While blogging has exploded in popularity the last few years, many business owners are still intimidated by the process of starting a blog, marketing their business and making money online. Many Americans still believe you need a computer science degree or in-depth technical knowledge to build one. In fact, there is so much mystery around blogging, SEO and how someone can make a living online that some outright discount it as a medium worth pursuing.
The problem with these myths is that they prevent small businesses from leveraging a very powerful medium. Below, we will discuss the importance of blogging and content marketing as well as a few factors to consider before starting a blog.
Why Your Business Should Be Blogging
Blogging has become an incredible tool that almost no business can afford to forego. Simply put, blogging is relatively cheap compared to traditional marketing tactics, offers the benefit of residual sales, and has the potential to reach anyone around the world. However, blogging done right isn’t about direct marketing. The goal isn’t to tell your audience how affordable and great your product or service is.
The goal of blogging is to address the challenges, issues or problems facing your potential customers to build credibility and trust. For example, if I was a marketer for a credit card company, after discussing the details of the credit card in a few posts, I would begin to address the advantages of having a reliable credit card, how credit can help you plan and budget for each month, how frugality is important to a family’s financial security, how a good line of credit can help build your credit history or even rebuild your score after a bankruptcy, and finally, all the great things you may be able to do with the rewards and perks from a particular offer.
The purpose of the blog posts is to educate and inform your audience that you understand their needs. And guess what, when that reader eventually does need a card, who are they most likely to visit – the company that has built a sense of trust and genuine interest in their well-being by providing educational content to help them make good financial decisions.
The best part is that a blog post can become a permanent fixture online, and thereby attracting thousands of visitors each month. Over time, consistent blogging can even grow a business’s website traffic into the millions, constantly introducing the company to new potential customers and therefore play a strong role in branding.
Factors To Consider Before Starting A Blog
Before you actually make a blog, it is critical that you plan ahead by determining the purpose of your blog, the name, who will be managing the content, the type of content worth producing, etc.
The Purpose or Goal
How you approach building your business’s blog will depend on what you are trying to achieve. If you have physical products you’d like to sell online, then your website will be set up as an e-commerce site. If you’d like to stay in touch with readers, collecting contact information and creating a community might make sense. Finally, if you’d like your business blog to focus on branding, then you will need to be creative in how you present your company in a positive light.
Coming Up With A Blog Name
If a blog is attached to a business, it often takes the name of the business. However, if your business’s name as a domain is taken, you have an opportunity to be creative.
Who Will Be Contributing and Managing?
While the responsibilities of managing a blog can fall on a specific team or individual, many larger companies tout the benefits of having multiple employees, even ones outside the primary team, contribute to the blog. By encouraging everyone to share their knowledge and experience on the blog, you maximize content production and the ability to pull readers with different writing styles and perspectives.
The Bottom Line
With the number of businesses clamoring for consumers’ attention and dollars, your business can’t afford to not be taking advantage of every opportunity to attract new customers and grow revenue. While blogging is still relatively new, the brands and entrepreneurs who leverage it early on will have a long-term competitive advantage so it’s certainly in your best interest to start researching how to build your online presence. It may just change the way you do business altogether.