Recently, an online freelance writers’ group I belong to discussed ways to get businesses, and small businesses especially, to buy-in to blogging. I followed the discussion, which eventually fizzled, because as I have also found, convincing businesses to break with the way they’ve always done things and try something more in keeping with the times can be challenging-to-impossible. But I’ve decided to revisit the topic here on my blog (no, not because I’m hard-headed but) because, it’s worth putting down the reasons I think businesses need to consider this.
I personally continue to see the value of it in terms of building awareness and readership re both my creative and non-creative output. It’s not exclusively about the numbers but about the relationships you build with an audience you might not have otherwise reached. Through two blogs (http://wadadlipen.wordpress.com and https://jhohadli.wordpress.com), I continue to hone my blogging skills, building on an already extensive track record writing and editing content for various clientele. I say all of that to say, if, after reading this, you’d like to try this blogging thing and want to hire a writer to help, hit me up.
Too many businesses are still limiting themselves and their media campaigns to the physical space they occupy when more and more of their target population is hanging out in virtual space. Well written posts, promoted on social media, optimized (with carefully chosen key words) for search engine discovery can draw some of that virtual population to you resulting in greater brand recognition and potentially more business.
This 2015 article makes the point that if you’re in business, blogging isn’t an option, it’s a necessity. It holds that once your blog is out there it will draw business to you even while you’re sleeping, so to speak. “Day and night, your blog is always working for you.” – 67% more leads, 13x return on investment, 97% more links to your website.
With your blog telling people who you are, how you got into business, and why you’re distinctive, you’re embracing the opportunity to create a profile reflective of how you want to be defined in the marketplace. One of the things I believe I can help businesses do is move from the impersonal and all of the apathy that that implies into something more relatable. I can achieve this in the way I craft your biography, outline your products and services, and in the topics I post (in consultation with you).
“Blogs, by nature, have a personal touch to them. For this reason, they’re a trusted source of information. Your blog serves as a great opportunity to extend your brand and showcase your personality. Be the first to break industry news and insight to your visitors; you’ll naturally become more reputable.” (Hubspot)
Some of you already blog but you don’t interact. True, a blog is ideally non-intrusive, that’s part of its appeal – people can seek it out on their terms. But you’ve got to give them reasons to want to do so. If your blog is dormant/unchanging, you’re not giving people reasons to come back. But if you’re addressing reader questions, using their issues as fodder for future postings, and blogging regularly on topics related to your industry in a way that feels a little less like a hard sell and a little more like a conversation, then you could create the kind of environment that they want to come back to and posts they’ll want to share (which would, say it with me, drive traffic to your site).
The beauty of a blog, too, is that even if they don’t comment, thanks to the analytics generated by blogging platforms you learn to figure out (and be guided by) what brought them to your blog in the first place and what topics they are most interested in. This way you’ll be responding to the issues they didn’t even think to directly ask about.
Blogging – even when it’s outsourced – challenges you to stay current re issues affecting your industry, as these are the very conversations you wish to draw readers in to. Do so, and you can become a better product and service provider as you’ll be more knowledgeable, more responsive, and more credible.
Managing marketing costs
Yes, bringing someone like me in to train staff or outsourcing your blogging needs to me will cost you. But conventional wisdom suggests that the more you invest in this type of networking the less you’ll have to spend on traditional advertising and marketing. Think about it: Your blog content can find its way through various channels – social media, enewsletters, traditional media if they’re smart and pick up on topical content – to your typical audience and beyond for a fraction of what you would normally pay.
Playing the long game
Some businesses don’t buy in to blogging because they can’t quantify the relationship to sales, and it’s true, you can’t. But the thing is to think of your blog as more of a long term investment in building and sustaining brand awareness, promoting your products and services, and highlighting your expertise while creating a conversation about topics of interest to your target readership (i.e. potential customers).
I live and write from Antigua and Barbuda, though not exclusively within Antigua and Barbuda (the beauty of this infotech age is geographic boundaries are mere hurdles). But I do have a pitch specific to businesses in Antigua and Barbuda (at least initially). As any one who knows me or follows my blogs knows, I believe in social activism, and I know a lot of businesses give – sometimes sung, sometimes unsung. I would propose to set up and manage a community blog designed to spotlight, per a pre-determined schedule, the ways in which local businesses are involved in their communities. The beauty of it is that it’s an opportunity to draw attention to the cause and to maybe get readers excited about being active as well. If you’re interested in this contact me.
In fact, if you have a blog maintained irregularly, or no blog at all, contact me, period.
Let’s get you connected.