I was recently swanning around on Facebook and someone asked the question if you need a blog for your business. Now, I know that this is a subject that has been widely debated in the blogosphere and I wanted to weigh in with my opinion on the matter.
My initial answer is no, you don't need a blog for your business and in some cases it will not help your business one little bit (but more on that in a moment). However, I do believe that if done properly, a blog can be a powerful tool for growing your business! There are a variety of reasons why a blog is a great idea:
ESTABLISH YOURSELF AS AN EXPERT IN YOUR FIELD
A blog will help to establish you as an expert in your field. As you share knowledge of your craft and industry, people will learn to trust you and look to you for answers to their questions. This is invaluable for your growth as a business and as an industry leader. Trust should be your paramount aim and blogs are brilliant at building that trust! When you generously give knowledge and information in an authentic way, people are drawn to you and it can really break through the noise of a busy market place.
BUILD A COMMUNITY/TRIBE
Blogs assist you to develop your own community around your product, service and brand. This is often referred to as 'building your tribe' and essentially means bringing people with a similar interest, lifestyle or industry together in a dialogue that is meaningful and enriching in some way. This could translate into growing and nurturing an email list, a community on social media such Brand IT Girls Connected or starting a conversation on your blog through comments. Blogs give your community a chance to get to know you and what you are all about without having to heavily invest in you first, ensuring that you are attracting the right people who truly understand what your business is all about!
DRIVES NEW TRAFFIC TO YOUR WEBSITE
Another key reason to start a blog for your business is that it will drive traffic to your website. Keeping your blog on your business website is recommended as it will help to streamline this process of driving traffic and you can seamlessly to link your products and services in your blog. A blog will give potential customers more reasons to visit your website beyond just to seek out information on your products and services. It's a rich touchpoint for customers to engage with you before they even start to consider making a purchase, and blog posts give you valuable things that you can post to your social media.
IMPROVES YOUR SEO
Improving your search engine optimisation means that people are more likely to find you, as it helps you to rank higher on search engine results. Each blog post can be search engine optimised, with information that boost your rankings found through the blog post and in the images you post.
At the beginning of this post, remember I warned that if it's not done properly, blogs could have a negative impact on your business? Well let me tell you what not to do if you are considering adding a blog to your business website.
- Don't just do what everyone else is doing. A good blog will have something unique to offer readers. Be sure to differentiate yourself and your business by looking beyond current trends and thinking outside of the blog. What blog post series can you do that are unique to your business and your ideal customer? How will you present your blog posts in such a way that your customers are excited to engage with you?
- Don't blog about EVERYTHING. It is important to narrow your focus down to be specifically relatable to your business offering. So for instance if you are a nail artist, do not blog about cooking and recipes too. Keep your topics clear and focused to resonate with the right people. Quality of quantity remember - you are better to have a small engaged audience rather than a large audience that is only interested in some of the things you write about!
- Don't blog for everyone. You can't please everyone. In fact, I am a firm believer that if you are trying to be something to everyone, you are nothing to anyone. My recommendation is to blog for your ideal audience - the people that you really want to engage in conversation. The people that will help your brand to grow, who will buy from you and who will be a cheerleader down the road for your products and services. You can only do this if you are specific about who those people are!
- Don't keep changing your style. This is one of my pet hates. If you start a blog, be very clear about your style and stay consistent! Yes, style does evolve over time, but if it does, take the time to update old posts to reflect this. I am talking about the way you speak in your blog posts, the images you use and the graphics, fonts, colours and conventions. This doesn't just make your blog look pretty, it also (and more importantly) ensures that your readers know what to expect and can consume the content easily without having to adjust to new visual environments.
So there you have it, I absolutely believe in the power of a blog for your online business. But on one condition - do it right! I encourage businesses to hire a designer and have a blog style guide created based on your existing brand and consider your blog post content strategically.
Are you thinking of starting a blog for your business?
What are you struggling with? What questions do you have?