“I don’t need a blog”

I hear it all the time.  But blogging is a marketing tool that if you’re not utilizing, you are missing out on a FREE marketing goldmine.

I am going to explain why you should be blogging, and then give you some practical tips on how to incorporate blogging into your monthly business tasks.

The hardest part about blogging – getting started.  I hope with this post you will get the motivation you need to take the leap into blogging and start reaping the benefits.

Why You Should Blog

First, blogging is an online journal with each post containing a story, advice, thoughts, opinions, news, or tips in a certain subject area. You are reading a blog post right now! The topics are endless on what a blog post could be about, and a good blog post should be anywhere from 1000 – 2500 words in length.

I have worked with a variety of different business owners from varying industries and I often hear, “but what would I blog about?” Their business might not have a super obvious online niche so they think they shouldn’t write anything online at all.

They are missing out on reaching so many customers!

I’m here to say that every business, seriously every business, should have a blog.  Every business has something to write about.  Are you a mechanic?  You could blog about a new product that you are using that you love, maintenance advice for car or truck owners, or even about seasonal safety tips for drivers.  Are you an attorney?  Your blog could be about legislation that affects your business, tips on how to find the right lawyer, or advice for drivers, business owners, etc., on what legal items should be in place.

I could keep going – every business or organization has something to write about.  Buy why blog at all?

The reasons to blog are endless, but I will give you my top 4 reasons.

  1.  Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
    SEO describes tactics and ways to design your website that will help it rank higher in an online search. Who doesn’t want to rank higher? It’s common knowledge that your customers are not using a phonebook anymore to search for a business they need – they are using a search engine on their computer or smartphone. The same potential customer that is searching online for a business is also not going to scroll and scroll and to find you – they will most likely click a business listed in the top five results. How you rank higher is a complex algorithm that changes frequently.  However, something that will always be a part of the secret is current, relevant, and original content on your website. What does this mean? Search engines are looking for text on your site that was recently published, contains information that matches what people are searching, and text that is original to the world wide web. The easiest way to get this sort of content on your site? Yep – a blog post. A business owner can no longer launch a site, never update it again, and expect to rank higher in an online search. Consistent blogging is crucial.
  2. Increase traffic to your website
    Most businesses post frequently on their social media accounts. This is great to do, but it shouldn’t be the ONLY thing you update. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., all control what posts your audience sees. Plus, it is more difficult to convert your social media followers to paying customers through social media platforms – you have to get them to your website. So, instead of writing a MEGA social media post, write it first on your website blog and share that post to your social media. This way, your social media audience will click on your post to read more and will be taken to your website. This increase in traffic to your website will help gain more customers and boost your ranking on search engines.
  3. Builds your Expert Status
    We are certainly in an information age! More and more consumers are online making their purchasing decisions.  Consumers have access to tons of information about whatever service, product or organization they are looking into. That is why blogging about your industry, business, product, or whatever it may be, will help communicate that you are an expert in your field, builds trust with your website audience, and leads them to finally decide to hire you, buy your product or support your organization. Using your blog to publish information that demonstrates your knowledge in your field will absolutely build trust in your website audience.  This is crucial in making sales and building support.
  4. Demonstrates Professionalism
    When someone arrives at your website and they see the last time it was updated was three years ago, their first thought is, “Man, if they don’t put any effort into this part of their business, what other areas don’t they prioritize either?” It’s the truth – an outdated website is worse than no website at all. That is why blogging is so crucial because it makes it EASY to add current, updated content to your website. It might be unrealistic to change major elements of your website on a routine basis, but taking 20 minutes a week to put up a new blog post that matches the current season, news cycle, product launch, etc., will wow your website customers. This helps them see your business as more professional and relevant and will help them see you as a more professional, legitimate business.

Okay, hopefully, you understand the importance of blogging now. Now the hard part – the hardest part of blogging… It’s not learning how to do it, but making the time to do it.

Here are my top 9 practical tips for making sure blogging becomes a priority for your business or organization:

  1. Decide how often you are going to post a new blog entry. Once a month is my bare minimum recommendation, with once-twice a week being superstar blogger!  Then, write this task as an appointment in your calendar and treat it like any other business meeting or appointment.
  2. The actual posting of the blog entry should be a task designated to one or two people, but the actual writing of the posts can be delegated out. Tell each of your employees, or ask board members or volunteers, to write one or two posts and send to whoever does the posting for editing and publishing.
  3. Batch this task – set aside time each month to write a couple of blog posts at once. Once you are in the mode of writing, it’s easier to knock a couple out than one at a time. You can then upload each blog into WordPress and schedule them out across the weeks or months. (if you are unsure how to do this – be sure to ask!)
  4. Check out blogs from other websites in your industry (just not your neighboring competitor!) for ideas and keep a list of ideas to refer back to you if you ever have writer’s block.
  5. Break up the blog writing process into chunks – first outline your post, then go back and fill it in paragraph form, then finally add graphics and share to social media. Breaking down the tasks into smaller chunks can feel less overwhelming and more likely to get done.
  6. Leave the office – blogging a lot of times doesn’t get done because of all the distractions that come up day-to-day. Make this a task you do at the coffee shop, while watching your favorite show in the evening, or take a laptop outside and head to the park. Finding a place and time with limiting distractions is key.
  7. Invite guest bloggers – look outside your business or organization to someone who would be relevant to your audience. For example, let’s say you sell insurance. Maybe a company you represent has a new product that they could write a blog post about that you could publish on your site.
  8. Type your blog post first in Google Docs or Microsoft Word. Some find it easier to fine-tune their thoughts in a platform they are more familiar with than right into WordPress. Write out your post in one of this way, then copy and paste your words into WordPress to publish.
  9. Finally, #dothework. It’s that simple – the act of blogging gets put on the back burner by so many businesses I know. Just stop – start today, log into WordPress, click Add New Post and start typing. Just doing that might be the momentum you need to flush out the rest of the post. Then don’t forget to share that post on social media, and start getting the traffic, credibility, and sales for your business.

Let me know if you have any questions or tell me what step resonated with you.

Cheering for you!
Angela Keiser