Once upon a time, all that a business had to do was to produce. Customers were called “consumers” then. Today, that term just won’t apply. No one consumes anything. Before customers patronize, they wield a huge list of expectations that businesses have to match up to.
As usual, transactions already come with the usual science of shopping, a hundred factors affecting their buying decisions, the right time, and place. There’s the zero moment of truth. Potential customers conduct searches, they venture out to solicit answers. Their decisions are heavily weighed with how much social proof a company has.
Where does that social proof come from? How does a brand build credibility? How do you make customers vouch for you without you having to break the bank? It’s called blogging. And no, there’s nothing out of the world that I aim to introduce here.
While businesses still scramble to get their content marketing strategy right, a few patterns are beginning to emerge. Blogs are churning. B2B Social media accounts are getting more active. The push for good content on social media and many other parallel platforms such as Q&A sites and communities is now more evident. Businesses – at least some of them – seem to be getting it.
Yet, blogs lie at the very core of content marketing strategy, according to Brian Clark of CopyBlogger.com. Without blogs there’s no bridge; without content being produced regularly, there’s nothing available for businesses to feed into their respective social media networks. Blogs form the crux of online marketing. So, here are some specific reasons why you ought to blog:
It’s the first step
There’s absolutely no content marketing without a blog. Your blogging efforts signal the start of your content marketing strategy, with the blog posts being the root for everything else you do with your online marketing.
Since online marketing depends on trust, engagement and traction you gain on web and mobile through thought leadership, your blog becomes your sounding board. It holds its own as your standard vehicle for thought proliferation.
Mitt Ray of Social Media Examiner reveals how credibility is built with a blog in this infographic.
Your blog is your training platform. It’s your expression board. It’s your graffiti wall. It’s the sole vehicle through which the world will come to know that you exist, that you are awesome, and that you have something to provide – a problem to solve maybe?
It defines your individuality
Of course, all other businesses, including your competition, will also have blogs. They’ll have a frequency and blogging schedule of their own. They’d initiate their own efforts to tap into the power of content marketing. How are you to cope?
Just as it was for businesses earlier when they had to think ahead and execute to retain a competitive edge, you have to not just “produce” content but also put in all-out, all-you-can-spend efforts to make your blog stand out. In case you are wondering how to “stand out,” Leslie Samuel of Become a Blogger has a full list of 118 ways to be different. For most businesses, it just means:
- Publish regularly.
- Publish outstanding content.
- Give your content your own personal touch.
Every blog post has a job to do
Go ahead and put up your ratios on the whiteboard in your office. Say, you want to talk about your products or services with every 10th blog that you produce. Maybe you want to make a soft pitch every 5th blog post. You might want to keep most of your blog posts focused on your niche and never pitch at all – DON’T make that mistake!
No matter what your approach to blogging is going to be, each blog post has a job to do and a goal to meet, as Tommy Walker of Unbounce.com explains. You might want to invoke comments, encourage conversations, trigger social shares, or work up blog posts to actually get you sales. Some posts are published only as floodgates for traffic. Some others are pieces that help establish your credibility.
Whatever you do, make sure you think through the objective of every blog post before hitting the publish button.
Technology just busted your “Blogging is tough!” excuse
It’s mind-boggling to just think about the number of apps available to help you achieve whatever you want to.
Blogging is blessed with content management solutions such as WordPress and Ghost. Thousands of plugins, countless themes, and an abyss of support from virtual communities make it easier to blog today than ever before. You could pick any blogging solution – from open-source CMS to socially skewed ones such as Tumblr.
Tools exist for virtually every thing you need – from research to collaboration; from contact management to CRM solutions. For instance, Builtwith tells you what technology powers a given site. You could find out hosting ownership, server and provider details for the website using WhoIsHostingThis.
Finally, you could spy on the online marketing and advertising your competition is doing using Spyfu. The list of tools for everything you ever wanted to do is “endless”.
You can connect with absolutely anyone on social media networks, and you can even influence the world with the content you’ll develop.
You could pick your style. You could build your own footprint. As Seth Godin writes in his book Tribes, it’s your chance to lead your own tribe through the written word.
It feeds your social chatter
Without a blog and a running, fixed, and established frequency of posts showing up with a bang, there’s nothing else you could do on social media. All that content you produce on your blog becomes the perfect fodder for conversation on social media. A blog post goes live, it gets shared on social networks, and conversations begin.
Many posts later – and maybe years later – you’ll have already dug your hole to put up the credibility pole.
You’ll have established enough clout. Leadership begets followers. Followers turn into customers. They then turn into advocates and fans.
The result: A formidable brand that’s priceless, in business-speak.
It nurtures relationships
Be it the 1960s or today, customer is still the king. Your business will do well when you’re able to nurture relationships, build on them and leverage them, whether offline or online, whether you stay in touch with your audience using social media or email marketing as your conduit. Contrary to what popular literature might make you believe, the money is not in traffic.
The profits are in conversions. No customer converts unless he or she absolutely trusts you. Blogging, email marketing, and social media efforts are all different tactics to get the vote of trust.
Either you get it or you don’t. You’ve got to show up to be in business, and your blog is the best way to show up – dressed to the nines!
How do you approach blogging for your business? What makes you stick to it and what makes you want to run away from it all? What are the things you wanted from your blog when you set out? Are you on the way to getting them? Please let us know in the comments!
55 thoughts on “6 Specific Reasons You Ought to Blog – Nothing Else Will Do!”
Hi Tracey, Good Post Written here. I agree, a business can really be gaininng so much from blogging about what they like to do and know best, for their business. It makes you real and can give a potential consumer the feeling they know you. These are all good things to help grow a business. It’s not easy but the awards are so worth it. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this 🙂
Shailesh recently posted..I Earned INR 20,00,000 from AdSense through Blogging in 2013
I agree that blogging does make us real and helps potential customers connect with us on a personal level. Thanks for letting us know that enjoyed Tracey’s post.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Want Ideas to Promote a Niche Ecommerce Site With A Blog?
Thanks, Shailesh. Businesses are entities too – and with a blog, they become “humanized” entities… they can communicate where they stand, where they’re going, and what they’re doing to their customers. The rewards will invariably come.
I started blogging on my portfolio website last year after a long hiatus. I do enjoy it, and i think it enhances my website and brings in some freshness every couple of weeks. I don’t really target it or offer services through it because what I do is very specific, but maybe I should? Hadn’t thought of that. I’m terrible at selling myself!
As for my personal style blog for many reasons I’m just letting it dwindle. I do enjoy it when I’m into it, but I just haven’t been into it recently. I wonder if one person can really straddle two blogs simultaneously unless they’re actually making money off of them.
One thing I have done is upped the frequency of my “Tweet Old Post” plugin. I’ve gotten back “into” twitter again recently and keep hoping the platform will bring some traffic to my website. But having lots of quality blog posts to retweet definitely helps!
Heather Fonseca recently posted..Fabulous Fashion Illustrations on Greeting Cards
Hey Heather, good thing you started blogging again – now don’t stop! Nope, you shouldn’t try to sell or offer services through your blog. Just blog about what you love, what excites you, and what’s relevant to the work you do! That’s what will endear you to your community and target audience in general. And when they’re looking to buy something you’re selling, guess who’ll they approach? Same applies to straddling two or more blogs.
I feel a bit cheeky commenting as I don’t really blog for business any more. Not because it doesn’t help but because I found a more efficient way to drive business (not suitable for all businesses though).
I still visit and read many of the blogs that I used to and I sense that there is a little bit of worry in the air at the moment. You know, comment luv, guest posting being slapped etc, etc.
I think that you are spot on. Blogging and social are made for each other and it’s hard to achieve the same level of response using a static site and social media.
Building that readership, reputation and community also offers a great deal of security against the ever changing online environment.
Although it’s not a tactic that I use now, I would never say that it is not a great way for the majority of businesses to grow online.
Having said that I don’t post, I just wrote my first post for months and now intend to start doing it regularly again. The only difference is, I’m now doing it purely for enjoyment. For anyone who is in doubt, blogging is very rewarding at a personal level too.
Steve Hippel recently posted..Matt Cutts Quality Of Local Search Results
Welcome back to blogging Steve! I just read your post about Matt Cutts , Google, SEO and spam and your suggestion is very similar to what a few of us have been kicking around.
SEO and Google have been a real pain to most of us and it has taken a little of the fun out of blogging. I still enjoy blogging and I feel that what I have to say often helps other bloggers.
I also believe that the conversations that are fostered here add value but I have to admit that I became very disillusioned last year when I lost close to two—thirds of my traffic. (According to Fruition.net, I had been repeatedly whacked by Google’s algorithm changes.)
I have to tell you that I would miss the sense of community if I didn’t blog, comment and share. I’ve built a great support system through blogging.
Thanks so much for dropping by and sharing your insight with us.
Very true, Steve. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts here, given that you haven’t done so in recent times. I’d say that we bloggers shouldn’t worry about Google, because Google doesn’t worry about us. What we should care about is our community, because that’s who really cares for us! Hope you enjoy blogging and don’t stop this time!
Nice reminder ladies.
It is funny how much resistance there still is to blogging and how much people need to be pushed.
But alas, once they are in it, I think they will find out that suddenly they have traffic, targeted traffic, that is interested in what they have to say and more!
Ashley @ madlemmings recently posted..How to Share Infographics on Social Media – Best Practices [Infographic]
I work with a few clients who refuse to blog. I think it’s overwhelming to some people. Once they see their competition blogging, I’m hoping that a few of them will come around.
The common factor that these clients share are that they’re all local based businesses that rely on referrals and word-of-mouth advertising. Another one is a specialty niche that provides cultivated scallops directly to restaurants. His company is growing by leaps and bounds. So far, a simple website that directs them to his contact info is meeting his needs.
Of the 3 clients that pop immediately into mind, one of them really needs to blog now and the other two are growing their business at a pace that they’re comfortable with.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.
Thanks for your thoughts, Ashley. I do find that people are rarely ready for the “sudden” traffic, because it mostly comes when they least expect it or have given up hope. 🙂
Sherryl, I feel you when you say you have clients who refuse to blog. Worse are those who go “What am I paying you for? If you think it needs to be done, just do it.” And then comes the long, winding, uphill process of explaining and showing the benefits of blogging to them.
I think blogging is the greatest marketing strategy in the year 2000. It is a bridge to connect to potential clients and/or customers. I think we should treat our blog like real estate. It is always ours and will be fully in control of it, versus social media that can vanish anytime they feel like it. Blogging can be there for us, no matter how social media change their algorithm. I think blogging is so important more than anything else as far as business marketing strategy is concerned.
Angela McCall recently posted..Best Spam Software
Good analogy, Angela. I’d also like to think of blogging and social media as things we’ve said aloud. Once words are out of our mouth, we can be proud of what we said or regret it, but it can’t be undone.
Great points Angela! I like your idea of treating our blogs like real estate. I hadn’t ever thought of it that way before.
Thanks for weighing in on this.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Do You Comment for Backlinks on DoFollow Enabled CommentLuv Blogs?
You definitely got me thinking about the reasons I blog.
Well first off, I started blogging because my sponsor told me when I used to be in MLM. I did wonder how I was going to come up with content every week, but I found some resources that helped me with different topics.
But as I dove into it, I found more and more resources on blogging and marketing, then I had an epiphany. I just figured out why people would major in marketing LOL There is so much information on marketing and building your business online, that I became a fiend for it.
The reasons you gave pretty much summed up why I blog and loving it. It definitely is fulfilling to me and it did help me become more aligned with what I really want and why I want it!
Thanks for sharing!
Very true, Sherman. There’s more accurate and updated information online about marketing than any university can ever teach you. It’s important to keep looking and learning always.
I can picture you diving into blogging and then developing a passion for it. That’s great advice. Sometimes, if we think too long about something before just doing it, we miss the opportunity completely. We all find our blogging voices as we go along. We just need to keep in mind who our target reader is (and if that changes as we grow, that’s ok too).
It sounds like you’ve found your passion. Thanks for sharing it with us!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Do you Brand Yourself, Your Company, or Your Product on Social Media Sites?
When I first starting blogging, it was because everyone told me I had to and I had no clue as to why. I think the most important one is building relationships and builds a reputation for who you are. Most critical to me who plans to build on those relationships to continue online.
Great points. Thanks for sharing,
Barbara Charles recently posted..Do You Have Blogger Writer’s Block?
🙂 At least you listened to what everyone told you. Thanks, Barbara.
Thanks for letting us know why you started blogging. You are so right about the importance of building relationships and your reputation. That’s critical. As Tracy said, our blogs also provide us with content to share. All of this helps us to build awareness of us and our brand. Top-of-mind awareness is as important online as it is in the brick-and-mortar world.
I’m sure there are many people here who started the same way you did.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..5 Basic Tips for WordPress Bloggers and Website Owners
Good to see you here on Sherryl’s blog!
As a blogger, I firmly believe that is a home base for our business. It is where people can “come in” and get to know you, not only for the great content you give, but also for your edge on things.
I’ve been in my own business for decades and love organic growth because my clients are still with me. I never advertised, but rather was consistent, and always gave the extra mile. That’s how my business always worked for me.
Now that I’m in the virtual world, I apply the same principles. Never expecting anything to change overnight. But with patience and persistence, I know that is the basis of a good business.
When blogging, I give it my all, and answer every comment. Making connections with people is a must! I seen my blog grow over the few years I’m on line. And it is powerful!
As a consumer, I check people out. If they don’t have an interactive blog, my first response is Hmmmm. When I shop around for certain plug ins offered, or just about anything else, I do check out the person who is pitching the product. If I don’t know them, I go directly to their blog.
Great tips and I’m going to try some of those links you mentioned. I think I’ll have a lot of fun with Spyfu! Thanks!
Donna Merrill recently posted..Time For A Blog Makeover?
Great to know that you’ve got consistent results with organic efforts and didn’t need to advertise at all!
Further, it is *so* important to answer all comments, even if it’s just an acknowledgment – it goes to show you appreciate everyone who’s taken the time to do it.
I love that you apply the same principles that you did in the brick-and-mortar world to the virtual world. I do that myself and I always tell people that is what I do too.
Networking online is not that different from networking in person. People prefer to do business with people they know and trust.
Actually, in the online world, it can be more challenging because we don’t have the opportunity to meet face-to-face. We have to be aware that words alone, without visual signs such as a smile or a wink, have the potential of being misunderstood. That’s why it’s so important what we post everywhere, (comments, social networking sites etc.).
I check people out online too before I buy from them and I’m also influenced by who they’re connected with online. When I approve comments here, if I have any doubt whether or not the person is legit, I check their Twitter stream too.
Thanks so much for sharing your insight with us.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Is Social Networking Really that Different from Face-to-Face?
Tracy, thanks for your awesome share.
I recently read a post on Beth Hayden’s blog where a friend actually talked about the importance of blogging to her pet business.
And I was quite impressed. This goes to show how people connect with customers through blogging.
Thanks for sharing Vide
Peter Kanayo recently posted..How to Build Your Audience Through Blog Commenting
Thanks, Peter. Blogging is important to all businesses, large and small, if they want a deeper connection with their customers. Can’t stress that enough.
Thanks for sharing the example of your friend. There are so many opportunities for small business owners to blog. The key is to not blog about your business but instead to blog about things that would interest your current and potential customers. Then, of course, sharing other content that they would find valuable really helps to differentiate you from other businesses.
What sort of topics does your friend blog about?
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Did Matt Cutts say that Guest Blogging for Links is Dead?
Nice to see you on Sherryl’s blog. I agree with everything you have said but certainly here in Australia the amount of businesses that have blogs is very small. I am referring to traditional businesses. I live in a tourist town. Most of the larger businesses and restaurants have websites but some of the smaller ones do not even have them. Crazy – yes!
Having been a small business person myself and worked in a consulting role to many I know they are busy but they need to find a way.
A great post. Thanks
Sue Price recently posted..Baby Boomers : Solution to Retirement Concerns
Thank you, Sue! Things will change fast, I suppose. I know a few fishing stores based in Australia that not only blog regularly, but also have an active presence on Social Media. Small businesses in small towns do need to understand that not blogging is not an option, and as consultants, it’s part of our responsibility to make them realize that.
There are a lot of small businesses in the U.S. that are reluctant to start blogging too. Many of them are concerned about the time commitment, not knowing what to write about or having the skill set to write. I’f set up several small biz websites and none of those owners are willing to blog (yet).
The biggest trend that I see (as far as convincing small business owners to blog goes) are small presentations and workshops that are being offered at business functions like expos, Chambers of Commerce etc. Those workshops that also share real life success stories tend to be the most helpful
Thanks for dropping by and sharing your insight with us.
Good to meet you here at Sherryl’s blog. Great post by the way!
Today, businesses can really benefit so much from blogging and no wonder so many businesses are getting onto the bandwagon. All of the points you discussed have their practical application and I thank you for sharing those with us here.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Kumar Gauraw recently posted..Introverts Bring Extraordinary Talents And Abilities To The World
Thank you, Kumar! Have a great weekend!
Thanks a lot, Kumar. Have a great weekend, you too!
Thanks for letting us know that you enjoyed Tracy’s guest post. New blog content can keep us on the top of our customers/clients mind too. As Tracy pointed out we need content to share on our social media sites too. (Speaking of new content, I’m going to hop over to your blog and check out your latest post.) You have a wonderful weekend too.
How nice of you to do a guest post on Sherryl’s blog. I had no idea all those technologies existed just for blogging. I’m going to have to check some of them out. I do know I could get lost with plugins for sure. You did give me a HUGE aha moment. I never, ever talk about my business. That’s one really big mistake that I’m going to have to fix right away. Thank you so much for bringing it to my attention. I’m so glad I read this. 🙂 Take care, Lisa
Lisa Magoulas recently posted..Dairy Free Cheesecake
Thank you so much, Lisa! Yes you *could* get lost with plugins and tools, but it’s easier if you dig into them nibble by nibble 🙂
Talking just enough about your business is a tightrope – all the best!
Thanks for taking the time to let us know that you found Tracy’s guest post interesting. One of the things Tracy mentioned was making a soft pitch every 5th blog post. One thing that you can do is link that soft pitch to an existing related article on your blog. Internal links within your site can help with SEO and they also help your readers navigate to another page on your site.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..5 Basic Tips for WordPress Bloggers and Website Owners
I’ll definitely start doing that. Ya know, I don’t even write posts about my services. I guess I need to incorporate those. Lisa
Lisa Magoulas recently posted..Dairy Free Cheesecake
Nice to see you here at Sherryl’s awesome blog and thanks for sharing this with us. I’m just thrilled I’m not a small business trying to promote my wares because I know it’s a cut throat place out there today.
I do know though when I’m ready to do business with a company I’ll go in search of their blog to see what they’re all about and what their customers are saying about them. When I don’t find one I’m very disappointed and I usually will go find another company to do business with. I know that shouldn’t be my main reason but in today’s market it certainly is. Especially if that company wasn’t recommended to me by a friend.
Come on people, get the blog up and start sharing with your customers and prospects more about what you do and let us be a part of that.
Thank you ladies and hope you both have a marvelous day.
Adrienne recently posted..UPDATE: Loyal Commenters Landing In Spam
Thank you, Adrienne. You’re right – we’ve reached a point where, fortunately or unfortunately, small businesses cannot simply “do business” without being constantly in touch with their customers, potential or existing.
Thanks for letting us know that you enjoyed Tracy’s guest post and for taking the time to share your thoughts with us.
I’m disappointed too when I can’t find a blog or at least an online presence. No matter how small a business is, nowadays they need to have some way for customers to interact with them online.
My elderly mom lives several towns away from me and recently she needed a handyman. She’s a bit of a distance from me to recommend anyone who’s local to me. Wouldn’t you know? Within hours of talking to her, I saw someone I’m friends with on Facebook “like” a business page for a handyman. Sure enough, that handyman was located in a neighboring town of my mother. A quick scan of his FB page and I recognized three mutual friends who had liked his page.
That was enough for me! I recommended him to my mom and after she used him, my brother (who is a realtor) used him too and is recommending him to others.
Moral of the story . . . small businesses need to be online. A blog is great but at the very least, establish your online presence.
Have a great weekend!
Blogging is one stop shopping for any customer or prospect. All of your videos, reviews, podcasts or testimonials, or simple blog posts, can be posted to a blog quickly.
No brainer time here because with a blog you will stand out from the crowd immediately. Simply get started today by writing your first post.
Ryan Biddulph recently posted..5 Make Money Online Limiting Beliefs to Crush Now
“All of your videos, reviews, podcasts or testimonials, or simple blog posts, can be posted to a blog quickly.”
Exactly! You have these companies sitting on mountains of content that is simply lying around unutilized. Something as basic as photos of an event can generate *so* much engagement and discussions, so just post anything and everything on your blog (with effective categorization, of course)!
Great advice Ryan to “Simply get started today by writing your first post.” Blogging is a no brainer. Thanks so much for adding to the conversation.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Do You Comment for Backlinks on DoFollow Enabled CommentLuv Blogs?
Hi Susan.. Yes “getting to know” a customer is half the job done for any business. And the more time you put into it, the bigger your returns get. In the end both parties benefit.
I hate that when that happens … LOL. 🙂
Susan Cooper recently posted..Love and Friendship: Story (Podcast)
Excellent post Tracy,
When I first started online back in 2006, blogs were not nearly as prevalent as they are now and many internet marketers (me included) could go by with article directories and other Web 2.0.
Today, however, I can’t think of a way where we could by-passed blogging. without our blog to support our business, what would we do?
Sylviane Nuccio recently posted..7 Smart Ways To Leverage Your Blog Content
Very true, Sylvanie. You could say that a business’s blog is synonymous with its online storefront these days.
Thanks for letting us know that you liked Tracy’s post. I started online around 2003, back in the days when we all had static HTML sites that we rarely updated. Back then, I spent a lot of my energy networking face-to-face and trying to build awareness locally. I also remember running small ads in magazines and submitting sites to directories.
We have come a long way! Blogging is such an easy way to reach people world-wide. I can’t imagine life without blogging myself.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Tracking Changes to Your Website Blog and Social Media Strategy
Hi Tracy, Blogging can help businesses get to know their customers better via comments on a blog too. It can help businesses get more personal so customers can get to know the business too. It’s a two way street of more open communication than just a storefront can provide. It was an added bonus for me to get to know people better and really make some great friends along the way!
Lisa recently posted..Is Getting Free Stuff Online the Same as Making Money Online?
Hi Lisa! So true.. you always get the feeling there’s so much you want to say about any post that you connect with. Sometimes I let it go because I don’t have the time to type all that I can think of 🙂 but yes, customers can look straight into the hearts of businesses, and vice versa, from to-and-fro comments.
And speaking of friends, I’m Sherryl’s new “gang member.” 😛 Nice to meet you!
Welcome Tracy! I’m happy to have you as my first guest blogger since Matt Cutt’s blog post that stirred up the guest blogging world.
I hear you about having the time to type everything that you want to say. I’m sometimes guilty of posting mini-blog posts when I comment. 🙂
Blogging can certainly open that 2-way street of communication. Reading your comment, made me remember the “old” days when the idea of personalized communication was being able to insert names and salutations into word processing templates as part of a mass mailing. Today, we have personalized email templates but the real opportunity is being able to have online conversations that are open and available for everyone to see. We really have come a long way.
It is an added bonus to be able to make friends online and form support systems along the way too.
I agree, a business can really gain so much from blogging about what they love and know best, their business. It does so much to promote their expertise,credibility and personality. It makes you real and can give a potential consumer the feeling they know you. These are all good things to help grow a business. It’s not easy but the awards are so worth it. 🙂
Susan Cooper recently posted..Love and Friendship: Story (Podcast)
That is so true Susan. With so many choices, it’s important to build trust online. What better way than to connect with people than making it personal? I agree. The rewards are worth it.
Thanks for your thoughts on this.
Thanks, Susan. I replied to you earlier but my comment went wandering up the hill with Jack and Jill, so if you could please scroll up… 🙂
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