Blogs are old news, right? Have they gone the way of the dodo? To start a blog now may feel like a lot of effort — and you’re busy running your small business. But the truth is, there are a number of good reasons to have one.
Posting consistent content on a company blog sends positive signals to others in your industry, even if your goal isn’t to get leads through your site. Blogs can serve many purposes, and producing valuable content regularly can increase trust and credibility with your audience.
If you’re a small business owner getting into digital marketing, you probably know how important it is to have your site optimized for search engines. But if you’re used to doing most of your business the traditional way, it can be difficult to figure out what exactly to put on your website — and why.
Many professionals seeking an online presence for their business know that they need a blog. They may not be entirely sure why, but the advice to start and maintain a blog is all over the Internet. Seems like a good idea.
And yet: A blog without a purpose is just another mysterious appendix embedded in your vague digital marketing strategy. You want to play along with the online trends, so you spend a little time and money throwing it together, and then you just hope it works toward… something. Your overall goal of getting leads, perhaps.
But it’s hard to justify that spend — or the time it takes — if you aren’t sure what the ROI is.
This is why most business blogs end up being a grab bag of press releases, random interviews, and short topical pieces. And the more scattered they get, the more useless they seem to be.
After a while, your small business blog simply gets neglected into inexistence or becomes a petrified archive of old news. You’re not even sure you want new visitors to see it, but you’re afraid to delete it for fear that it will tank your SEO.
So what should a blog really do for your business? Let’s think of a blog not as a place where you have to post information (like a bulletin board), but a place where you can elaborate on your philosophy, values, and expertise. This is a stage — a soapbox — where you can discuss important topics and answer the questions your clients are asking.
But let’s get real about results. Even if you post quality content, how do you know if a blog is even useful for your business?
The answer is, you have to start with the end in mind: What do you want to happen? What results do you most want to see from your blog? You can approach this from both a conceptual and a practical level.
Here are three conceptual results that a blog can give you:
Since authority and goodwill are tough to measure (reach is a little easier since you can check your traffic analytics as well as likes or comments on social media), you will need more concrete ways to see if your blog is actually getting ROI.
So here are three practical results that a blog can give you:
There you have it. Those are the six key results that a blog can provide to your small business. So now you may be asking...
Once you’re clear on the results you want to see and how to determine whether you’re getting them, the question remains: What should you post on your business blog?
One idea is to make your blog a “News” section instead of an actual “Blog.” Not only is “News” more formal and professional, it is favorable to search engines. Search engines want to give people news when they’re looking for it. A blog, however, could be just about anything.
So here are some ideas for what to post in your News section:
This content can keep your current customers engaged and help new leads understand your business — and why it makes sense to work with you or buy from you.
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