Blogging For Business: Jack Up Your Sales And Connect With Your Customers
By Doris Lam, Last updated: 2021-10-21 (originally published on 2019-05-30)
Gone were the days when blogging was reserved only for digital nomads to record their travel experiences or for crafty homemakers to share their latest recipe creation. Nowadays, blogging for business has become an important marketing strategy to open new doors and attract more customers.
While there are hundreds of reasons why having a blog on your business’ website is a good idea, all of them can be boiled down to two main reasons:
1. Increase Online Visibility
The more quality, consistent content published on your business blog, the greater the chance your blog will attract steady traffic over time. Frequent blogging strengthens your site’s Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), creating the opportunity for your company to increase online visibility by ranking higher on the search engine result page (SERP). This means if people are searching for a topic related to your blog post on Google, your website will show up on the first few pages of the search results. Maintaining that position will attract steady visitors to your website over weeks, months and beyond.
2. Creating a Human Connection and Providing Value for your Visitors
Your blog should provide value to your prospective customers by answering their questions and addressing their concerns. To do this, you’ll have to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and ask yourself what they’ll find interesting. Heavy marketing disguised as a blog post is unlikely to attract traffic or subscribers as people are looking for informative, entertaining content rather than a sales pitch. By providing helpful content over time, you will become a trusted resource for reliable content and gain credibility as an industry leader.
Your company’s main web page is most likely centred around your brand and product. Often times, it’s a serious looking site with marketing-focused headlines. While these pages serve its purpose for your business, they may also lack human connection and brand personality. This is where your blog can come in handy. Blogging opens up dialogue where your audience where they can voice questions and provide valuable feedback in the comments, creating a genuine relationship between your audience and your company. It gives you another customer service angle to wow with and to establish rapport that can be missing from modern business transactions that take place online.
Before You Begin
With so many advantages to starting a blog for your business, it might be tempting to jump right in. Before you start writing your first blog post, here are tips to keep in mind to help your blog reach its full potential:
Promote Your Content
Promoting your blog on social media channels could mean doubling and tripling your reach in an instant when a reader shares your post to their own account. There’s also always the possibility of your blog post going viral when posted in a group with a high following, or by someone with a big number of fans or followers. When your audience shares your blog posts on social media, it reflects on their own vetting process, building up your brand’s credibility as a reliable source or information while also acting as a free marketing tool.
Read Up On Duplicate Content
One of the current buzzwords on “how-to” blog guides is how to avoid duplicate content. While you should try your best to create original content, duplicating content is not as sinful as some make it to be. According to Google’s Duplicate Content Guideline, duplicate content does not cause your site to be penalised. But Google’s specially designed algorithm does prevent duplicate content from affecting webmasters by displaying only one version of the content in the search results. The downside is, this may not be your site’s version. Read more about duplicate content on Google’s guidelines.
Avoid Image Copyright Infringement
If you’ve ever copied and pasted photos from the internet to use in a Powerpoint presentation, make sure you don’t do the same for your blog. Eye catching visuals are almost as equally important as the written content on your blog but simply using images from the web could land you in legal trouble due to copyright violation.
Most web photos found online have copyright to protect the original creator from having their work stolen or misused. Unless the creator clearly states permission for the general public to use the photo, the image is most likely copyrighted.
To find images for blogging, visit stock image websites such as Shutterstock and iStockPhoto to purchase high-quality photos on virtually any subject you can think of. If you’re on a tighter budget, try the beautiful images from websites such as Unsplash and Pexels where creators share their work with the public by freeing any copyright restrictions under a Creative Commons Zero license. You can also try your hand at making your own visuals through graphic design websites like Canva or hiring a photographer for a product shoot.
Starting a blog for your business may seem daunting at first but with the right research and preparation, it can be your most useful and cost effective form of marketing strategy. Just make sure you start simple and build from there!
This article does not constitute legal advice.
The opinions expressed in the column above represent the author’s own.