There are quite literally millions of blogs in the World today. Blogs about business, travel, health, motherhood. Everything you can think of. And chances are, go back a few years and the idea of blogging for your business hadn’t even crossed your mind.
But now you look around and it seems as though every man and his dog has a blog and you’re wondering if you’re missing out on something.
So do you need to be blogging for your business?
I for one am a huge advocate of blogging for your business. If you want to expand your reach and start generating leads automatically then really, you need to be blogging, regardless of whether you run an online business or a more traditional bricks and mortar business.
But that’s not to say there aren’t drawbacks. And its certainly not for everyone.
I’ve outlined below some of the main Pros & Cons of blogging for your business.
Blogging Establishes You as an Authority
Regardless of whether you’re trying to sell products or services, you need to generate confidence and credibility amongst your target market.
If someone is considering hiring you as a social media manager, they need to know that you actually know what Instagram is. If someone is considering buying a piece of furniture from you, they need to know that it is properly constructed and won’t fall apart the second they get it home.
This is where blogging comes in.
When you blog about topics that are relevant and useful to your target market, you’re not just telling them that you know what you are talking about. You’re actually showing them.
Your readers will trust that you have enough expertise in that specific area and that it is safe for them to buy your products or hire you.
Blogging Improves Your Website’s SEO
Search Engine Optimisation refers to how high your website ranks in the relevant search engine rankings. The higher you rank, the easier it is for people to find your business.
Blogging helps with this in two ways.
Firstly, Google loves websites that are regularly updated. It shows that your website is still very much alive and kicking and tells Google that it needs to crawl your site more regularly to look for updates.
Secondly, instead of having a few static pages optimised for certain keywords, your site will have tons of blog pages, each ranking for different keywords relevant to your business. That means that your site will be showing up in more searches and also tells Google that your site is more relevant for that specific topic than the next website which only has 3 or 4 static pages.
Blogging Encourages People to Come Back to Your Site
I am a perfect example of this. I very rarely find myself browsing static websites and don’t often return for a second visit as I have already absorbed all the information I need.
But a blog is a different beast entirely. If I find a blog that is regularly updated with new, informative content then I will return again and again to read more. Quite often I eventually find myself purchasing from those people whose blogs I have been following for some time.
The same could be true for your business.
If you write a blog and provide information that is relevant and useful to your target market, you will naturally be receiving more regular traffic to your site from people who will be interested in what you are selling.
Those customers will engage with your posts and continue to visit your site as more useful content is created. Over time they will form an emotional connection with you and when it comes time for them to make a purchase, they won’t bother spending time browsing through your competitors. Your name will immediately jump to their mind and they will choose to buy from you instead of someone else.
Blogging = Free Marketing
You might not have hundreds of dollars to spend on Google Adwords or Facebook advertising. Especially not when you’re first starting out. I know we certainly didn’t.
This is why blogs are so great because they act as a free marketing tool for your business.
By creating blog posts that appeal directly to the market you are trying to serve, you can attract those people to your website organically without having to pay to get them there. You can make yourself relevant to them. You can position yourself in the forefront of their minds and if you use blogging in the right way, you can turn these visitors into customers.
Blogging is Time Consuming
If you have never ran a blog before then it can be hard to fathom just how ridiculously time consuming it actually is.
Its a full time job. On the side of your existing full time job. Seriously.
First of all you have to plan your content – what you are going to write and why. Then you have to actually write it.
But the work doesn’t stop there.
You then have to optimise it for keywords, source high quality, relevant images for your posts, create custom graphics to share on social media, pinnable Pinterest graphics and then promote the post across all your social media channels.
So if you’re a busy business owner, already buried in a mountain of work, you might want to consider whether you even have the time to blog, and what else you are going to have to sacrifice in order to make the time.
Blogging is a Long-Term Marketing Strategy
I mentioned above that blogging is a free marketing tool. And it really is. But its also a relatively long term marketing tool. It takes time to build a blog readership so if you’re just starting out and need clients fast, then blogging is not going to achieve that for you.
What it will do is start building an engaged audience and attracting people to your site so that you are building more connections and engaging with people. In time, you will be able to turn that audience into paying customers. But that requires persistence, patience and motivation.
You Need to be Interested in Blogging
If you’re going to start a blog then you need to at least be interested in what you are going to be writing about, because you’re going to be spending a long time doing it.
Your readers will be able to tell straight away if you’re not at all interested in what you are talking about.
A disinterested blogger will write less engaging posts and therefore be less likely to convert readers into customers. Given the time involved in blogging, you need to assess whether you are actually interested enough in it to put in the effort required.