Is there anything higher on the list of things that we’re collectively sick of than blogs? (Maybe the non-literal use of the word “literally.”)
Blogs are pretty universally disparaged. Probably because every subject in the known universe has been blogged about literally 867 times.
But are we really sick of our cousin’s weekly blog posts about homemade organic baby food? It’s not like we read them anyway.
Maybe we’re just sick of the idea of having a blog. So 2005.
Having said all of this, I’m still going to convince you that you need a blog for your business.
Blogs literally kill a lot of birds with one stone.
Bird #1: Establish Expertise
A blog gives you a platform for showing the world that you’re an expert.
Sure, you’ve got your website, and you’ve got social media, email, and print pieces, but blogs serve a special purpose. They enable you to spout on for hundreds—even thousands—of words.
You don’t want to fill regular website pages up with content; you want to provide information and next steps in an easily-digestible way. You want to keep your social media posts short and sweet since people don’t want to read a book when they’re scrolling through Instagram. Don’t you dare send emails that are hundreds upon hundreds of words long, or you’ll soon be subscriber-less. And there’s just not room on the usual brochures and one-pagers to go on and on and on.
That’s the power of the blog post. It’s designed to be leveraged for in-depth content.
Whether you’re a cat behavioralist, a professional carpet cleaner, or an interior designer who can consult on cat urine-resistant flooring (am I making it too obvious that I have a naughty cat?), if you’ve got expertise to share, a blog is the place to do it.
No, of course you don’t want to give all of your knowledge away. But you do want to provide information relevant to your industry that shows people you know what you’re talking about and that they should go to you for cat training, carpet cleaning, interior design, or whatever it is you do.
Bird #2: Drive People to Your Site
Once you’ve shared your expertise, you want to spread it far and wide. Blogs make it easy to do so. You can share through social media or email, or you can just tell people—retro I know—to head to your website and check out your most recent blog post. (No, not random people on the street—people who have expressed interest in the subject.)
All of these avenues drive people to your site—the hub of your digital marketing. You want to get people to your site because that’s where you can really tell them what you’re all about and encourage them to take the next step.
Here’s another reason why blogs are magical: They’re what we marketers call an “inbound” strategy. Inbound marketing works to draw in customers rather than pushing promotional information out at them. The alternative, “outbound” or “interruption” marketing, is much less palatable and effective. Inbound is all about providing value to customers and earning their attention. Blogs and other content marketing collateral are great at this—as long as they provide value.
Bird #3: Improve Search Rankings
Yet another great thing about blogs is that people who have never heard of you can find you when they search for topics that you cover in your blogs.
If I were to search “training cat to use litter box,” and you had a blog covering that topic in the first page or so of Google search results, I’ll probably check it out even if I’ve never heard of your particular cat training business.
Having lots of high-quality blogs can even improve your search ranking. If many people are coming to your site and Google can tell that they appreciate your content, they’ll rank you higher, ultimately bringing even more people to your site. (Many factors go into search engine ranking. Check out our blog “What is SEO, and how does it work?” for more information.)
Bird #4: Provide Value
This is a good time to mention that just posting any ol’ blog is not going to bring in a wave of new business for you.
Your blogs have to be high-quality. They have to provide value to your specific audience.
How? By answering questions that they have or providing information that is helpful to them. By addressing their “pain points.”
If I’m searching for tips on encouraging my cat to use the litter box, and I find a blog on your cat training business’s website that is particularly helpful, I’ll associate you with quality and expertise. I might just take that next step and hire you to come work with my demon cat.
Now, your blog posts have to answer questions that people are realistically asking (about 5,000 people search for “training cat to use litter box” or a similar term per month) and that you can answer with intelligence.
When I search “training cat to use litter box,” guess how many search results show up? 246 million. That means that if I want the information I share to be seen, I’ve got to not only answer my audience’s question, but I’ve got to work hard to provide the best, most comprehensive content and say something new. Or maybe I can target a similar but distinct term, like “how to train older cat to use litter box.”
Even if many other people have covered a topic, I still encourage you to share your own take. It likely will not show up on the first search engine results page (SERP), but people will still see it and take it into account if they visit your website through other means.
Have I brought you on board the business blog boat (it’s not a train because that’s not alliterative) yet? If you still need convincing, let me share one of my favorite things about blogs: They’re virtually free if you can write them yourself.
Okay, they’re not really free, because you’ll put time into creating them, and time is money. Maybe you’ll even put some cash behind advertising them on social media or through search. But blogs and other types of content marketing are pretty darn affordable in light of the long-term benefits they can bring.
It should be relatively easy for you to set up a blog page on your website if you use a tool like Squarespace or WordPress. For guidance on how to actually figure out a topic for and then write and format your blog, turn to Hubspot’s step-by-step guide on how to write a blog post.