5 Reasons Why You Need To Prioritise Blogging For Your Business
By Kayte Ferris
I get it: between post office runs, supplier emails and daily Instagram posting, blogging for your business often slips down the priority list. It can be difficult to see how blogging can impact your bottom line, particularly in comparison with other activities that are so close to revenue generation.
But a business blog is so crucial for supporting those other activities, giving them life and maximising their effectiveness. It helps you build your brand, it’s a place to sell, and it builds crucial trust with your customers.
A blog is not a quick fix marketing tactic, and maybe that’s why many creative business owners are reticent to devote time to it: with so much to do and so much vying for your time, it’s easier to focus on the quick wins that shout the loudest. But if you want sustained traffic and enquiries, a channel that continues to work for you months after you hit publish, and to build a pipeline of activity that you control, then a blog is what you need. Blogging for your business is for the long term, sustained wins, not just the quick opportunities.
As you may be able to tell, I am a huge believer in the power of a blogging for business, and blogs formed the cornerstone of the marketing activities and plan at all my former jobs – and obviously, without my blog I would never have been able to start my own coaching business.
But if you still need to be convinced, here I’ve gone through the main reasons why a blog needs to be a priority in your business. If you’re worried about how you’re going to make this happen, then my brand new e-course, Campfire: Building A Brightly Burning Business Blog, has all the answers.
Demonstrating your expertise is crucial to building trust with your potential customers.
Expertise can be a difficult one to define when you’re a creative selling to a consumer audience. It feels much easier when you provide a service – for someone like me, I can write helpful articles about marketing and productivity, job done. What if you make knitwear or have a homewares shop?
Expertise only means to know what you’re talking about, so that a potential customer can think ‘yes, I trust that they have crafted this collection expertly and it’s going to be good quality.’ While evidence of your expertise should thread through everything you do, from your behind the scenes photos to your product descriptions, a blog is the perfect hub for collating all your expert content.
The best way to plan your expert content is to think about what problems your target audience has, and to solve them. So maybe they need recipes for a dinner party, maybe they’re looking for decorating tips, maybe they want to learn more about your craft. However your knowledge can serve your customer, write about it.
The growth of the creative community, particularly on Instagram, as well as the increasing democratisation of the internet (i.e.., you don’t need to code to sell online) is making it easier than ever for people to set up businesses with an Instagram feed and a PayPal account. Blogging is one of the easiest ways you can separate your brand identity from all the others popping up online.
As well as demonstrating your expertise, a blog can be your brand hub, the place from which your brand stories emanate and where your aesthetic is rooted. It’s a place where, unrestricted by algorithms and vertical images, you can show off your creativity and really get deep about your brand stories and what you stand for.
The blog is the place where you convert your brand’s fans into activists. It’s where you can educate people about the importance of your product, tell your story with time and space, reveal the behind the scenes and talk about the origin of your brand. It’s where people can get to know you, buy into you and therefore, be more likely to buy from you.
When I find a new brand online, one of the first pages I navigate to is the blog, for all the reasons listed above. I scan the titles to get a feel for the brand and their expertise, and then I look at the dates the posts were published. And then, quite a lot of the time, I get a shock – the last post may have been published 8 months ago, there might have been 6 posts in March and none until June, or, even worse, blog posts from 2015 still making it onto the front page.
It may be logical to think that this shows to a consumer that you’ve been so busy with fulfilling orders that you just haven’t had time to blog (which may well be the truth). But, unfortunately, it doesn’t come across like that. It looks like the blog has been neglected, that you haven’t committed to it, that it’s something not cared about and done in a half-hearted way. And if you’re like that with your blog, maybe that tells me that you’re like it with your products – and we don’t want to be creating doubt like that.
Showing up consistently on your blog is the same as showing up consistently for your business. It demonstrates your commitment, which in turn demonstrates your trustworthiness. Consistency creates an air of professionalism; if the customer can trust you to consistently show up with quality, expert content, then they can trust you to send them quality products.
In this way, blogging acts as an acquisition accelerator. Blogging can help your target customer find you in their Google searches. Search is becoming increasingly sophisticated and we now use and depend on search engines more than we like to admit. Think about how you use search: you’re not just looking for specific brands or products anymore; you’re looking for ‘how do I use x’, ‘what should I do with y’, ‘how can I improve z’.
Your target audience is searching for answers that you can provide, and the blog is the best place to put them. Make a list of keywords and phrases you would love to appear for on Google (and the more niche you can be, the better). Then, think about what your audience might be searching for around those words and phrases. It could be ‘how to care for a woollen rug’, ‘what to look for when choosing a sofa’, ‘how to create a gallery wall’. And there you have your list of blog posts to create.
Note that a blog is best for catching ‘long tail searches’, these long, question-style queries. For shorter searches, like ‘red shoes’, your product descriptions are far better placed to provide the searcher what they need.
Most importantly, you own your blog. Unlike the social media networks which can change at a moment’s notice (or get hacked and cause you to lose your whole following), you control your blog – its success is 100% down to you. You don’t have to work within someone else’s parameters or style sheet, you don’t have to include content that’s in a certain format. You can do what’s best for you and your business.
Not only does it give you freedom, but it gives you all the benefits. If you amass a 100k following on Instagram, those followers still belong to Instagram; you own nothing. If you get 100k page views, you own that relationship, you control how it works out with your content, you can include opt-ins on your pages to convert them to your email list, another owned channel.
Focusing attention on owned channels is not only good for your business, it’s crucial for your self-esteem and sanity too. If you’re prone to obsess over unfollowers and likes, transferring your focus to an owned channel you control is far better.
If you’ve been inspired to start upping your blogging for business game but aren’t sure where to start or need some accountability, come over and see if my brand new e-course is for you.
Join me next month for more marketing and social media guidance – in the mean time you can find more content on my blog simpleandseason.com. If you have any more questions about this post, or would like to suggest a topic for a future post, you can get me on Twitter (@simple_season) or Instagram (@simpleandseason).