There’s so much to do when you’re running a small business that maintaining a blog might seem like an extra thing that’s not worth your time.
Statistics tell a very different story.
The numbers point to how blogging for small businesses leads to great results. They highlight how a blog can grow your business, widen your customer base, build trust with the public, and showcase your knowledge and skills–among many other benefits.
Here are ten reasons you should have a blog for your business and two bonus thoughts on how to get started.
1. Current Consumer Culture Expects It
Every day, 80% of internet users connect with both social media and blogs. When they visit a website, they expect to have access to content that describes that business and its products or services. They want to read about what you offer and see success stories from completed projects. And don’t be afraid to go into detail–the average post is 1,236 words and 55% of bloggers say they see more results from posts that are 2,000 words or longer.
2. Demonstrate Expertise In Your Field
Unlike an advertisement, a blog gives you a chance to expound on what you know. You can highlight your experience and your work to date so that readers will get a glimpse of what you can do.
Are you a baker who has studied with French pastry chefs in Paris? Write a few posts about your time there, your favorite concoctions you made, and the people you apprenticed with, along with writing about your current work.
Are you a third-generation plumber for your family business? Talk about growing up surrounded by people in the industry and learning your craft at an early age.
Write about the new strides the company is making while leaning on its solid foundation.
3. Add Value For Potential Customers
Many people will stumble on your blog looking for two things: answers to questions that they have or ideas and inspiration for projects that they need to complete.
70% of consumers would rather learn about a business through a post or an article as opposed to an advertisement. So if you want to turn their search for answers or ideas into business for your company, keep that in mind as the end goal when you’re investing in your blog. The effort has a high likelihood of paying off in the long run.
4. Generate And Convert Leads
Every person that visits your site is a potential customer.
When you blog for your small business, the goal is to generate leads–i.e., drive more and more people to your site. What they see on your site then has the power to convert those leads into customers or sales. Therefore, you’ll want to have great content that keeps your visitors engaged and interested in what you have to offer.
5. Showcase Your Skills
Blog contents with images receive 94% more views than posts with no pictures or graphics. If you run a business where you sell a physical product like furniture or you provide a service like landscaping, blogging for your small business should absolutely include pictures of your work. They will help show your customers your talent, results, and creativity.
Blog contents with images receive 94% more views than posts with no pictures or graphics.”
6. Helps With SEO
SEO is search engine optimization, which is the way that you increase how many find your business through using search engines like Google.
High Google rankings are the holy grail for bloggers; it’s how your blog gets noticed online. For reference, Google currently has 92.04% of the search engine market share. Comparatively, Yahoo ranks second with only 2.67%.
Google has rules about SEO, and you should know them and follow them to stay in Google’s good graces. Blogging often and well (i.e. following the Google rules) will help get your posts seen by more people, consequently driving more people to your site and increasing your business.
7. Gives Personality To Your Business
Blogging for your small business is personal. You’re communicating stories about your business, your customers, your experience. All of that is unique to you. Treat your blog as a way to make yourself come alive to the people reading about you through their screens.
You can do this in many different ways. The colors and style of your blog speak to the tone of your business. Pictures you use speak to your personal skills and accomplishments. The style of your posts can even tell your customers how formal or informal your business is.
While they don’t seem like big choices independently, they all come together in your blog to make one big impression.
8. Allows You To Communicate With Customers
There are a couple of different ways you can communicate with your customers through your blog.
Answer Basic FAQs
Often your business will get the same questions over and over. What are your hours? Do you handle a particular situation? What are your basic fees?
You can use your blog to answer those questions in as much detail as you need so your customers understand your business before they reach out to you. This will save both you and your customer a lot of time.
Reply To Specific Comments On Blog Posts
While it’s tempting to disable the comment section on blog posts so you don’t have to monitor it, we recommend that you keep it on. Use it as a space to dialogue with potential clients. Blog readers comment on posts roughly 77 million times every month. That’s a lot to miss out on if you don’t let them react to your posts.
If they comment that they love something, reply with a thank you and an offer to show them more. Maybe they ask a question about a post that you could answer. Even if they dislike something and comment about that, replying gives you the opportunity to show your customer service skills in how you respond and handle the situation.
9. Boosts Social Media Presence
As we’ve said, the best blog posts contain both beautiful images and special stories about your business. When you have a great post, you can use pieces of it to populate your social media accounts as well. You can use both the copy and the photos in some places, just the photos in others, or a quote from the article as a tease to click the link in yet another.
Here is a simple graphic with the best ways to use your blog post across four of the main social media platforms.
10. Creates A Lasting Internet Presence
Unlike advertisements that have a short shelf life and only last for a designated period of time, blog posts can last forever. They’ll keep turning up on search engines, especially if you have written them well (see #6), and will continue to drive business to your blog for years.
The drawback to lasting longer online is that you need to make sure the content is always up-to-date. It’s worth paying someone to go through your posts every once in a while to refresh them, make sure links still work, and verify that information is still correct.
Blogging For Small Businesses Takeaways
It’s clear that your blog has a lot of power and the capability to drive people to your site, potentially dramatically increasing your business. So it’s really not a question of whether or not you have one, but how much effort you’re going to put into it to make it look professional.
When you’re building your blog, keep these two things in mind as you plan and execute it.
The content and form are critical. You might think it goes without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway just to be sure. The content should be great. The grammar should be perfect. The form should make sense and be easy to scroll through. Creating blog posts is not a job for your great uncle who is looking to kill a few hours every day because he’s bored in his retirement. This is a job for someone with a talent for writing and an ability to give depth to your ideas.
Treat your blog as part of your advertising. As such, you should not be afraid to pay for it. Hire a writer to write your posts. Pay a professional photographer to capture images for your personal use. Spend money on a website expert who can teach you about SEO. (Hint: If you had to Google “SEO,” you need to hire this out!)
A simple website with your basic business information is no longer acceptable. We have one last statistic to give you: Businesses with a blog see a 55% increase in visitors to their site compared to businesses that don’t have one. In a competitive market, you can’t afford to lose that amount of business simply because you didn’t have a blog.