• Andrea Harrison

Why Create A Blog For Business?

When you think of a blog, what comes to mind? Well, it really depends on the decade. In the 1990's blogging began as a past time to express opinions or thoughts to a general audience. In essence, it was an online journal.

Today, blogging has taken on a whole new purpose. It has become a mode by which businesses communicate to an online audience about their products and services in order to gain customer interest. However, it's most important to stress that an effective blog is not so much about selling products and services as it is about conveying valuable information that will be helpful to the public.

A business blog is more about value than it is about branding. Whether you are a company looking to reach consumers or other businesses, it is important to offer useful and relevant information in your blogs. People like to be educated and kept up to date about new topics and trends that may affect their decisions to buy a particular product or service either now or in the future. Close to 80% of internet users today read blogs and nearly 70% say a blog adds credibility to a website. This means that blogs have become associated with value; a kind of data that potential customers consciously or unconsciously seek out to influence their buying decisions.

In addition, statistics show that blogging has become favored by search engines such as Google. Websites that contain blogs have 434% more indexed pages, hence receive 97% more links to their website than those who don't blog. As a result, those who blog experience a 126% higher lead generation growth than non-bloggers and are 13 times more likely to achieve a positive ROI with regular blogging.

Many business owners and managers who have never blogged before are now seeing the value that it brings, especially those that do business with other businesses. 76% of B2B marketers now blog because they see how profitable it has become to their competitors, hence don't want to miss the blogging boat.

For those of you new to blogging, here are some vital tips to remember before beginning to write:

1. Make your topic about value and relevancy: Provide useful advice, tips and instructions; don't give a sales pitch because it can appear pushy and turn users off.

2. Readability and Visual Enhancement: Since we are a mobile society, you must provide content that easily scrolls and is visually inviting. To maximize this, use sub-headings, bullet points, hyperlinks, images and video. These will contribute to a greater engagement and a higher potential for users to become your followers.

3. Diversify: Experiment with different formats such as infographics, videos, interviews and podcasts to see which generates the most interest among your audience. These enhance a blog by adding credibility and authenticity that people can relate to.

4. Be unique and tell a story: Provide a niche, a personal experience, customer testimony or a different spin on a topic that will help you stand out from your competitors.

5. Edit and proofread: As a former Editor and Teacher, I cannot stress this enough. Always reread, even have others check your work. You'd be surprised at the grammatical errors you miss that spell check often doesn't catch. Typos and poor sentence structure will most definitely give a bad impression...and as a professional you want to build and maintain credibility, not lose it!

6. Share your blogs: Once you've created your blog masterpiece it's time to show it to your audience. Post it on social media, make it part of an email marketing campaign, or guest blog on a public blog forum that shares the same topics of interest as yours. You can also create a blog page on your website that you can link to other mediums mentioned or within the pages of your site. It's important to note that if your blog does not originate from your website, make sure that it links to your website for branding awareness. For further engagement, add a comments platform to encourage feedback from your audience.

7. Frequency and SEO: The best way to increase readership is by blogging often, adding key words to drive search engine traffic and keeping your topics fresh and relevant.

8. Be patient and persevere. Don't get discouraged if you experience a lack of response. It takes time to establish awareness and a following. Keep using these guidelines and you will eventually start seeing results.

If you are interested in driving business with a blog but not into writing one, seriously consider contracting with a Content Marketing Writer. All you need to do is assign a topic(s), length of wording and frequency of posting. Once the completed blog is submitted to you for your inspection, keep the above guidelines handy as a check list of criteria to assure you are getting a quality blog. Or you can contact Andrea Harrison at 848-213-5520 for your blogging or other writing needs.

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