Part of the website design process involves finalizing its pages. “Home Page”, “About Us”, “Services” and “Contact Us” are standard pages for a website. After going through their ideas, one question we often find ourselves asking a client is, “Do you want a blog page?”
The clients who come to us for website design services love to read blogs. But apparently, many are unsure of how blogging can help their business.
What is a Blog?
A blog is more than just an unlikely pairing of the words “Web” and “Log”. It is a word that is short in letters and syllables but has big implications on business.
A blog functions like a journal or an archive. In a website, blogs are arranged in chronological order. It gives the writer or “blogger” a forum to share his or her thoughts, ideas, opinions, knowledge and general opinions on specific topics or areas of expertise.
The term “blog” was first coined by Jorn Barger in 1997. The popularity of blogging exploded in 1999 as developers introduced blogging tools and software that were more functional and easier to use.
How big is blogging? In the popular blogging site Tumblr alone, there are more than 345 million blog accounts; an amazing 1,132% growth rate within 6 years! Given the growth of blogging as an activity the past few years, it is well within reason to expect that most of the 1 billion websites operating on the Internet today have a blog page.
8 Different Types of Blog
A blog can be on just about anything you can think of. According to WordPress, these are the most popular blog categories:
- Personal – The broadest category and usually involves personal interests such as music, travel, health and family among others.
- Business – Used by business owners, executives and influencers to share their knowledge and expertise.
- School – Provides a platform for teachers and students to collaborate on school projects.
- Non-Profits – Foundations and charity groups use blogs to increase awareness on their advocacy and to help in their fund-raising activities.
- Military – Families of those serving in the military use blogs to share their views on the world, to stay in touch with relatives and as a platform to give moral support to military wives and children.
- Private – Some bloggers put up sites which are exclusive only to select family and friends.
- Sports – The perfect platform for every sports fan who dreams of becoming the next Miramon Nuevo, Frank DeFord or Rick Reilly.
- How To, Tips and Reviews – Probably the highest ranking blogs are “How To’s” and other list type articles. Remember, people are always searching for relevant and usable content.
Regardless of the type of blog you choose, it can become a powerful driver of business to your website. Blogging is not just an exercise in writing; it is a purposeful, thoughtful and strategic activity that when done with consistency will offer you many amazing benefits.
8 Benefits of Blogging for Your Business
1. Improves Search Ranking
If you want to improve your search ranking; and who doesn’t, listen to Google and work on your website’s User Experience or UX.
One of Google’s criteria for UX involves the consistent publication of great content. As we mentioned in our article “The Basics of SEO”, content must be relevant, usable, engaging and unique.
When you consistently put out blogs that address the needs of your market and offer actionable solutions, more people will be clicking to your website. You should also blog frequently. Surveys show companies that blog 16 times a month gain 3.5 times more traffic than those that blog only 4 times a month.
Here’s a valuable tip when using blogs to improve search ranking: Prioritize long-form content or blogs that exceed 2,000 words.
Studies show lengthy blog posts, content that reach 2,400 words, are significantly more effective in pushing websites up the search rankings than short-form blogs.
2. Gives Your Business a Personality
Think of the blog page as your voice on the Internet. It gives you a virtual soapbox to stand on and share your ideas, thoughts and opinions to your audience. Those who read your blog will get an idea of the person behind the business. Therefore, a blog humanizes your brand and gives your business a personality.
Why is it important for a business to have a personality? According to Nobel Prize winning psychiatrist Daniel Kahneman, consumers do not patronize businesses because of pricing or by what is stated on the product label. Consumers patronize businesses to whom they have established an aligned purpose.
Starbucks continues to sell 4 million coffees every day despite the frequent price increases because consumers know their extra dollars goes to fund numerous charities and foundations.
A business blog doesn’t have to be limited to your products and services. Let your audience discover the kind of person you are; your interests, likes, dislikes and opinions on relevant issues. Opening yourself to your audience will help foster a strong relationship that is built on trust and transparency.
3. Boosts Your Inbound Marketing Campaign
An inbound marketing campaign normally incorporates tools and processes such as social media marketing, e-mail marketing and link building. Content is a crucial component to these inbound marketing strategies.
Sharing the content of others is a great way of generating viewership. But it would be better if you could re-direct the interest to your own website by distributing your own content.
Social media draws more than 2 Billion Internet users every day. Facebook alone has more than 1.8 Billion active members. By distributing your content frequently through the vehicle of social media, you can open up new inbound avenues to your website.
You can also re-write previous content into a shorter, more condensed format and distribute them as newsletters via an e-mail marketing campaign.
4. Enhances Your Online Reputation
Have you ever been in a panel discussion where it is hard to get a word in? A blog gives you the forum to share your ideas, experience and expertise without being unceremoniously cut, interrupted or heckled. If people like your content, they may share it via social media or link to it from their website.
This is why blogging should be taken seriously. As we mentioned at the start of this article, blogging is not just an exercise in writing. You should not post content just for the sake of putting a blog out there.
Whenever you publish content, you are competing for the attention of a specific audience. You must prove yourself as the more credible resource in your industry.
Here are valuable tips on writing effective blogs:
- Always write for your audience or target market; find the issues that concern them and offer actionable solutions.
- Do not attempt to impress your readers by using technical jargon. People click to your link to be informed; it is already understood that you are the expert.
- Put your audience at ease by writing in a conversational manner. Again, think of the blog as your voice on the Internet. Write the same way you would converse with someone you just met.
- Keep your paragraphs short; no more than 3 sentences per paragraph. You probably noticed that’s how we write our blogs for Mountaintop. Shorter paragraphs are an easier read and makes the blog look cleaner.
- Use bullet points to organize your ideas.
- Use keywords judiciously. Please refer to our article, “How to Drive Traffic to Your Website” for more information on keyword usage.
Lastly, if you are not confident about your ability to write blogs, hire the services of a professional writer.
5. Increases Lead Generation
According to a study by HubSpot, websites with 400 to 1,000 pages of content generate 6 times more leads than websites with only 51 to 100 pages.
In other words, the more you blog the greater the probability of gaining new leads. This is because blogging creates opportunities for readers to sign up for newsletters, e-mail content and issue requests for quotes on products and services.
6. Improves Sales Conversion
Blogging actively sends a message to your audience that your business is dynamic and thriving. Consistently delivering high quality blogs can help build trust, loyalty and belief in your brand. Eventually, you should expect your efforts to carryover to improved sales conversion rates.
A study by HubSpot showed that businesses who worked diligently on their blogs experienced a 13-times increase in ROI compared to companies that did not put as much time and resources on publishing content.
7. Makes Link Building Easier
Link building is one of the 3 pillars of an effective SEO strategy. The other 2 are content writing and social media marketing. A combination of these 3 tactics will surely help you attract a good number of followers who fit your buyer’s profile.
It is difficult to attract reputable and authoritative links to your website if you do not have a blog page. You can only compel other websites and bloggers to link to your website by consistently publishing usable, relevant, accurate and original content.
This is why these 3 tactics should always work together. Focus on crafting amazing content and distribute it through social media on a regular basis. The more people read your blogs, the greater the chances of getting links back to your website.
8. Generate Income
Here’s a question often asked of us by clients who inquire about the benefits of blogging: Can we make money from blogging?
The answer is “Yes”.
So far, we’ve discussed how blogging drives inbound traffic to your website while enhancing your reputation as an expert in the industry. If you maintain a blogging schedule; that is, publish at least 16 high quality blogs every month, you will succeed in creating traffic in your website.
Increased website traffic can lead to more views on products and services, quotations and hopefully, higher sales.
But there are other ways you can monetize your blogging activity:
- Advertising – Companies target high-traffic websites to post display ads. Whenever a site visitor clicks on a display ad or completes a purchase of the product, you get paid a percentage of sales.
- Affiliate Marketing – You can also promote products and services that are aligned with your business. For example, if you have a website on musical instruments you get paid a commission by the supplier of a digital tuner every time a reader buys the product after coming across your blog post.
- Physical Products and Services – Once you have built a large following and have firmly established your website as a valuable online resource, you can start selling physical products and services. These items could include e-books, training manuals, modules and online consultancy services.
The highest earning blogger is Michael Arrington of TechCrunch who pulls in $900,000 every month.
Statistically, however only 6% of bloggers surveyed made more than $60,000 annually. The majority or 68% earned less than $5,000 per year from blogging.
The takeaway is that you should use blogging primarily as a tool to drive inbound traffic to your website. If you work at your craft and assume it like a full-time job, you may have a career as a blogger while running a business.
Bottom-line is your website would be more effective by having its own blog page. Your blog is the voice that allows your business to stand out from the sea of competitors.
Are you thinking of bringing out the blogger in you? Drop us an email or give us a call. We would be more than happy to help you get started on your blog page.