The common view of bloggers is as maverick commentators, lone individuals on a mission to explain their views to the world. But the same software that independent writers can use to broadcast their thoughts online is also highly useful to businesses on a limited budget who want to quickly grow their traffic, establish a reputation and reach new customers. This article explains some of the key benefits of blogging for your business.
1. Create a reputation as an expert
If you have a wealth of experience in a particular sector, organising that content in a blog format can quickly establish you as an expert. Your customers and peers can read your views and know what you stand for. I have been working with the owner of a small training business, who is setting up a blog providing hints and tips for professional consultants, drawing on his own knowledge and experience. This shows potential delegates on his courses that he is an expert in his field. A small firm of employment lawyers, PJH Law, have set up a blog for their partners and solicitors, and believe it has transformed their business.
2. Build relationships with customers
Providing useful information through a blog will enhance your relationships with existing customers – how to use your product or service effectively, or just helpful hints on related issues. If you provide consistently useful content, users can subscribe through RSS, which bypasses cluttered email inboxes.
3. Attract new customers through search
Blogs are extremely search-engine-friendly. They are updated frequently, and most of the popular platforms are well optimised. They have plenty of links and tags. If you craft the content of your blogs carefully you will be found by new customers through natural search. Make sure they can easily find your home page from your blog articles.
4. Learn what topics interest your audience
Each blog page has its own URL, so you can track precisely how many views they got, and how long people stayed on your site, using Google Analytics, or other packages. This provides invaluable feedback on what really interests your audience. It’s easy for readers to comment on blogs, and you’ll get instant feedback on the topics they find most useful.
5. Build your own business network
Having a blog gives you a stronger online platform for your business, and as well as strengthening links with customers, it’s a great way to communicate your proposition to business partners, and get invitations to speak or write for other publications.
If this article has inspired you to consider blogging for your business, you may be interested to read a longer version which is due to be published in the May edition of In Publishing Magazine, and will also be available on their website. I’d be very interested to hear about your own experiences with business blogging.
Carolyn Morgan’s consultancy, Penmaen Media, creates practical digital media and marketing strategies. If you’d like to discuss how blogging or other digital marketing can grow your business, please contact us for an initial discussion.