To blog or not to blog, that is the question that many businesses are debating. It’s always scary starting something new and with relatively unknown return.
It seems that so many internet marketing evangelists are telling businesses to blog, but where does one start to make sense of whether or not it will actually work for YOU and YOUR business?
Hopefully, this post will provide some insight.
Why Blogging Works for Businesses
Blogging extends your reach on multiple levels across the web. It allows you to publish content that conveys your unique ideas and business principals. Each individual article has an opportunity to rank in search engines for various phrases that people might be searching for. As your content is seen by people, they might share it with others and give you further exposure via social networks, email or the archaic “Hey, come over here and check this out”.
In a nutshell, the return on investment is much higher for businesses that put a good amount of effort into their blog. This is because traffic obtained is free and the content that’s in your blog lives on your domain (important note: your blog should be on your domain) until you unpublish it. What that means is that your articles have the opportunity to get free traffic for a very long time in search engines. One article could pay for itself many times over.
It Takes Time to Get Traffic to Your Blog (and see a ROI)
Depending on how old your website is and how much credibility you’ve already gained without a blog, will help determine how quickly you might start seeing a return. There are always exceptions to the rule, as we’ve seen cases where a new website publishes something groundbreaking and instantly gain traction. However, the norm is that blogging creates a steady increase in visitors from organic traffic. How fast the increase happens, is directly related to how often you publish new and useful content to your blog.
For example, blogging once a day vs. once a week will significantly increase your traffic acquisition rate, but may put strains on you and your staff to generate that much quality content. I stress “quality” because garbage content won’t get you anywhere.
Point being: focus on generating as much useful, well thought out content as often as you can. If it’s once a week, know that you won’t see your traffic increase as fast as if it were once a day, but your audience will thank you for saving only the best for their consumption and your return will likely be higher.
Know Who Your Prospects Are and Plan What to Write About First
Deciding what to post on your blog can be daunting, but it’s much easier when you know who you are talking to. Start by listing your best prospects, whether they became a customer or not. Brainstorm questions you hear asked regularly prior to making the sale. Knowing this, can help you craft content that answers your prospect’s questions, provides useful information and most important gives your brand exposure to the right people. It’s alot easier to write, when you can picture who you’re talking to and why.
With all of the above said, deciding whether or not start a blog for your business comes down to a few key points:
- Are you willing to stick with it long term? It can take time to get traffic to your blog if you are just starting out (especially on a new domain). Are you willing to push forward even if you don’t see instant traffic gains?
- Can you define your key prospects? If you can’t do this, it will be hard to develop a voice that will get you measurable results.
- Are you able to dedicate time or staff to your blogging efforts? Without this, your blog will sit dormant and traffic generation will plateau. Remember: As you add new content, you have more chances to get traffic.
Starting a business blog has real benefits and can make an impact on your ability to generate traffic and gain visibility without having to pay for it long term. However, starting a blog without proper planning will mean a long learning curve and lower returns. Ultimately, the decision you make regarding whether to blog or not should be focused on the long term and not a quick return.