The number of people blogging has been steadily declining over the past few years. The rise of social media networks have given people ways to easily publish their opinions online without the hassle of running their own website. For that reason, many of the people who were once blogging have now turned to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. as a better way to get their message out. According to one report by Pew, blogging has become one of the least popular thing to do online for people of all age groups. Though individuals or blogging less and less, there is still great value for business owners who connect their sites to blogs (like this blog). This post will remind business owners and marketers why they shouldn’t abandon their blogs. Here are three reasons why small business owners should still be blogging.
Blogging is still an essential for content marketing and SEO strategies
The biggest benefit of blogging is that it brings in new visitors to a website. Hosting a blog is an integral part of any content marketing or SEO marketing strategy. For SEO, a blog gives marketers limitless chances to create pages for any number of target keywords. It’s hard to use more than half a dozen keyword phrases on a particular page on a website. A blog means that posts and entire categories can be set aside to build pages for certain kinds of keywords.
Similarly, modern search engine algorithms are better equipped to answer the questions that people use as queries for online searches. Having blog posts with a wide range of relevant topics and titles makes it more likely that one of the posts would be deemed the answer to a question. To illustrate, a company could offer a particular service (Service A) and have an entire portion of the website titled “Service A”. But a blog post titled “Benefits of Service A” would be pulled when searchers asked the specific question “What are the benefits of Service A?” For a static website, it’s impossible to write copy that covers every possible search angle. But a blogger can tailor their post to whatever they think is best at the time.
For content marketing, the benefit of blogging is having a clearinghouse for content on an organization’s main site. Blogs can be used to disseminate press releases, host image galleries, or publish infographics. While it’s possible to get these things out on social media networks, using a blog as a central repository for all content that comes from a company makes the website the de facto source information on an organization. According to Social Media Today, “77% of B2B marketers use a blog as part of their content marketing mix, and 70% use online video.”
Establish a brand or website as an industry leader
Another benefit of blogging is that it’s one of the few places where a person can establish their expertise by the quality of their words. One of the disadvantages of platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook is that character limits preclude any serious discussion about most topics. This is especially true for professionals who are trying to establish themselves as industry leaders by using Twitter. It’s all but impossible to make a good impression in 140 characters. Blogs give writers a chance to put all their thoughts down into a well-thought narrative that can give people a good chance to evaluate the blogger.
Business owners who intend to use social media marketing can’t make the mistake of putting the cart before the horse. People whose tweets and posts are viewed as expert statements in the media, are people who were famous for their work outside of social media. No unknown doctor has tweeted themselves into being accepted as an expert by the medical community. On the other hand, a doctor’s who medical blog is read and quoted by many other physicians and healthcare professionals has established themselves enough that the things they tweet or post on social media carry weight. In other words, a good blogging strategy can improve the quality of social media marketing efforts.
Add depth to a website
Blogs are also useful for websites that are more or less static. Many websites keep their main content the same because it’s optimized for SEO purposes. However, this means that people who have visited the site once don’t have a great reason to come back. After all, they’ve already seen everything the site has to offer. Keeping an up-to-date blog provides fresh content that could keep people who are interested in a particular industry coming back to the site. These people will continue to visit the site just to read the blog until one day, they will be ready to buy something or recommend the business to an acquaintance. Either way, the blog adds depth to a website that can keep visitors coming back long after the initial search engine result that brought them to a particular site.
Blogs convert readers into buyers. According to Leaders West Digital Marketing Journal, “42 percent of consumers look to blogs for information about potential purchases; 52 percent say blogs have impacted their purchase decisions; and 57 percent of marketers have acquired new customers with their blogs.”
One of the challenges business owners face when publishing blog is consistently producing quality material. It can become a daunting task with time and it’s counter-productive to produce poor quality material. Poorly written content won’t get noticed, or worse, it could give a bad impression of the organization that blog represents. There are multiple solutions to this issue. Business owners can have other members of their staff write occasional blog posts. Small business owners can solicit guest writers from other sites. And there is always the option of hiring a marketing firm with quality content writers.
Regardless of how a business chooses to handle the issue of producing new content, the key is that business owners need to keep their blogging efforts going. It builds the organization’s reputation online, improves SEO efforts, and creates a more satisfying experience for visitors to a website. So even if blogging isn’t as popular as it once was, the evidence is clear that for business owners, it’s essential that they keep their marketing efforts fresh.