I believe there are actually some very good reasons for not blogging, more than just hurdles, but genuine reasons not to blog. However, whatever your business, whichever sector, no matter the type of industry, a blog can help with business growth, leads and engagement…let alone SEO!
All businesses can blog
The wonderful thing about a blog is that it is not a very ‘constrained’ version of publishing – you can shape it and develop it how you want to. You can write in a style that suits you. You can cover topics which you feel comfortable with. And you can even swap between ‘styles’, as long as you signal it clearly to the reader, using appropriate categories and explanations.
One of the best blog posts I ever saw was one simply containing a string of emojis!!! The writer had had a very busy day at an event and was too tired to write a long explanation of her day, so she represented all that had happened in about 20 emojis – clever, funny and engaging!
As well as there being many different types of blog posts, there also many different styles of actual blogs. Let me give you some ideas:
- Diary style – If you attend interesting events, conferences, trade shows or local engagements, consider a ‘diary’ style blog. This will allow you to report on where you have been, who you have met, interesting talks or seminars.
- News style – Many businesses do not have a blog page (well it is not labelled as such!) instead they call it ‘Latest News’ or something similar. In this style of blog, you are writing about newsworthy items related to your business, perhaps new product launches, latest completed projects, new staff members, sponsorship and also, advertising special offers.
- Hints and Tips – Instead of sharing what you have been up to, you can consider keeping your blog to strictly a ‘Helpful guide’. Blogs like this can be wonderful for answering customer enquiries, as well as demonstrating your expertise. My blog is exactly this!
- Thought leader – sorry for the hideous ‘blue sky thinking’ management jargon, but a blog can be a really important space for sharing your opinions and thoughts on your profession and areas that matter to you. I love reading articles, blogs and news items about digital marketing. If you feel the same about your industry, then perhaps consider taking it one step further and writing commentaries and opinion pieces on the latest development, research or discoveries in your sector.
- Personal – This won’t suit many businesses, but you may feel desperate to blog and feel the only way is to share how your business works around your family life. It may not sit comfortably with many people, but people like ‘We’re all mad here’ or ‘The Unmumsy Mum’ utilise it very well. Admittedly they were blogs, then ‘brands’, but they continue to write very personally – mixing professional and personal life.
Advantages of blogging for business
At the end of the day, search engine optimisation (SEO) is made so much easier if you blog. For SEO, you need to make regular updates to your website and constantly reworking the homepage copy or changing the odd image won’t cut it (and is rather tiresome)! Through blogging about your business, you will automatically include more keywords and keyword strings too.
Importantly, once you have published a blog you need to promote it and this will involve posting links to the blog on social media and in your other digital marketing, such as newsletters and email signatures. This will provide you with extra back links, driving your followers and clients back to your website – they not only read your blog post but then explore other areas of your site. This is where using hyperlinks within your blog to other pages of your website can be really useful too.
I think the sign of a true professional is someone who is willing to share their knowledge, experience and passion. A blog is a fantastic way to tell the world about what you do, why you do it and how you do it…or what your business does, why it does it and how it does it, if you want to keep it very ‘non-personal’.
It is a great way to answer frequently asked questions and to let your customers in to a bit of ‘behind the scenes’ information. Let’s be honest, everyone is nosy and loves to find out more, specifically about a brand, celebrity or product they admire.
Your Own Space
I find blogging therapeutic. It is a great space for me to reflect on my understanding and the services I offer. It is also somewhere for me to both test and stretch my knowledge. I often start writing about something which I think I know loads about, but then realise there are areas where I am lacking; so I am forced to do some further research. This in turn introduces me to new ways of thinking or alternative views.
It is also a place in which views and opinions can be shared, but within a context – your business’ website. Comments and posts on social media can easily be taken out of context, particularly when you are forced to write in a very succinct way, due to limited characters or simply because of what is considered an ‘acceptable length’ for a post on social media. In a blog post, you have 1000 words to explain your ideas.
Moreover your blog equals your content. It is published on your website, clearly yours, copyrighted and owned by you.
One of the most useful sales lessons I have learnt recently is how important customer retention is, simply because selling to existing customers is actually easier that trying to find new ones! They know you and they know your products/services and your business. By blogging, you are giving them another way to continue engagement with you, even when they haven’t bought from you for a while. Your blog is a marketing tool and loyal clients are likely to follow your blog, or the very least follow your social media pages (where you will advertise your blog) or subscribe to your newsletter (where you will also advertise your blog!).
You can use blog posts to share more information relevant to their purchases, suitable recommendations and ways to take advantage of what they have already bought, for example. Keeping that ‘contact’ is very important.
Blog for your business
So don’t let the belief that blogging isn’t for your business stop you. Hopefully, this has convinced you that there is not only a suitable ‘style’ of blog for any business, but also that there are many business-led reasons for blogging.
I run a Blog Starter Package for £50, which is a one-to-one training, outlining hints and tips for blogging, as well as getting you started with topics, scheduling, customer profiling and good structuring techniques. Get in touch if you would like to find out more: firstname.lastname@example.org
This post is also the 10th addition to my ‘Hurdles to Blogging’ series – take a look at the others here.