If you research whether it's worth it to start a company blog, you'll find a lot of conflicting opinions. While some articles say it's the best thing you can do for your business, others argue that it's a waste of time. So let's clear things up once and for all. Should small business owners invest time and effort into blogging?
First, we need to answer a fundamental question to understand what we're debating. What, exactly, does a blog do for a small business? Here's a short list.
- Builds customer interest in your company
- Helps you boost website traffic
- Serves as a direct line of communication between you and your target customers
- Gives you an opportunity to capture qualified leads
- Allows you to build trust with potential customers
But how do you go from publishing your first post to achieving the benefits listed above? And is it worth putting time and effort into blogging regularly?
Blogging Is Worth It. But...
To successfully incorporate content marketing into your small business strategy, you have to buy into two basic things wholeheartedly.
You must understand the purpose of your blog
Your small business blog's primary objective should always be to solve problems for your target consumer. Your blog needs to be as much (or more!) about providing excellent customer service than it is about thought leadership or lead generation.
According to Jay Acunzo, Nextview's Creative in Residence and a former digital media strategist at Google, your goal "is solving the same problems your product solves [or related problems] through media you create and promote."
You must buy into the long-term strategy
You won't see results overnight, and if you expect to, you'll be disappointed. Blogging is not growth hack or a bullet train to success. Rather, it's a strategic marketing move, which if done well, will help you build a strong foundation that attracts leads to your business for years to come.
How Blogging Works
The more valuable, helpful content you put out in the world, the more "doors" your target consumers have the opportunity to stumble through to discover your business. And posts add up over time.
If your site has lots of well-researched, well-written, well-optimized content, you'll eventually see the benefit of healthy organic traffic growth. And the sooner you start and the larger library you build, the better.
One thing that often surprises new bloggers is that new posts don't typically generate long-term traffic gains - older posts do. For example, content marketing giant HubSpot reports that 70% of their two-million-plus monthly blog views come from posts that are more than a month old.
How Long It Takes to See Results
Your success timeline depends on a lot of things - including how much keyword research you do, how often you publish, how large of an audience you already have visiting your site, and so on.
Jay Acunzo says, "Instead of immediate acquisition, blogging and building an audience are investments in the very near future (2–6 months) as well as the more distant future. That’s because, while content marketing is lousy for direct response without an established audience, it’s a much more efficient means to scale your marketing. It's about building a floor that in the future, will delivery guaranteed daily traffic."
Every published post will see a spike in views early on; then views will level off. But as you stack post after leveled-off-post, you create something beautiful. A consistent flow of guaranteed daily website traffic!
What Not to Do With Your Blog
Lots of companies blog, but lots of them do it wrong. Fluff pieces stuffed with keywords that have no actionable insights won't do you any favors. Neither will a barrage of company announcements.
There's lots of content out there - good content. So if your posts don't stand out as thought-provoking, insightful, and shareworthy, you may as well not publish them at all.
Instead, focus on making your blog into a consumer-focused help center of sorts, that provides a lot of value to your potential customer. We touched on this above, but it's so important, it's worth saying twice.
If you understand why blogging is valuable, you're willing to commit to consistently producing quality content, and you have proper growth expectations, you should start a small business blog.
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