Internet Marketing: Why start a blog, anyway?

Posted by Laura Costello

Starting a blog can be difficult for a numberblogimage of reasons.  Many organizations have avoided doing so for so long, and have finally read something where they have been told how important it is to start one (most likely in a blog!).  In this post, I will review some of the top excuses we have heard for not starting a blog and once and for all, get those the last few stragglers to start a blog and maintain it consistently. Or at least start thinking about it further!  

There are so many benefits to starting a blog, starting with SEO, thought-leadership, forward-thinking customer service, giving your company a voice, and also just the mere fact of giving your website some credibility.  As you may or may not know, just producing the consistent content for your website is absolute gold in the eyes of Google.  They like nothing more than a website with fresh, relevant content.  

"I don't have the time."

This is, by far, the number one reason I hear from business owners as to why they cannot start a blog.  My question to people who fall into this bucket is, what are you doing now in order to best utilize your website to drive new business?  The reason I ask this is because many marketers and business owners are, many times, stuck in the same old ways of marketing their business because "that's the way we've always done it."  Well, the simple fact is that the times are a-changing.  

Now I'm not one to say that online is the only way that you should be marketing your business.  But I'm also the type of person that believes that marketing has evolved, and so should the way you market your business.  Utlizing a healthy mix of online and offline touchpoints helps to ensure that you are reaching your audience where they prefer to be reached.  You can determine what mix you'd like to incorporate, and much of this will depend on the type of business you operate.  That being said, if you see your website as an integral part of your marketing mix, the blog should be the number one focus your website has in order to help you with traffic and credibility.

"What am I going to write about?"

What do you talk to your customers about?  What's going on in your industry?  What makes your company so special?  What differentiates your product from your competitors?  What are the top 10 questions you get from a potential client/customer when you interact with them for the first time?  These are all topics that I've told people to blog about and they seem to get blogs off the ground.  I'm sure there is industry news that you follow that you could put your own spin on and turn into a blog post.  As I had mentioned before, part of what your blog is being used for is to give your company an online "voice".  If you set some time aside with you and your team (if you have one), and brainstorm ideas for blog posts, you can then set a realistic timeline or calendar as to when you'd like to get that particular topic out in blog format.  

Also, if you have a few different people internally that can contribute to the blog, I would not only suggest picking their brains on blog topics, but also divvying up responsibility of maintaining the blog.  If you break it down to each person writing a blog post once every 2 weeks, it doesn't sound so bad, does it? 

"Who is my audience?"

My answer to that is.....EVERYONE!  Research shows that 80% of consumers research a company and/or product online before even stepping foot in a store or making a purchase decision.  So if you think about it that way, you're really speaking to every potential customer you have out there, as well as your current customers.  So your blog is not only speaking to potential customers who haven't engaged with you yet, but you're also speaking to your current customers who will potentially come back as repeat customers.  There is such a wide range of options for consumers to get their information nowadays, starting with blogs, online review sites like Yelp, and that beast we like to call social media.  A blog is a great way to get that information out there for the world to consume, all while adding your own flavor to it.

"My efforts aren't worth it."

I've heard countless times that when you start a blog, marketers can't stop thinking about how much time and effort they are putting into the blog without seeing anything in return. My answer to that is actually two-fold.  The first part is, if blogging isn't worth it, then why is everyone doing it?  When I type "Why should I blog" into a search on Google, I am given 2.5 BILLION search results.  Yeah, that's right.....2 AND A HALF BILLION!  The second part of my answer to that question is, seeing results from blogging isn't something that happens overnight.  It's something that takes a consistent effort to do and maintain.  If you stay on top of it, you'll eventually see your uptick in traffic to your website.  Once that happens, it's a matter of capitalizing on that traffic.

Still not convinced?

Well, if this blog, as well as the other 2.5 billion search results can't get you to blog, I'm not sure will!  The benefits are endless.  The thought leadership, SEO ramifications, and top of the funnel traffic that you are creating for your website are huge!  I would start brainstorming with your team as soon as possible - before the competition captures the valuable content that you've been thinking about for months.  

Topics: Direct Marketing