As a busy small-business owner, you may wonder how your business might use a blog. For starters, if you want to increase the visibility and credibility of your company among consumers, regularly posting quality content on your website can go a long way. A business blog can be the perfect place to house this type of content.
What Is Business Blogging?
Business blogging is the practice of regularly creating and publishing informative, relevant, and engaging content on a company’s website to provide value to its target audience.
Through blog posts, your company can showcase its expertise, establish authority in its industry, and foster meaningful relationships with customers, ultimately contributing to the growth and success of your business. Blogging has been around for decades, and it’s expected to stick around as a key content marketing tool. According to HubSpot’s 2023 State of Marketing report, blog posts rank among the top five media formats marketers will leverage in 2023.
Here are six important ways business blogging can help your small business shine.
1. Drive Traffic to Your Website
Blogs provide an opportunity to create original content emphasizing keywords and topics relevant to your business or industry. By targeting these keywords and topics, a business effectively optimizes its blog posts for search engines – a practice known as search engine optimization (SEO). In turn, the business can improve its website’s visibility on search engine results pages, attracting organic traffic from users actively searching for information that relates to the blog content.
Paid search ad campaigns can be another way to help your business’s website appear high on search engine results, but they can get expensive – especially for smaller businesses. With good SEO practices, blogging becomes a viable alternative.
2. Convert Traffic Into Leads
Now that your website is getting more traffic – whether through SEO practices or by sharing blog posts on social media – you can further capitalize on ways to convert that traffic into leads. Each new piece of content may provide an opportunity to generate those leads, and the way to do that may be by adding a “call to action” to each blog post. For example, you can offer something consumers may be willing to trade their contact information for, like a free e-book, webinar, consultation, or quote.
You can then send potential customers information about your business, exclusive offers, and new product announcements, giving you a chance to boost your conversion rate. If your business has a dedicated sales team, they can follow up with leads directly.
3. Become an Authority
The best small-business blogs draw potential customers by addressing their pain points, offering actionable advice and providing enlightening answers to common questions.
If potential customers view your blog as a go-to source of helpful information about relevant topics, they may be more likely to view you as an authority in your industry and choose to do business with you over your competitors.
For example, a small technology consulting company can attract customers through its blog by providing in-depth technical insights, customer case studies, industry news, and contributions from recognized experts on the subject.
Demonstrating expertise can also help you drive traffic to your website through inbound links that come to your website from other sites. In other words, the more authority you project, the more likely other resources will trust your blog’s expertise and direct others to your content.
4. Build Relationships With Potential Customers
The comments section on your blog may be a place where you can generate two-way discussions with consumers. Encouraging engagement on your blog might be as simple as asking questions at the end of a post to get the conversation going, waiting for readers to leave comments, and then interacting with those readers. By responding to your readers’ comments, you can open the way to building trust and gaining insight into the qualities potential customers are looking for. Creating custom content that speaks directly to your audience’s needs can foster relationships with potential customers.
5. Boost Your Social Media Efforts
Blog content can be an ideal channel for sharing on social media. When you create original content that’s valuable, interesting, and entertaining to your target demographic, you increase the likelihood of getting social shares. Content that’s shared from your blog will point directly back to your website.
For example, say your company shares a particularly meaningful blog post on its social media platforms. An existing customer might retweet or repost that blog, which their connections then check out, ultimately providing you with additional prospects.
You can also add social sharing buttons to your blog so visitors can easily share your content – potentially turning your readers into your own grassroots marketing team.
6. Drive Long-Term Results
So, you write a post on your blog, promote it on your social channels, and get a few shares. After that initial flurry of activity, the traffic driven by that post is bound to slow to a trickle.
However, that page is now ranked in search engines. Just like the rest of the static pages on your website, this blog may continue to draw traffic for as long as it’s on the web. In fact, a website with a substantial amount of blog content can continue to boost total traffic from old blog posts, providing the potential for a fairly substantial return on the few hours invested in writing a post.
Blogging doesn’t typically yield an immediate payoff for businesses in the way that online advertising does – blogging is a long game. Business blogs might not see a positive ROI until the company consistently posts for at least six to 12 months.
How to Start Business Blogging
Business blogging can be a powerful tool. To ensure success and optimize the benefits, here are some best practices to consider:
- Know Your Audience: Understand your target audience’s needs, preferences, and pain points. Tailor your blog content to address their interests and provide valuable solutions.
- Post Consistently: Establish a consistent blogging schedule and stick to it. Whether it’s weekly, biweekly, or monthly, maintaining a predictable posting frequency can help build audience trust and encourage return visits.
- Prioritize Quality Over Quantity: Focus on creating high-quality, well-researched, and well-written blogs on topics relevant to your audience. High-quality posts are more likely to be shared and linked to via inbound links.
- Have a Solid SEO Strategy: Conduct keyword research to identify relevant terms and phrases your audience uses to search for information. Integrate these keywords naturally throughout your content – in titles, headers, and brief article summaries, for example.
- Promote via Social Channels: Actively promote your blog posts through various channels, such as social media, email newsletters, and relevant online communities. Engage with influencers and other industry leaders to amplify your content’s reach.
With minimal expense and effort, you can boost search engine rankings, build credibility, increase website traffic, and foster relationships with customers via business blogging. All of this can attract new customers who purchase your products or services – and recommend your business to others.
A version of this article was originally published on November 1, 2016.