It’s hard to remember a time when the term ‘blog’ didn’t exist. An adaption of the word “weblog”, which was coined by American blogger Jorn Barger in 1997, blogging has become an essential tool for businesses and online personalities to engage with their audience and build their brand.
A decade on from the birth of the blog, my introduction to blogging was during university on my journalism course. Fast forward another ten years and I’m using my own blog to take a look at the reasons you should be blogging in 2017 to help your business, even if you’re not a writer. Your Google ranking will thank you for it.
- It’s easy.
A blog is a simple and easy-to-use platform for sharing timely and relevant information with your audience. Aside from social media, it’s your direct communication channel with your customers. I’d suggest using WordPress for ease and heaps of handy plugins.
- It’s the core of your content marketing.
Once your website is filled with copy, that’s pretty much where the story ends; until you launch a blog. This is where you’ll produce a constant stream of content, which in turn will drive your content marketing and social media strategies.
- It gives your brand a voice.
Establishing a unique tone of voice for your brand is paramount. A blog is the perfect platform to use this voice, whether you’re telling your customers about your product or service, commenting on news and trends or sharing company updates and initiatives.
- It’s great for SEO.
Unique and engaging content is a search engine’s best friend. Discover the keyword for your post and naturally use it throughout your piece, although this alone won’t get your website ranking higher. The key is to produce fresh and high-quality content as it’s great for SEO, so make sure you have something original to say.
- It helps you understand your audience.
Blog analytics allow you to keep track of who your readers are, where they live, what they’re clicking and what days and times they like to visit your site. Whether you use Google Analytics or the like, keep an eye on your blog insights to help tailor future content.
- It helps you tell your brand’s story.
Your brand has its own unique story to tell, and blogging is the ideal way to share this with your audience. Inform your customers about your product or service (without shoving it down their throat) and explain how you can add value to their lives.
- It allows you to share your knowledge.
It’s likely that you’re an expert in your field, which is why you should be writing about it (or at least paying someone else to). Customers need to build trust with your business, which sharing knowledge with them will do.
- It can generate free press.
Journalists will often want to interview business bloggers as they are industry experts. Never pass down the opportunity to generate free press! You might even create the news yourself by producing fresh and relevant content that is newsworthy.
- It creates sales.
As we all know, making money is ultimately the aim of the game. And over time, blogging will definitely help you do this. Just don’t except it to happen overnight, or even in the first year. Creating sales through blogging is a long-term game, as it’s more about building trust with your audience.
- It builds your social following.
Aside from sales, your social following is something else you want to see head north. Posting regular blog content will allow this to happen naturally, especially because you can share posts across your social channels with the relevant hashtags to ensure they get seen.
- It’s a cost-effective marketing tool.
There are many marketing tools and strategies out there that will cost you copious amounts of money; not blogging. Each time you publish a blog post, it becomes a long-term resource that helps you raise brand awareness and increase your ranking in search engines.
- It helps your writing.
Even if you’re not a professional writer, or have any intention on becoming one, it’s always good to improve your writing skills. Blogging will help you do this, which will in turn generally benefit you within business. If you’re still lost for words, you could hire a copywriter.
- It challenges you.
It’s easy to get into our comfort zones, which is why it’s important to do things that challenge us. Managing and maintaining a blog definitely does this, as once the beast is born – it needs to be fed! And it needs to be fed often, with lots of tasty content.
- It disciplines you.
If you’re someone who was born with natural amounts of motivation and dedication, that’s fantastic. I salut you! But if you teeter more on the side of procrastination, blogging is just what you need to be doing. Challenge yourself to stick to schedule and post regularly. Make yourself proud.
- It helps with creativity.
Both coming up with topics to write about and the actual execution of your blog posts will all help encourage you to use your creative mind. Yes, read other blogs to find inspiration. But ultimately you want to offer the world something it doesn’t know it’s missing.
- It helps you build your database.
As more and more people begin to read your blog, you’ll want to ensure these people come back for more. Try out different ways to get your readers to sign up to your mailing list, so you can share future content with them. A box at the bottom of each post is a great start.
- It’s fun!
Last but not least, you should be blogging in 2017 and beyond because it’s a fun thing to do and it will make you happy. This, alongside all the results above, is enough reason to start tapping away at your first set of posts today.
So what are you waiting for? Get blogging!