In a recent study, over 1500 SMEs were polled as to whether they blogged or not. The results were equally divided, but then came the facts! The 50% that blogged received a whopping 55% more visitors, a phenomenal 97% more inbound links and a massive 434% more search engine indexed pages.
We all have a brief idea what blogging is about, but then what is business blogging? It’s a tactic where blogging is aimed in a way as to get your business a larger presence online. Business blogging is one of the easiest ways to connect with your customer. You can blog about your industry, your USP, product or service reviews, or just anything that is interesting or useful enough for your readers to share. In a way, it’s your own customers doing your marketing for you.
Here are some more figures to convince you:
More than 60% of U.S. online consumers say they’ve made a purchase as a direct result of reading a blogger’s recommendation. (Factbrowser )
Blogs are 63% more likely to influence purchase decisions than magazines (Content Plus )
23 % of Internet time is spent on blogs and social networks (Barnraisers Llc )
However, business blogs are a big challenge as it’s hard to keep them updated and also create relevant content. The study by Passel, “The State of Business Blogging 2013” reported:
- 75% of companies don’t update their websites in any way.
- Only 20% have a blog and over one-third of them are inactive.
- 1 in 8 companies have an active blog.
Free Beginner’s Guide to Start Blogging Today!
To try and convince businesses how important it is to focus on blogging, let’s discuss some of the benefits of this medium:
Drive Traffic: This is the biggest benefit of adding blogging to your marketing mix. Every time you write a blog, it’s one more indexed page on your website which is a cue to Google and other search engines that your website is active and they should be checking in frequently to see what content you’ve published that they should surface. Blogs can also help to create backlinks with other sites in the same industry or related fields and they do the same for you. Essentially, the more relevant links you have coming to your blog, the better the chances of a higher ranking in Google and more popular your site. [Learn about SMS Marketing Software]
Build Your Community and Relationships: Blogs are an opportunity to connect. It could be with clients, potential customers, media or just anyone who has a fleeting interest in your or just heard about you. It could give you visibility as a thought leader and also engage your readers in a dialogue. A blog is an effective way to humanize your brand and become more than just a logo and a few products.
Low on Cost and Easy to Use: Its perfect for small business owners, as it offers an inexpensive method of getting your company’s name out on the internet. You do not need any developer or even a content media as no one would know your business as well as you. Blog software is easy to use. Write your thoughts, link to resources, and publish to your blog, all at the push of a few buttons.
Lead Generation: Each blog can be an opportunity to generate new leads. Simply add a call to action to every post. Here is a basic idea of how it works:
» Person visits your website.
» Visitor sees the call to action button there, which may have an offer which is beneficial to the visitor.
» Your visitor is then taken to the landing page, where he fills outs details in a form.
» You get a potential customer and his details which he gets his offer.
A win, win situation! Not every customer will be a lead, but it sure helps to try.
As a small business owner, we all know it is very important to stay up to to date with the ever changing trends and challenges in the business world. It’s essential to know what your competitor or the general market out there is doing. I have come together with a list of a few blogs that I think are worth knowing and reading regularly.
Quora: A very well-known site among the entrepreneur community. Experts take time to answer questions, and provide excellent advice. A must visit!
Seth Godin’s Blog: This one is on many lists. And if you don’t know him, he is an all-star marketer and an author of 12 bestselling books. He uses his blog to post articles on social media, the business world or just anything that piques his interest.
Mashable: It’s the one stop shop for any online entrepreneur or small business. It has a mix of news, opinion pieces, some humor or just interesting articles.
Duct Tape Marketing: As the name stands for, this is a useful blog for almost any kind of a situation. Guest posts, expert advice or free eBooks, it’s all there.
LinkedIn Today: It uses your profile to select relevant articles for you. Essentially you can customize it to fit your particular interests and your field. You can also choose to follow influencers such as Richard Branson, Mark Cuban and so on.
Chris Brogan: Not only is he a great blogger, he has written many books and can be considered as an authority on small business marketing and growth. Chris Brogan offers weekly emails to provide you with the news, advice and inspiration you need each week.
A point to note before we end is that as a blogger, it’s crucial to be consistent. You have to stick to it and maintain your audience and customers. Publish on a regular basis, and remember, every blog is an opportunity!