So, people have mentioned that you should write a blog. You think you should too, but where to start? What would you write about? Will anyone read it anyway? And what about all the time it takes? You are busy, right? Where will you find the extra time?
The list can go on and on. All the excuses under the sun. They are real excuses, but they are excuses none-the-less.
With the right help, learning to blog can be easy and fun, the time taken can be minimal and the benefits can be amazing.
We all know that there are some excellent benefits from SEO perspective of blogging and how just how much the search engines love new content on our websites, but for many producing that content feels like it’s easier said than done.
I talk a lot about using blogging as a part of a recruitment company’s overall business development and marketing strategy. I am a real fan of blogs and blogging and read a lot of blog posts, especially with the help of some very good reader apps. It’s a great way to keep up to date with developments in all sorts of industries, stay in touch with changes and rumours in technology and gadgets, stay professionally up to date and keep amused at the same time.
Developing a blog, sharing your knowledge and insights, is a natural step to building credibility and authority within an industry. It is also becoming more and more recognised by business generally as a way to learn more about you. More about your thoughts, and more about your interests too.
I’m often asked, as someone who has been blogging for years now, what the real benefits are, and what people can expect to achieve if they blog, and blog well.
So, here are my 5 top benefits of business blogging:
1. Build authority in the market
Blogging is a great way to show the world what you know, and think about your market and subject area. It’s all well and good to know what you know, but you need to get it out there, and let others to see you as knowing it too.
Blogging is a great way to do this, especially if you can get others to share your blog posts, or guest on other’s sites. There is no doubt that when someone we trust shares content, the step up in authority is great.
2. Humanise you and your business
The web is a big place, and as nice as your website maybe, you need to help others to see the real you. Blogging help with this massively as it allows you to speak with your prospective audience and clients in a very normal way. You can speak with them. Show them the real you.
People buy people after all. Let them see the person behind the brand through your witting and your thoughts.
3. Drive traffic to your website
Blogging does an number of important things for web traffic. Not least of these is the benefit of keeping the content on your site changing and up to date (something the search engines loves) but it also produces more and more indexed pages for your site which in turn help drive traffic through organic search.
Blogging also helps you get discovered via social media sharing. Every time you write a piece online and share it, you are producing content that others can share too. Using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc exposes you and your business to so many new people who don’t know you yet.
This sharing also keeps your social media profile active and growing. You don’t have time to ‘do’ social media – well, you do now!
4. Turn the right readers into marketable contacts
Adding ‘calls to action’ and links to your website within your blog not only attracts people to read more about you, but also gives you the opportunity to sign up for more content from you in exchange for their content details. eBooks, newsletters, free information sheets, free webinars, trial products etc are all things that people will happily give you their details for.
This helps you build your list of marketable contacts, but also helps you understand the kind of things they might be interested in and how to start a conversation with them.
In the main only people with a genuine interest in what you do and the services you provide will click through, providing an natural filter to help in your marketing efforts.
5. Develop long term relationships
We all know how important it is to keep in touch with our clients and business contacts, and blogging is a great way to help do this. Sharing interesting and useful content with those we already know helps keep up front of mind with them, provides a helpful touch point, and often gives a great starting point for conversation.
It is so nice when people walk up to me at networking or social events and mention a blog post of video blog they have just read or seen, and it happens all the time.
Oh, and that newsletter content you are struggling to find – why not repurpose the great work you have already done in your blog posts?
About the author: James Nathan runs the James Nathan experience; the Business Development, Sales and Service Excellence Expert for Professional Recruiters.