Blogs are everywhere. Millions exist and thousands of new ones are created daily. Blogs cover almost every theme and topic under the sun, and can range from personal, to political, to business.
Personal and political blogs are generally written in the blogger’s free time, and the goals can include personal fulfillment, self-expression, and the opportunity to network with others online.
But why would a business invest in a blog? Make no mistake about it – blogging is an investment of some money, and a lot of time. And in a business, investments need to be justified with a bottom line of profitability.
Following are some reasons why blogging can be good for almost any type of business:
Create a relationship with visitors to your website
Today, many if not most businesses have a website of some kind. Most corporate websites kind of just sit there, stagnating with the usual marketing-speak on the usual pages. Don’t get me wrong – this type of website is very important. When done properly, it is an extension of your business card and is an opportunity to tell people some more about your business – your experience, clients, range of services, team, etc.
But visitors to these types of sites tend to visit once, and never return. They’ve seen all there is to see, and they know that chances are very high that there will be nothing new to see in the future. This is detrimental to your business because in this busy busy world, out of site means out of mind. Your goal is to create a bond with clients and potential clients so that when they need you, they’ll remember who you are and what you do.
A blog brings your site to life. By publishing fresh content on your area of expertise, people will subscribe to your blog (either via RSS or e-mail) and stay in touch with you and your business.
Improve your search engine rankings
In the not-so-distant past, search engine optimization experts would tell you to make sure to saturate your site with certain keywords, and would go into your HTML and do all sorts of funny things to it to make search engines like you.
But I always say that Google is an “honest” search engine. What I mean is that the people at Google are constantly improving the way they can judge whether a site is worthwhile or not. Just because a site unnaturally uses the word “car” a million times to the point where you can’t even read the text does not mean that it is a worthwhile site about cars. Now, two points that Google uses to rank websites are as follows:
- The number and quality of links to the site.
- Fresh content on the site.
Blogging fulfills both these needs. If you are a diligent blogger, you will earn quality links from other sites (including blogs) in your field. Plus, you will be publishing fresh content on your subject. It’s a win-win situation.
Gain credibility as an expert in your field
You know a lot about your industry. You love what you do. Whenever you get the chance, you like to talk about it.
Your clients know and appreciate you. They recommend you to others. But you’d really like to spread the word a bit more and win some extra business. But you don’t have a big marketing budget and you need a solution that is low cost and effective.
Blogging allows you to demonstrate your expertise to a growing audience at a low financial cost. When done properly, blogging helps your reputation spread, and you become known as an expert in your field.
Develop new networking opportunities
A blog is a virtual networking tool. As people find you on the web, many will contact you and establish a relationship. Alternately, if you are a diligent blogger, you will establish contact with other bloggers in your field, or bloggers who may end up being potential customers. These contacts are opportunities for you to meet people you would have had trouble meeting otherwise, and to learn from them.
The web is a powerful tool, and blogging brings your business’ web presence to life. The time has come to add blogging to the traditional marketing basket.
Well Miriam, you say, this article has been so persuasive that I am convinced that my business needs a blog. But where do I start?
Well, I say, subscribe to illuminea blog to stay tuned for upcoming posts about blogging for business. Either subscribe to the illuminea RSS feed or subscribe to recieve email updates in the sidebar. Or, feel free to contact illuminea to find out how we can help you build an attractive blog and map out an effective blogging strategy.
Here are some links to blogs about blogging to get you started: