Blogging is big business, and not just for people with their own niche, sponsor-attracting, websites on platforms such as Bloggr and WordPress. Businesses without a regular blog on their website are missing a trick: regularly updated new and unique content makes a huge difference to search engine traffic, and we all know that means more sales leads.
However, writing a blog for your business takes a lot of effort, planning, and a knack for keeping on brand without sounding like a sales pitch every week. So, why is blogging such hard work – and why is it so important?
Prepare, prepare, prepare
The instant nature of the internet, and the ease of use of CMS systems these days, means it’s incredibly tempting to put some words together and throw them online straight away.
This can lead to a haphazard approach: no clear editorial schedule means your content might miss important opportunities for promoting events within your business such as product launches. Worse, you could miss important events outside of your business. Why are these important? Well, they not only ensure your content is fresh and relevant, but it shows that your business isn’t self-centred: if you can connect with other events in your industry and indeed the wider world, you’re more likely to connect with more potential customers.
Turning your eyes (and words) outside of your business may feel counter-intuitive to building sales leads. However, it establishes your reputation as a business that knows its stuff, and that isn’t afraid to jump in to industry discussions. Even better, it shows potential customers that they can rely on you to have a genuine interest in your industry – thus providing good customer service alongside a great product. Blogs aren’t about the hard sell, they’re about establishing your reputation, and making your website a place for people to visit on a regular basis.
Your brand, your image, your words
Your blog is a key place to demonstrate the cohesive nature of your brand. Every word needs to be in line with your company strategy, otherwise you’re producing something which doesn’t fit in with your messaging. While this sounds obvious, hang on for the next bit…
Your blog is the place to establish your brand personality. The more informal nature of blogs means readers want to connect with a person in some way – they aren’t reading your sales literature, they want to read something about your product or services in the wider context of the world. The voice of your blog needs to be personal, and not salesy: your personality is not found in your products.
For example, rather than pitching the reader about your amazing no-stain-ever clothing line, a series of travel articles which include things such as ‘easy to pack essentials’, ‘top packing tips for hand-luggage only travel’, or ‘trudge the jungle: surviving without luxuries’ will attract a much wider audience who have a genuine interest in what you have to say.
Content is king…and queen… and prince… and princess… it’s the entire royal court and then some.
Long subtitle, but it needed to make the point. Having a regular blog ensures that your website content is constantly updated. It gives regular customers reasons to return to your website, and provides additional content for email marketing campaigns.
You’ll have noticed I use the word ‘regular’ a lot when talking about blogs. This is because many companies take one of two routes, both of which make blogs ineffective (and therefore, as they see less ROI, discourages them from continuing with a blog schedule – damaging their sales lead potential).
The first route is to upload a ton of content in a short amount of time in order to populate the blog, and then never add to it. Content gets old, visitors stop returning, and sales leads dwindle.
The second route is to start off with great intentions of blogging daily or weekly, and managing to do so… for a few months. Staff time is often diverted away from their core tasks and, as we all know, everyone is pushed for time these days. Blogs get forgotten, pushed down the To Do list… and traffic begins to dwindle again.
Commit To A Schedule
Committing to a regular blog schedule, usually by using a freelancer (who can focus solely on delivering blogs on time and to subject), means content is regularly updated on your website. It means visitors will continue to return, and see your wonderful offers and promotions without feeling the pressure of the hard sell.
Content drives online traffic, and the more people you can get to your website, the higher your sales potential. Even better, content is shareable on social platforms, opening up a huge – previously untapped – audience potential.