Wow writing a first blog post is a lot of pressure right?
That blank screen staring at you, taunting you to add your words of wisdom.
Now imagine having to write one as a company that provides a ghost blog writing service!
In February 2011, there were over 156 million public blogs in existence. 3 years later that grew massively, with an additional 91 million blogs on Tumblr and WordPress alone. And that’s not including figures from Blogger, who many believe is the most popular blogging service used today, as they don’t offer public statistics.
I’ve written over 150 blog articles for clients and having seen the impact those posts have made, I’m a huge advocate on the benefits of blogging for small businesses. When I meet with a new client to look at their digital marketing and online strategy, blogging is one of the main things we discuss.
A blog provides a company with so much. It’s a chance to share your amazing knowledge with others, showing you to be the experts you are. It also provides relevant, fresh and original content for social media and other offline marketing materials. No more simply retweeting or liking what others are putting out there, you get to add your own voice and ideas. And blog posts are a great way to help people find you online.
Now, those who’ve been with Spotty Octopus on our journey may notice something a little out of kilter with some of the above (go ahead, have another read). You got it? Even being the advocate I am, up until now, Spotty hasn’t had a blog (I hang my head in shame).
With all the best intentions I’d just never got round to putting one out there. Business is doing well, people are finding us, who has the time? (I take slight comfort in the fact that I hear most builders’ houses are full of unfinished projects and a website developer I know has been redeveloping his own site for over a year).
I’ve toyed with the idea of blogging. I know it’s something “I should be doing”. I’ve started them. I’ve kept a list of topics. I’ve even recorded parts of them on my phone when I’ve been struck by a brilliant brainwave of an idea that must be shared with the world.
I’ve set myself deadlines; the first six months, our first birthday, New Year, Easter. And each time I failed to meet those deadlines I’d beat myself about it. Then I’d come up with another plan and another deadline.
Then I decided to make a decision (decisive huh?). Do we need a blog or don’t we?
I re-visited our business plan and realised that blogging was simply the best way to achieve certain targets we’d set. To increase our search engine rankings on certain terms for instance, and to build a list for email marketing.
This helped clarify that we needed one but still wasn’t enough motivation to actually get me writing it. My business comes from the heart, not from a business plan, so I needed to find a deeper reason to connect with. I looked at my personal values and saw immediately how some matched up with blogging.
My Heartfelt Reasons for Blogging:
My personal values and business values go hand in hand. Relationships drive my business. I get a buzz from being useful and helping people.
- Sharing – I’ve learnt a lot in our first few years of business and I want to share that with others. Sharing is me being useful; by sharing my knowledge, experience and expertise I get to help people
- Community – I love meeting new people and connecting them with others. I work collaboratively with an awesome team of freelancers and I think more and more businesses will move towards this style of work (but that’s for another article!)
Blogging allows me to share all sorts of information with both my community and a wider audience. It gives me a platform to connect with all sorts of amazing people. It gives me a voice.
These are very personal reasons, but that’s what I needed to get it done. I appreciate these won’t resonate with everyone, so I wanted to note down the vital business focused reasons to blog and *lightbulb*, they’re the same – just phrased slightly differently.
Reasons Why Small Businesses Should Blog-
Blogging shows the world all the awesome stuff you and your company know. This helps builds trust. Trust will lead to comments on your blog, engagement on social media and eventually more sales.
Blogs let you share your knowledge and this will Establish You as an Expert.
A by-product of putting out all this great, regular, original content is that your SEO will increase. Blogs make it easy for people to find you. If you’re writing about the things that they’re searching for then bingo, there’s a whole list of leads for your sales pipeline (or as I prefer, your online community!)
We have a Legal Services client who were paying £3,000 a month to an SEO company who got them blacklisted on Google for some dubious backlinks. Within 3 months of us writing their blogs they saw a 300% increase in website traffic and a 100% increase in leads.
Why You Should Invest in Your Blog
If the above isn’t enough of an incentive to get blogging then here’s a few extra reasons why blogs are a smart place to invest some time and money.
- 70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles rather than ads. (Source)
- Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads. (Source)
- 82% of marketers who blog see positive ROI for their inbound marketing. (Source)
So there we are, first article completed and I can finally stop beating myself up about it. That feels good. Now I’ve started I’ve got a feeling there may be no stopping me.
We’d love to hear the reasons why you started blogging, or the reasons you haven’t. Please leave a comment below and get social with us