People often wonder if blogging is a necessary part of online business. Does it really make such a difference for a business to have or not to have a blog?
The main reason why blogging is highly recommended is the fact that it brings so many benefits for both individuals and companies. Also, numerous statistics and industry reports keep confirming the fact that companies that blog see a lot of benefits from this activity, regardless if they generate leads, increase traffic, or boost sales.
With 91.8 million new posts published each month on WordPress alone, there is no doubt that blogging has become mainstream. It is an ideal outlet for everyone to have their voice heard. Apart from many benefits blogging can bring, there are three principal reasons why blogging has been growing in popularity over the past years.
Blogging gives you an opportunity to reach online users. It is an amazing asset for search engine optimization. With blogging you create content, and search engines love new content. This directly increases the reach of your blog and expands the influence of your brand on the internet.
With so many possibilities blogging provides, it is no wonder so many people blog. Starting from growing your traffic and reach, to building an entire career and becoming an influencer, blogging offers so many exciting possibilities. Exploring these possibilities is based on your goals and the vision of how you want to grow your blog and which directions are perfect for your development as a blogger (or blog owner).
Apart from an idea and the internet connection, you do not need anything else to start blogging today. The online blogging platforms and tools are incredibly user-friendly, enabling everyone to take up blogging as a hobby or start their new career. Additionally, you will find lots of online tutorials, guides, and courses to explore possibilities of blogging further.
When talking about benefits of blogging, it is essential to differentiate between individuals who blog and companies. A lot of these benefits do overlap for both cases, but due to particular characteristics of blogging in both of these situations, some distinctions exist.
Share your experience
Development of blogging has brought a unique opportunity for individuals to share their experience. Individuals can share insights on the topic or circumstances they have personally experienced. Not only does this become a great outlet for them to share knowledge, about both good and bad, but this kind of blogging is a way to truly make a difference. You get to affect people and help them with what they are going through, by sharing your own thoughts about the topic.
Share your knowledge
Besides experience, knowledge can be shared through blogging as well. If you are educated on a particular topic, and you believe some people are interested in learning, you can take up blogging and create your personal brand. You can become an expert on the topic. Apart from growing your influence as a blogger, this can open many additional opportunities for you, such as being invited to workshops, to speak at conferences, etc.
Become a better (published) author
The best way to improve as a writer is to write every day and to work on developing this skill consistently. Blogging can help you with growing as an author and improving your skills with every new post.
Additionally, you get to publish your works, without much effort. You do not need an editor or a publishing house. Your writing can instantly be available to all the online users when you start blogging. Of course, writers have an opportunity of growing their career through blogging and eventually being offered book deals, or other interesting collaborations with the people from their industry.
Start a business
A large percentage of well-known bloggers and influencers nowadays started their blog as a hobby. Blogging is a hobby that offers so many ways to grow and turn your hobby into a business. You can become a speaker, you can advertise your services through a blog, or you can even open up your online shop. There are plenty of opportunities to monetize your blog (as you will see in one of the following chapters).
As a blogger, you get a massive online audience you can reach through your content. Blogging enables you to gain trust and respect from the blog visitors. This influence opens up so many doors for you. Collaborations with brands, interviews with celebrities, or even books deals are only some of the opportunities that you can have as an established blogger.
Create an online community
A blog has that social aspect, allowing you to establish yourself as an author, but giving you an opportunity to chat with the readers at the same time. Encourage visitors to participate with engaging questions, ask them for their feedback, or to leave a comment. As your blog reach grows, so will the online community. Many readers will be eager to join the discussion and start interacting with you, as well as with the other readers. Earning respect from this community is possible through quality content. Over time, this free community can grow into a premium club, which is another way you can start earning from your blog.
A blog provides content for your website. Ideally, this content is optimized to use keywords related to your business. The more content you have, the more indexed pages you will get. This results in improved organic search visibility because search engines will have more of your links stored in their database, which are then shown as a response to a particular search query. If you manage to get your website to come up as a result for many queries, you will increase website traffic. However, it is essential that those search queries are related to your content and your business.
Blogging is beneficial for website optimization in multiple ways:
- Keywords – Having a blog gives you more content which you can optimize for the keywords that are relevant to your business.
- Relevancy – The more relevant visits you have, the more likely the search engines are to see your website as relevant for the specific topic. This will give your website a high-rank status and help with gaining reputation.
- Off-site SEO – Content of exceptional quality generate links, which is one of the most relevant metrics used to assess website’s reputation through off-site SEO elements.
- Freshness – This is another factor that will help you with search engines because they love seeing new content added and the old being updated.
The improved SEO rank also includes long-tail search queries. There are fewer long-tail searches than single keyword searches. Still, long-tail keywords are considered to be higher-converting, which is why they are better for your overall website performance.
Build influence in the industry
Blogging helps you increase your influence by establishing yourself as an expert in the industry. A blog is a platform where you can share industry-related information, study reports, insights, and guides your audience will find helpful. Building influence helps you increase trust. Online users start to identify your brand with a particular industry, they associate the brand with high quality. This way you already have an established connection with potential consumers, which can have a significant impact on their buying decision.
Create a personalized approach
Even amazingly presented website content (on the homepage or about us page) cannot give your business that personal touch that a blog can. Companies use blogs to add a personal side to their business, by sharing stories about the production process, about employees, events, etc. This approach is guaranteed to increase trust in your brand and enable visitors to relate to your brand.
Generate inbound links
Without a blog, you will have a hard time generating inbound links. Other blogs and influencers are less likely to link to a homepage of a business. On the other hand, if you have a useful guide for the industry you are in (for example a guide for starting a blog), you can expect many relevant web pages to link to this content. Many blogs that focus on the related topic will include such a link as a recommendation for their readers if they find it helpful and valuable. Not only are these links an important source of traffic, but they are also good for your website optimization.
More content increases the opportunity to collect emails. Increasing your audience is going to encourage more interest in your brand, allowing you an opportunity to collect emails and further develop this business-to-customer relationship through email marketing. You should make sure you use engaging CTAs and high-converting landing pages to collect more email addresses.
Finally, all of these benefits companies see through blogging accumulate to an increase in sales. More collected emails, better search engine visibility, increasing traffic, and gaining more influence are all factors that directly increase sales. This is how blogging becomes an asset in sales strategy of your company, helping you generate sales through blog content.
While the positive influence of blogging cannot be denied, there can be some obstacles to this strategy as well. Take a look at the three most common obstacles you will encounter and how you can overcome them.
One of the biggest obstacles companies face is the lack of time to devote to blogging. A blog post takes a lot of time to write, edit, proofread, optimize, and publish. Blog management also requires time.
To prevent the lack of time becoming an issue that prevents you from blogging and exploring its potential, you could use several strategies to save/optimize your time:
- Hire freelance writers – Someone from outside the company can help you create content for your blog. It is essential that the person is knowledgeable about the industry, and that you still check content submitted by the writers.
- Guest blogging – Guest blogging is another way to obtain new content for your blog and keep up with the pace of regular publishing. You will have to make sure that you accept only relevant topics and content that will be beneficial for your audience. Guest blogging can help you diversify the topics and writing style on your blog while bringing fresh content on a regular basis.
- Create a plan and to-do list – Try to organize your writing more effectively. Plan your topics well and make sure you create a publishing calendar that you can regularly update. If you are unable to produce a new blog post each day, that is ok, just make sure you have some schedule for publishing.
- Learning with time – Writing will become easier and faster in time. As you get more experienced with the topic and the particular blog format, you will be able to produce more content in less time.
Blogging can become a true challenge for companies that want to use this strategy. Besides the lack of time, companies might also lack the expertise to create high-quality content. They might face difficulties when optimizing content, or they might simply fail at understanding what the customers need.
To help fight these challenges, it is important to recognize them on time and explore ways to solve them efficiently. Try to detect the obstacles that might be holding you back and preventing you from publishing content on your blog. You do not want to give up blogging at the sign of an obstacle. Instead, make sure you think about ways your company can overcome these obstacles.
This is a difficulty mostly associated with smaller companies that are unable to allocate a significant budget to blogging. Beside blog hosting, the budget can also include writers’ fees, editors’ fees, content creators’ fee for visual content, paid content promotion and distribution, paid blogging tools and applications, etc. All of this can be a big burden for companies starting out and being unable to invest into blogging, before seeing any financial gain from blogging.
You can overcome this challenge by optimizing your blogging activity so that you can provide at least some content for your visitors. Even one blog post per week, or a guide once a month is better than no content at all. Also, try to accept guest bloggers who might want to create content for free (with a link back to their blog).
Although challenges do exist with blogging, one thing is for sure – benefits of blogging are numerous. As every beginning, starting out blogging can be quite difficult, stressful and there will be plenty of those moments when you are full of self-doubt. However, it is helpful to have a plan, a blogging strategy in place. With this strategy showing you the goals you want to work for and benefits you could eventually earn, you will feel more motivated to pursue your vision and shape this vision into a successful blog.