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So, you have a small business that has a good-looking website and thought you were good to go! However, have you read that it’s good practice to have a blog on your site? Do you need a blog for small business?
This post sets out to look at the benefits of having a blog for your business and also some pointers to help you decide if it’s for you.
What are the benefits of having a blog?
Increased organic traffic
If you create a website, add all of the possible elements, and only update it on rare occasions when you have a new product or service to offer, you won’t get much (if any) organic traffic.
If you are writing a blog post, even if it’s only on a weekly basis, it has the potential to increase your organic traffic. You will have to set aside time to carry out keyword research to establish what your customers are searching for, but your business can now potentially be found!
When you get customers searching for what you have, life gets so much easier!
Increased internal links
As the content increases on your blog, you will have the opportunity to link to other associated pages.
For example, imagine you own a car valeting company and you have written a post about how to remove coffee stains from car seats, you could link this to a review of a product you happen to sell or to a post about cleaning carpets in a car.
This is likely to keep visitors to your site engaged for longer which is one of the measurements that Google uses to ascertain the authority of your site in your niche. As a consequence, your posts are likely to rank more highly which in turn would bring more traffic.
Already being in business in your chosen niche, there is a chance that you will know a lot about the industry and products or services you sell.
Having a blog is an excellent way to show your expertise by crafting posts around problems that your audience has. When you become a problem-solver, you are seen as a trusted source of information which makes people much more likely to buy from you.
Update on new products
Having a blog offers an excellent opportunity to educate your customers on new products or update them on products that have had improvements.
Depending on your niche, there may even be the opportunity to record some videos of how to use a particular product. I recently saw an excellent video showing how to put up a tree tent which was 1,000 times more effective than the written instructions.
Alternatively, if you have a service-type of business but you know that many of the smaller tasks are undertaken by the customer, suggest easy ways to do some of these tasks. E.g. Easy ways to organize your business finances between visits from your bookkeeper.
When you offer value with no expectation of compensation, your business will be seen as an authoritative resource that people will return to.
If nothing new is happening on your website, why would anyone bother to visit it? There would only be the occasional visitor (driven to your site by a business card or from a search for the actual name of your business) and there wouldn’t be a huge amount to keep them interested when they found you!
Keeping your content fresh and interesting gives the impression of your business being current and relevant.
Writing blog posts is a great way to get customer feedback. At the end of the post, you can ask if they have a related problem at some time. When they share their problems you learn what their needs are which is pure gold to a business.
Build an email list
Having a blog offers the opportunity to build an email list. Having an email list allows you to let subscribers know when you have a new post on your site (encouraging return visitors).
Additionally, it lets you target your audience with tactical offers from time to time which will keep you at the forefront of your customers’ minds.
Yes, you could build an email list without a blog by just using your website, but as visitor numbers are likely to be very small, you would be unlikely to get many subscribers.
Social media sharing opportunities
When you have a new post on your blog, it is an excellent opportunity for you to share it with your following on Social media and, in turn, get more shares from them.
Additionally, if you manage to write the super-helpful posts alluded to earlier, there is a chance that your audience will also share posts directly from your website to their own social sites.
Gain a competitive edge
If your competition does not have a blog, then your having a blog should give you a competitive edge.
If your competition does have a blog, it will help you to level out the playing field. It’s very easy to research what they are doing and see if you can do it better!
Considerations before getting started
As you can probably tell, blog for small business are not without their challenges.
- Larger organizations will have a marketing team, but for smaller outfits, it is a very different proposition. Even although you are small, you will need a content plan so that you know what has to be written and when.
- If you get organized, however, you can make it relatively simple. You could do an outline of what topics you will feature for 12-months ahead (you will know best what to focus on at what time of year).
- You could work, say 3 months ahead in terms of doing the keyword research and coming up with a title for each post. Then when it comes to writing, you know what you are doing, and you’re off! If you plan it this way it shouldn’t take too much time.
- If you have a preference for video, you could certainly make that your main focus but be sure to upload your videos to your website as well as your YouTube channel.
A blog is a great way to engage your current customers and inspire a new audience to become customers. There is a bit of thought, planning and extra work to be done, but it is well worth the effort. Good luck!
Also check: Strategies for e-commerce link building