After the success of Sharon’s first guest blog post at The Blogshop (‘Business Blogging: Why Your Business Should Guest Blog‘), we’re pleased to say Sharon’s provided us with another fantastic piece, this time looking at life without a business blog.
Could your business survive without a blog? If you answered yes, go back and try again. On the UK side of the pond, some people are still on the fence about business blogging. Over in the US, however, it’s increasingly popular.
If you’re still thinking of blogs as a tool for anoraks and hobbyists, you’re making a mistake – if you’re in business, you need a blog.
Isn’t Social Media Enough?
You might be thinking that if you have a Twitter account, a Facebook page and have dipped your toes into Google+ or Pinterest, you already have enough places to reach people.
But there’s one thing to remember about all those sites – you don’t own them.
You might think of them as your own, but the site owners can pull the plug anytime they want if there’s something on your profile they don’t like. With a business blog, as long as you pay your hosting and domain fees, it’s yours. That gives you control – and what business doesn’t need that?
Controlling Your Web Space
It’s the control factor that makes your business blog the perfect hub for all your other social media or content marketing efforts. On your blog, you get to post the updates you want – and tell your story your way.
Now, that doesn’t mean that all the content has to be about you. While a blog is an essential tool for creating business thought leadership and brand leadership, it’s also a great place to recognise relevant achievements by others in your niche – and to build relationships by doing so.
How Your Business Site Benefits
Business blogging also has demonstrated benefits for the rest of your site. The more you blog, the more pages you have in the search engines’ indexes. And the more pages you have, the easier it is for people to find you.
Of course, it pays to keep a handle on how people are finding you so you can tailor your content to give them more of what they want and a blog allows you to respond to the metrics on traffic and activity on your site with timely, relevant updates and information.
Relevance is particularly important because that’s what makes others want to link to you and create even more good search engine karma. Repeat that a few times and your business blog will be well on the way to becoming a respected industry resource, making you a thought leader along with it.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? But there’s more.
The Bottom Line on Business Blogging
A recent article by Chris Horton on the Business2Community site cited data showing that B2B businesses that blog get 67% more monthly leads, rising to 88% in the B2C sector. In addition, companies with business blogs get 55% more visitors than those without. What difference would that kind of increase in visitors and leads make to your bottom line?
Having a business blog tells your customers that you are legitimate and relevant and helps them to become loyal to you. Give good, trustworthy information often enough and they have no reason to go anywhere else.
Of course, those other channels also come into play, because your business blog is a great hub for promoting your business with content. Generate most of the content on your blog, then share it to your social networks either automatically or (even better) with customised updates for each one. That’s what will get the best response.
And that same blog content can also be used to create other pieces of content to underpin your position – like presentations, white papers and ebooks.
Still think your business doesn’t need a blog? I didn’t think so.
Sharon Hurley Hall is a professional blogger and ghost blogger. She has almost 25 years of experience of writing professionally and is the the author of a Kindle ebook titled Getting Started in Blogging. Check out Sharon’s Google+ profile to find links to all her social media hangouts.