On the fence about whether or not your business needs a blog?
If so, you should know that there’s a good reason why most successful online businesses have thriving blogs. Blogs can offer many benefits for your customers and your company.
But let’s talk about the benefits of blogging a little more in-depth. Here are 5 reasons your company needs an active blog:
1. A blog will drive relevant traffic to your website.
Everybody seems to obsess over SEO. And with good reason – strong SEO on your website can mean the difference between tons of traffic and zero traffic.
But way too many people are still optimizing their websites for search engines by simply stuffing their content with key words. Instead, they should mostly focus on optimizing their website content for high conversion rates and use their blog for search engine optimization.
Maybe you’re wondering:
How exactly can I optimize a blog post for SEO so it drives relevant traffic to my site?
What you need to do is find a good key word to use (the longer, the better, in most cases), and use it a few times within the content. You’ll also want to use the key word in the blog post URL.
If you can, use the key word in one of your blog post headers too. But don’t ever use key words in a way that makes it obvious that you’re stuffing them into your post. If you’re not sure how many times to use a key word in your content, download the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress – it’s free!
Tip: Check out this blog post to learn how you can use Google Keyword Planner to find new SEO keywords to use on your site.
2. Blog posts are great for social media marketing.
Building a community full of your target audience members has a lot to do with using social media to its full potential. And to build that community, you need to have a strong brand.
You also need to give your audience content that they’ll find enjoyable and/or useful.
…Like your blog posts.
Figure out which social media sites your target audience hangs out on the most, and focus on sharing your posts there. To save time, use a social media scheduling tool like Hootsuite to schedule all of your posts ahead of time. That way, you can take an hour or so at the start of the week to plan your social media posts as opposed to setting time aside every single day to do it.
And make sure you share an image with your posts too whenever possible. Researchers have found that colored visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%, which is definitely worth the few minutes it’ll take for you to find and attach an image.
3. Blog posts can help you build your email list.
It’s great to use social media to build connections with your customers, but there’s something that can be even more effective.
That’s right – I’m talking about email marketing.
Emails work so well because, when you build an email list, you own that list. Everything you send will be delivered to to your customers’ inboxes, so there’s a pretty good chance they’ll see it.
Compare this to social media where a customer may or may not see what you share depending on what time you decide to share it. On top of that, with social media, an algorithm could change at any time, causing your followers to become significantly less engaged.
And the great thing about having a company blog is that it allows you to use some super effective email list building tactics. For example:
Opt-in freebies are basically free pieces of content that upgrade your blog posts. If your reader wants to download the freebie, they simply enter their email address to gain access to it.
Then, the customer gets awesome content, and you get a new lead. Good for everybody.
Let’s take a look at an example of a company blog that does a great job of offering opt-in freebies. That way, you can start thinking about how you’re going to implement free downloadable content.
The company is called LabTech software. Their target audience is IT and managed service providers, so they target those two groups in their blog posts.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the “How to Win Over In-House IT Clients” blog post. As you’ll see in the excerpt below, it discusses several strategies managed service providers can use to overcome biases and win over clients.
But wait – did you notice the green bar within the blog content?
It says “eBook – Learn how to onboard your clients successfully.” And if you click “start here,” you’re immediately taken to a landing page that looks like this:
There, you can enter your email and get the free eBook. This works great for LabTech because the opt-in freebie is closely related to the content of the blog posts, which means people who read the blog post will likely be interested in downloading the eBook and LabTech can collect lots of emails as a result.
If you’re going to offer opt-in freebies on your blog, just make sure they’re good. Otherwise, your customers will feel like they were ripped off when they submitted their email address to you and develop a negative attitude toward your brand and the value you offer.
A sidebar form is exactly what you’d guess – a short contact form in the sidebar of your blog that entices people to sign up for your email list.
Take a look at this one on Neil Patel’s blog:
To make your contact form as effective as Neil’s, make sure you:
- Keep form fields to a minimum – People won’t fill out your form at all if they’ve got to spend a lot of time doing it, so just ask for a first name and email address.
- Include the direct benefits of signing up for your email list – Neil’s button says “Send me lessons on traffic building” because that’s the value he offers. And since his blog is all about marketing, it’s something his audience is likely interested in. Think about what value your emails offer and make sure it’s something your audience is interested in before you write the copy for your sidebar form.
- Indicate that you won’t send any spam – People are hesitant to give away their information online, but if you can clearly state that you’ll never send them any spam, they’ll be more likely to trust you.
A word of warning – do not create a form that says “subscribe for company news” or something along those lines. Because honestly, your target audience doesn’t care about your company news – they care about reading content that’s useful and relevant to them.
4. You can send out blog posts to your email list to build brand loyalty.
Once you’ve built an email list using your blog, you can start notifying your list of new blog posts by sending them a simple email.
Now, you don’t have to send them the entire post. Instead, you can include a teaser image of the post and talk a bit about what the post covers in the email. That way, you still get traffic back to your site.
Gina Horkey, freelance writer and blogger at Horkey Handbook, does this quite often. Here’s an example of one of her emails:
See how she introduces the content without giving it away completely? By doing so, she entices people to click through to her site and read the rest of the blog post.
So, try something like this next time you publish a new blog post. As long as your blog post is relevant and helpful for your target audience, you should get some subscriber traffic to your site when you send the email.
5. A strong blog positions your business as an authority.
If you want your target audience to buy something from you, they need to trust you first. And part of trusting a business is viewing them as an authority in their industry.
When you consistently publish high-quality blog posts on your company website, you gain authority in the minds of your target audience members.
Don’t believe me?
Well, I’m sure you’ve heard of a company called HubSpot. They sell CRM software, marketing software, and sales software.
So, they write about marketing and sales on their blog. And every piece of content they produce is high-quality.
By regularly publishing amazing content that cover topics of interest to their target audience, they have been able to establish themselves as an authority in the industry. Seriously – pretty much anyone who works as an online marketer has read the Hubspot blog at some point.
And you can bet that they turn those readers into customers on a regular basis.
So, use your blog as a customer-generating machine just like Hubspot by writing in-depth posts about topics your target audience wants to learn more about. Over time, you’ll establish yourself as a trustworthy authority – all thanks to your content.
How has your company blog helped your business? Share in the comments!