Bloggers are now major influencers in business. But what about writing a blog yourself? Taking things back to your business, the best way to control online opinion (or at least to influence it in a positive way) is to write it yourself. And nobody knows your business better than you do.
We know that to invest time into a new activity, you need to be convinced of its business benefits. Here are 12 reasons why blogging is good for business:
1. Self discovery
Writing a blog forces you to analyse your own opinions and find a way of communicating them in a succinct and understandable way. As a business manager, this will hone your communication and leadership skills and can be cathartic in helping you to understand your motives and vision.
2. Inspiring employees
Writing a blog will force you to distil your opinions and vision in a way that will help your employees and team members to understand your motives and the direction you want to lead your company in. In giving clear leadership and backing this up with strong industry opinion blogs, your employees can become educated and engaged in current hot topics and become better, more well informed ambassadors for your company. They may even respect you more as a result of this new-found understanding.
3. Opinion former
If you are regularly sharing your opinion about current industry hot topics, people will begin to see you as an opinion former in your industry field. This could lead to media coverage as an expert speaker on key industry topics, or at the very least could result in some enquiries from new prospects.
4. Company profile
The expert credibility you build up from establishing yourself as an opinion former will also be associated with, and will thus build trust and credibility in, your brand.
5. Brand reinforcement
By selecting the topics you choose to blog on and the stance you choose to take in order to closely align with and mirror your brand ethos and business areas of expertise, your blog can help to establish or reinforce your brand presence in the eyes of your customers and the wider industry market.
6. USP reinforcement
Taking a particular stance on certain key industry debates can help your business stand out from the crowd. Taking a carefully considered controversial stance may earn you a couple of press headlines too (although, as always, ensure it fits with your brand and won’t alienate key clients or prospects).
7. Social media integration & SEO
Blogging is great for SEO. Wherever possible, your blog should be an integral part of your website, so the SEO benefits of regularly updated relevant blog copy can be gained by your website. Blog posts provide regular new content for your social media sites and will help to drive traffic back to sales pages on your website. They can provide an opportunity for link building for both back links, and internal links. And the more links, the more traffic, and thus the higher your ranking on Google.
8. Conversion optimisation
Having grabbed the attention of your clients and customers through the engaging content on your blog, by embedding the blog within your business website, readers can see at a glance how the blog relates to your products and services, and are much more likely at this point to consider buying from you or working with you, once that trust in your brand has been built.
9. Word of mouth narketing/sharable content
A blog can initiate discussion around a particular topic. This may begin with comments at the bottom, or with someone sending a link to a blog of interest to a friend or sharing it on Twitter. The virality of such content, especially when shared between people with an existing relationship (where the reader will already be interested and engaged), is one of the most valuable forms of PR available – all in an instant and for free, online!
10. Data capture
Using RSS feeds and sign up forms, you can begin to capture data about your readers, which can then be used for targeted marketing. Offering a regular e-bulletin of your blog means you have a ready-made email marketing list, should you release a new product that may be of interest to your readers.
11. Revenue generation
In addition to the revenue opportunities of the data capture function in your blog, you also have the potential to monetise your blog – depending upon the amount of traffic it generates – through advertising and affiliate links.
By using a tracking tool such as Google Analytics, you can monitor which of your blogs that are read most often, which have the highest exit rate (the ones that people leave your site after reading), and the ones that promote the most click-throughs. In addition to helping you improve your website SEO, this data will help you to understand what your customers are most interested in and potentially begin tailoring your products or services (or at the very least your blog topics) accordingly.