July 18, 2014

Should your business be blogging?

Apple doesn’t do it.

Microsoft doesn’t either, but Cisco does.

Virgin does lots and lots of it.

…..Blogging.

According to WordPress there are more blogs on ‘how to blog’ than anything else. But this is because, as an individual, it is possible to carve out an income from your blog. Especially if your blog is about how other people can make money with theirs.
But what about your business? Is it worth your time and investment to start up and maintain a blog? If your business is healthy and you have a good customer base, then should you bother? The short answer is yes, but it may be for a number of reasons:

To rank higher in search engines.

If you need people to find you online then blogging is an excellent way regularly of adding content to your site and search engines love this. Of course your content needs to be relevant and contain information about what it is you are providing or selling.

To gain a following.

Hundred of books and articles have been written about this. You develop a following on your blog, develop a connection with your readership through great content, and eventually some of them buy from you.

Because it’s expected.

All sites of successful companies have either a blog or a newsfeed section that is updated on a regular basis. If your company does not have a list of press releases or end of quarter accounts to promote to shareholders, a blog is a way of generating this ongoing news. It tells passing visitors that your company is active.

To spot market trends.

Ideally your blog posts will promote discussion amongst your readers. If you take this opportunity to communicate with your target market then they will tell you what they want. This is a valuable way of getting feedback on an idea or a product or service without paying for costly market surveys.

Keep going with it.

You need to write interesting and informative articles specifically aimed at your target audience. Don’t fill every post with company announcements or information on your latest product. Give your readers valuable information about your industry that they’ll want to read. Include lots of links to other valuable information; don’t panic about visitors leaving your site. You want them to feel they’ve gained something from your blog, if they have, they will return. Try to post regularly, once a week, or even once a month is OK. Only don’t start a blog, and then abandon it after a few months – it gives the message to your visitors that you’ve gone out of business.
You’ll need to make it someone’s responsibility to keep on top of your blog. If you don’t have anyone in your organisation who’s capable of doing this, or everyone is just too busy, then consider hiring a copywriter to do the work for you. A good copywriter will be able to write great content that will be loved by both your readership and Google alike.
Also, don’t obsess about search engine keywords, these days it’s not as important as you think. Yes, there are a few basic rules about search engine optimisation. But keep writing great content that makes people want to visit your site, and you will climb up those search engine rankings.