will see why it behooves all digital content marketing efforts to click back to the blog – your virtual store. All social media, all newsletters, all whitepaper offers should click back to the blog to rack up visitors to your website. Essentially, the blog is a crucial conduit through which all visitors come to the mothership.


Attracting New Visitors

The equation is simple. The name of the game is business. To do business, you need customers. Let’s explore how blogging can do this for us.


Growing Website Traffic

The vast majority of businesses have shifted to digital marketing because that is where the customers are. That is the public square of life today and they need a presence there. We are constantly looking for digital ways to hand out virtual leaflets or internet PR to get people to shop with us.


a.     SERPs

Fighting for space in today’s public space or marketplace is not easy! You need to be seen by search engines such as Google to be given a precious spot on the search engine results page (SERP). Furthermore, it is so important that you get on that first page so that people actually click on you and come to your “place of business”, your web page.


b.     Fresh Content

For Google to see you they have all kinds of algorithms. To look in your direction, they like to see a website that is alive and vibrant. You cannot just put up your site and let it sit there like a wall flower at a dance and expect Google to rank you highly in their search results. They want the life of the party in their top spots. As such, a blog is a great way to show search engines that you are alive and kicking and worth promoting in their SERP.


The higher your position on the search page, the more clicks, the more traffic to your website. And…..that is great because the more traffic you get, the more worthy search engines deem your website and the higher you rank on the results page. A win-win symbiotic situation!


c.      Keyword Search Terms

People search for your business in all kinds of ways. When you type in the search window, you are inputting the keywords you want the search engine to search up for you. Some are obvious and some are quite unique. Furthermore, the benefits of your service or product are unique to each and every individual. Of course, there are clusters of benefits to target groups, but the benefits are not the same for every individual. When you have a blog, you have more space, actually unlimited space, to get all kinds of benefits highlighted, mentioned, and picked up by search engines. The more words you have - the more keyword search terms you have - the more search engines notice you and rank you. Result – more traffic!


d.     Backlinks

When you write blog posts, it is quite common to cite sources for your information, hypotheses, and conclusions. This ensures you have credibility and builds your authority with your reader. Search engines like to see that you have backlinks to other websites for the same reasons. Moreover, the higher the quality of the website you are referencing, the more esteem search engines have for your website. The more you write, the more backlinks you have, the higher you will rank. You just need to make sure your sources are reliable and authoritative. That will help with your brand, your readers’ trust in you, and your search engine ranking.


Don’t underestimate the value of internal backlinks. If you have a relevant page on your website that you can link to your blog, link to it. That has the extra benefit of keeping people on your site longer which is another measure of worthiness that Google uses to rank your site higher.


Customer Conversion and Retention

We can drive visitors to the website, but it is important to convert them into customers. A blog can help with that too!


Branding Your Business

Many businesses do not sufficiently comprehend the importance of building a brand image and approach their business in too haphazard a way. They don’t always understand that taking the time to do a little bit of planning to implement a comprehensive plan saves a lot of headaches and pays off big time in the long run.


Coordinating the content marketing strategy from website design and development, blog calendaring, newsletter branding and scheduling, and social media posting helps send a cohesive message to the public. These all should work together to both communicate a unified message and get the biggest bang for your buck.


If we think of each customer contact as a mini presentation and each business meeting as a company presentation, we can view blogging as a presentation on steroids. It has the potential to reach millions and millions of people and it lives forever. Your voice is the company’s voice. Your blog post is a company product. It is best to make each post as professional, educational, and helpful as possible.


a. Trust and Loyalty

When you are engaged in business, you need to think of every customer contact as a way to make an impression. They need to trust you will be reliable. You need to present a consistent product. Furthermore, your blog is the perfect place for you to demonstrate your commitment to quality. You need to shine. Through the creative use of both visuals and text customers, you can bond with your customers. This is an outstanding tool for communicating your promise and caring to them.


You should always strive to exceed customer expectations. Marketers have learned that is the true way to build trust and keep a loyal customer coming back to you over and over again.


b.     Gaining Authority

The more you post, the more you can showcase your expertise and experience in your field. You own the platform to show what you’ve got! There are endless ways to prove this. You can write posts on successful case studies. You can write about your training and background. Testimonials from happy users are always appreciated.


Luckily, regularly posting to your blog forces you to keep current with trends and best practices which, in turn, shows your customer base that you are relevant and highly professional. In that vein, you can publish your unique take on anything in your industry. That is a great way to stand out as well.


c.      Developing Your Niche

When you publish your competitive advantages and uniqueness, you are developing your marketing niche. You highlight to the public what makes you different than your competitors and the advantages of choosing you. Think of your blog post as your own personal soap box from which to sell.


Any new issues or developments in your industry? Get into your blog and tell everyone what you think and what you are doing to address them. The blog is your direct line to your customers. It is your pipeline to communicate with them.


d.     Encouraging Customer Engagement

By the same token, the blog can be a great avenue to actually hear FROM your customers. People so often overlook this valuable conduit of business information. Encouraging customer engagement is probably one of the most valuable things you can do to improve your business and competitive advantage.


Formal marketing research is cumbersome and expensive. It requires a lot of set up, lead time, and analysis. Leaving your comments section open enables you to hear from your current and potential customers in real time.


Have no fear of negative comments. Unlike a Google review, you have control over what does and does not remain published. Furthermore, you will score points with anyone who comments negatively by personally reaching out to them to make things better.


Longer Term Benefits

The challenge of many marketers is that you are constantly on your toes to make sure your marketing efforts are current and reaching your target audience at all times. The advantage of setting up a blog is that it has great long-term benefits. You set the blog in motion and it is always working for you. It is a loyal foot soldier in the battle for customer acquisition.


a.     Long Horizon Presence

A great advantage of the internet over the old horse and buggy print advertising and PR is that it lives forever. You don’t pay for ad space. There is no expiration date in terms of publishing and viewing. The advantage of the printed word is hanging out there for you always.


If you keep your blog post sufficiently up-to-date and evergreen, the advantages of searchability just keep growing. Your real estate is the ephemeral cloud and you have control over your piece. Your website and blog work in all time zones and all geographic areas. They work for you while you sleep!


b.     Re-purpose as Proprietary Material

Last, but not least, blog posts are a great treasury from which to re-purpose your proprietary marketing material. You have taken the time, effort, and money to develop these blog posts. Why not make them go the extra distance for you?


You can re-publish the blogs under employee profiles on social media. You can make re-print links for conferences. They are also a great basis for newsletter blog digests to send out to your email list. Also, they can act as companion pieces to free downloads and whitepapers that you can use to grow your email list. All these applications have the benefit of being a portal through which to click back to the website.

And that increases traffic!

 

With that we have come full circle. In a wholistic marketing sense, when all this is distilled to its very essence, I think the purpose of the blog can be summarized in two words. Increasing traffic!


 

Write Content Solutions was started by Phyllis Lehman who has a passion for writing and helping small businesses succeed so they can compete with bigger players. The internet is the great leveler. You can swim with the big fish! Contact us at 516.855.8551 for all your content marketing needs. We will make sure you feel heard and provide you with the highest quality content for your business.

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