In some ways, it is a bit amazing that I am discussing the benefits of blogging. What I mean is that in the history of time, blogging really hasn’t been around long.
On December 17, 1997, Jorn Barger first used the term weblog (which was later shortened to just the word blog and quickly used as both a verb and a noun). At that time, blogging mostly referred to people writing a personal blog. In other words, a select group of people (generally those who were very high-tech and way ahead of their times) wrote about topics of interest to them. In fact, many people simply used blogs as a chronicle of their lives; they originally called themselves diarists and referred to their blogs as online diaries (oh, the days of Livejournal!).
Today, blogging is much more prevalent, and it is used in many ways. Certainly, there are still traditional bloggers. There are also people who use their blog as a journalism site. However, most blogs today are actually hosted on company websites. 89% of B2B content marketers report using blogs as an important part of their strategy, second only to social media in popularity.
There are many benefits of blogging for small businesses when you are creating a high-quality website for your business. Below, I will lay out the most significant.
1. Benefit of blogging: It creates traffic and leads
Creating traffic is the #1 benefit of blogging for small businesses. When people choose to visit your website’s main page or products page, they likely already know who you are. But imagine when people put a query into a search engine, and your blog post rises toward the top as one that best answers the question. You suddenly get a whole new wave of potential customers on your website. And of course, once they are on your website, they are just a click or two away from purchasing. Even if they don’t choose to do so right away, your company becomes associated with expertise in their mind. They will certainly remember that the next time they are looking for professional assistance.
The following statistics help prove that a blog is a key component to any marketing plan for a small business:
- Businesses with a blog get 55% more visitors to their websites and create 67% more leads.
- Businesses that prioritize blogging are 13 times more likely to have a positive ROI.
- Blogging regularly is important as well: companies that publish 16 or more blog posts per month receive 3.5 times the traffic of those that publish four or less.
- 60% of buyers say that blog posts help them make decisions when they are at the start of their purchase journey.
- Almost 80% of businesses with a blog say that their blog delivers results.
- Blogs increase conversion rates from visits to websites by 6x, on average.
With all these amazing statistics, it is no wonder why blog writing is considered one of the key marketing strategies for small businesses.
2. Blogging gives you easy material to post on social media (and for others to share!)
As mentioned above, the only media that content marketers use more than blogs is social media. However, thinking of something to post on LinkedIn, Facebook, etc., every few days can be very challenging. One of the beautiful things about having a new blog is that you want to promote it anyway! So, every time you post a new blog on your website, you can promote it on social media. You have just killed two birds with one stone.
And of course, your followers will share your best blog posts on social media. When that happens, your traffic increases even more.
3. Blogging helps establish your brand
Another one of the main benefits of blogging is that it gives you a chance to continually emphasize your identity to your customer. For that matter, if you do enough blog writing, you can even show multiple layers to your brand.
For example, almost all companies want to be seen as experts in their field, whether their field is interior decorating, web design, cybersecurity, or anything else. Blog writing gives you a chance to show your expertise and educate your customer by answering some of the FAQs for your industry. Even if the post is showing the reader how to perform a task at home, when the customer ultimately decides to turn to a professional, they will remember your name. For that matter, many bloggers will add in a section at the end of a post that explains when it is time to get a professional’s help (with a link to your main page, of course!)
However, especially if you add blog posts relatively regularly, you are not limited to just posts that offer tips or explain concepts. You might choose to add a few more lighthearted or humorous posts. Perhaps you want to share a heart-warming story from your community. Or, you could share a little bit about a charity or a cause that your business supports. In this way, your business’ brand can become more multifaceted.
Finally, you may want some posts that discuss…you, the proprietor of the business. Customers want to do business with people they like, so it’s never a bad strategy. Plus, it is often beneficial to spend some time on your personal branding.
4. Blogging lets you get feedback from customers
The best blogs don’t just stop at delivering content to the reader. Instead, the comments section becomes a forum for customers to interact with the posts. So too does the comments section of any social media platform where you share the post. This means consumers are highly engaged with your brand. Indeed, they will often come back to check to see how the conversation has progressed. It also gives you an opportunity to directly respond to your consumers’ comments, increasing your interaction with them.
5. Blogging helps you share news and be responsive to customers
As you see common themes emerge in these comments from your customers, another one of the benefits of blogging is that you can write posts based on these themes. If you see that customers are confused about some element of your service or product, you can write a blog to clarify. You can also write a troubleshooting post or an FAQ post. Many customers will go to your website when they have these questions, so your blog will serve as a great resource and show that you are customer-centric. Other times, a customer will ask a question in a search engine about your product or service. If you have a blog post covering the topic, they can go to you. In this sense, you get a chance to control the narrative, so to speak.
Of course, you can use your blog to share exciting news as well. Perhaps you have won an accolade. Perhaps you are running a special promotion (certainly one of the most common marketing strategies for small businesses). Perhaps you are supporting a certain charity. All of these are great reasons for a blog post, as are many more.
Without a blog, sharing news like this with customers is typically done through means that are far more expensive and much slower—if at all. Press releases and advertisements certainly have their uses. However, a blog post is at the very least a great concurrent move.
6. Blogging helps build your email database
One more of the key benefits of blogging is that it gives you a chance to add more email addresses to your list. And you aren’t doing it through any sort of nefarious, sneaky, or illegal way. Customers will willingly give you their email address if they like your content. That way, when you put forth a new post, they get an alert. Similarly, sometimes you can use your blog to promote a new whitepaper and ask for an email address where you can send it. Or, you could have a post promoting a sale and you ask for an email address to which you will send an exclusive offer.
You may have several other creative ways to get email addresses. However, the bottom line is this: if your blog helps you obtain even one more legitimate email address where you can send material to your customers, it is yet one more way your blog has helped your small business.
As you can see, there are many benefits of blogging. However, even if you recognize these benefits, you may still feel like there are some restrictions. You may feel like you do not have the proper skills. Luckily, there are many resources that can help you write quality posts. Alternatively, there are freelancers that can help or digital marketing companies that will do this work for you at a reasonable cost. This solution also helps solve another common concern: not having the time to do it yourself.
If you want a strong online presence, then the benefits of blogging are too many to ignore!