Do I have to blog to succeed?
No. Nope. Not at all.
End of blog post? Not quite.
No, you don’t have to have a blog on your business website. Lots of businesses don’t.
But before you leave thinking “Gwen says I don’t have to write blog posts,” I want to talk about the benefits of blogging for your business.
Communicate with Current and Future Clients
Blogging gives you a chance to speak to your audience directly AND gives you a chance to speak to an audience you haven’t met yet. I have no idea who will read this blog post. I don’t know where it will be shared or how often. Which means, I may be speaking to someone who needs my help with their marketing, even though we’ve never met and they’ve never heard of me before (if that is you, welcome!)
Write about topics that are important to you and and your clients
You get a chance to go in depth with ideas and topics your audience would find useful. Many of my blog posts are instructional. My SEO 101 series and my Periscope 101 post are great examples of this. I’m able to provide information that is useful and relevant to the people who could benefit from my expertise.
This is my blog so I could talk about my favorite cookie recipe (best cookies ever!), my obsession with Hamilton (no shame here, I adore it), or my volunteer work with a local animal shelter and other non-profits. Instead, I prefer to talk about things my clients (and potential clients) would find helpful as they navigate the world of digital marketing.
Use Keywords to Help People Find You
Including keywords and keyword phrases in your blog posts helps your potential audience find you.
When someone uses a search engine they enter a specific word or set of words. If I have a craving for dim sum and I live in Portland, I enter the phrase "dim sum Portland" - this tells Google both *what* I'm looking for and *where* I'm looking for it. In many instances, I don't need to specify Portland because Google already knows where I am via location tracking on my phone or laptop.
For local businesses, blogging can be enormously important as it can educate, inform, build trust in what you do, and focus on your specific location in a way that attracts potential searchers to your blog page.
Once upon a time, Google relied on specific keywords to tell it what was on a page, but now it looks at other words that are in the same topic family or should be associated with those words. In my dim sum example above, Google might also expect to see the phrase "Chinese food" and maybe the names of specific dishes.
If you were doing an internet search for your business, which words and phrases would you use? What questions do your customers need answered? If your business is highly technical or specific, and your client base is the general public, remember to use words that *most* people would use to search for your business.
Earn Links from Other Websites
Links are becoming increasingly important as Google and other search engines find ways to provide both value and context to their users. By providing good, useful, interesting content that someone might want to share with others you create the opportunity for linking. Quality websites sharing links to your website will affect not only your website traffic, but also your overall ranking on search engines. Thanks to social media, links can spread quickly.
Creating Your Own Content to Share
Speaking of social media, blogging allows you to create your own content to share and reference again and again. This means you are able to share your own work and connect with people, rather than sharing another persons thoughts and ideas. I'm a fan of mixing it up on social media and sharing your own posts and posts that inspire you.
Many of my blog posts are inspired by questions I'm asked frequently. Rather than rewrite the same thing over and over, and possibly missing an important detail or distinction, when I write a blog post, it is an easy to find and reference piece of information when the topic comes up.
Which means the next time someone says "Why do I have to blog?" "What is the purpose of blogging?" or "Are you really going to make me write a blog?" I can send them here where they can process and think about blogging and how it applies to their business.
If you want to learn more about best practices and how the look of your blog can help you reach more readers, you can read my Anatomy of a Blog Post. If you're stuck on what to write about or how to do it in a way that feels right to you, email me and we'll chat!
Musings about marketing, social media, and small business.