When I first struck out on my own my and created by business my number one goal was to get as many leads as I could in the shortest amount of time. I focused all my energy on making cold calls, sending cold emails, and making posts on social media. I was trying to reach an audience that didn’t know a thing about me and frankly had no desire to get to know my business. Let’s just say I struggled, made no money, and closed up shop in less than a year. I was still passionate about what I was doing I just didn’t know how to make it work for me.
Can you believe I didn’t even know what blogging was until my friend shared her experience over coffee one day about a year ago? I remember her telling me what blogging was and how it had boosted her lead generation. She was making the kind of money I could only dream about making, and here I was failing at business. After our conversation, I went home and started learning everything I could about blogging. I pinned every pin I came across on Pinterest and read every blog I could to learn the secrets to success. And I’m so glad I did!
What I have learned over the last year about blogging has made me a huge believer in its power to drive business and convert casual readers into red-hot leads. Here are the top reasons I believe every business owner, creative or not, should have a blog for their business.
Your knowledge of your industry can be a huge benefit to your business in the service you provide. The more knowledge you have and the more you stay up on your industry the better service you can provide your customers. But how do your customers know that you know?
When you share your vast knowledge with your audience, say in a blog, you develop trust. They see you as someone who knows their stuff. A study showed that 81% of all online consumers trust the information they get from blogs. And when customers trust you the more likely they are to do business with you. And to trust you they need to know that you are an expert at what you do.
Because I know most small business owners want cold hard facts in how implementing a new strategy can benefit the bottom line check out this statistic: Small Businesses that blog get 126% more lead growth that small businesses that do not blog.
Just let that sink in for a moment. What would you do if your leads grew by 126%? And all you have to do is write about your business and help your audience solve problems.
A couple of decades ago we had the yellow pages as our main source for locating a business. If we needed a photographer for our wedding we would simply turn to the photographer heading in the big yellow book and start going down the list calling till we found the perfect photographer. Back then a business owner could either keep a standard listing or invest in a colorful ad to help them stand out.
Today it’s even harder to stand out from your competition. It seems every small business nowadays has a website. It has become a cost of doing business. A couple of decades ago you could get away without one. The same thing is happening with blogs. In a few years having a blog will be a part of doing business.
That means that today a blog is a great way to separate yourself from your competition. Not only does it bring in more leads and set you up as an authority but it’s the best way to deliver your value proposition to your customer.
SEO (search engine optimization) is the process of getting your business’ website to the first page of a search engine’s results. You and your competition are all vying for the coveted first spot and a blog can help you get there faster and with greater ease.
Search engines, like Google, love blogs. They provide relevantly and up to date information that search engines can serve up to audiences and boost their own credibility and authority. Google didn’t become the number one search engine by coughing up old and irrelevant information to its users. So to help them stay number one they reward websites that provide the best content.
A blog is a great way to find out more about your audience and potential clients. Most blogging platforms have built-in analytics that can show what information your audience is devouring from your site. This allows you to produce more content that your audience likes, bringing in more readers, and producing more leads. The more you know about your audience the better you position yourself.
Your readers can also give you feedback on your blog and business by leaving comments on your posts and social media.
Yep, you read that right. A blog is a great way to earn passive income from your website. You can monetize your small business blog in many ways including through affiliate marketing (promoting trusted products and services for a small commission), creating your own products (e-books, guides, workbooks), and through ads.
All of these can add up to big bucks for your business. Don’t believe me just google blog income report and see how many bloggers make 6 figure incomes every year. Am I saying you should devote yourself to blogging full time? No, but a little extra revenue never hurt any business.
When it comes to competing with big box stores and major national brands with their even bigger budgets to build brand recognition small businesses need an advantage. That advantage is being able to tell your unique story to your audience. Blogs are very cost effective at building brand recognition even on a local scale. You can tell your readers all about your value without having to compete over pricing. People love local businesses and want to do business with you so use a blog to give them a reason to choose you.
Do you ever find yourself struggling to find something to post on Facebook or Twitter? Are you tired of only posting the same content day after day?
A blog provides you with content to beef up your social media presence and engage a wider audience. If all you ever post on social media are your current promotions you’ll lose your audience. By posting your blog content you are providing value to your reader and driving more people back to your website which in turn generates more leads. Win, win!
I think all of these reasons make a compelling argument as to why every small business needs a blog. If it can increase your leads, build brand recognition, create a passive income stream, and boost your social media engagement then why wouldn’t you start a blog.
As a bonus… A blog can be fun. Your blog doesn’t have to be stiff and filled with technical details, I don’t recommend this strategy. You don’t even have to blog 7 days a week, I don’t. But adding fresh new content that helps people can be amazingly rewarding and yes… fun.
If you own a small business do you already have a blog? If so leave a link below in the comments, because I love finding new blogs to read. And if you don’t have a blog already… what’s holding you back?