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Monday, Oct 14, 2013

Why Write a Blog?

This is the first article in our new article series about blogging. If you'd like to learn why and how you should set up a blog for your company, stay tuned for the entire three-part series!

Does your company blog? It seems like everyone is blogging now, but what’s the point? Why would you want to spend all of that time writing?

For the uninitiated, blogging appears to be an exercise in futility: the only real payoff comes when one of your articles gets popular and is shared everywhere, and that isn’t likely to happen. However, the reality is that blogging means a lot more than most people think. After all, if it wasn’t so useful you wouldn’t see so many people doing it.

Other than the “viral article,” the most well-known reason to blog is the SEO benefit. A blog gives you more places to optimize on your site and lets you spread the power of internal linking farther (even a slightly popular article can really help out the rest of your site; read our SEO series to find out how!). A blog coupled with good SEO practices can drive a significant amount of traffic to your site.

A blog is also a good marketing tool, in general. As we’ve mentioned in our discussions of white hat SEO on this blog, content is king on the Internet. Content is just another product that your business can provide – you can be a “one-stop shop” that provides for a customer’s experience from beginning to end. This product isn’t something that you sell, but is instead a kind of fringe benefit that comes with people associating with your company. If a potential customer uses your blog to learn about what they’re interested in, they’ll grow to trust you as an authority in the area. And, with that initial trust gained, when that customer goes to buy the product, you’ll be who they go to first. Someone looking at your products who got there from your blog is a higher quality lead than someone who just stumbles upon you via Google – they’re already an interested party and have invested time with you.

A blog, especially with active comments, also provides a large amount of customer interaction. When you find a way to keep customers coming back for the service that you provide with an informative and interesting blog, you’ve found a way to regularly bring your company into a customer’s day-to-day life. Facebook pages and ads strive to create this same kind of connection with a customer so that you’re always at the front of their mind. Blogs provide a useful service to customers, and, by providing this service, you can even convert visitors into users of your social media pages and email lists.

Finally, a blog is a way to refine your message. Every step of writing your blog contributes to streamlining your business in some way. What topics are most important to you? What are you best at? Is there something else in your industry that you are knowledgeable about that presents itself as an expansion opportunity? When you write a blog, you improve your own knowledge – you know something best when you’re able to effectively teach it to others. You also improve your own marketing messages as you constantly apply it to the topics that you write about.

Blogging helps your business on multiple levels, from SEO to customer loyalty and even self-improvement. It takes time to do, but the effort you put into blogging is time well spent that can repay itself many times over.

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