With all the articles, conferences, books and videos about the merits of content marketing, it’s amazing how many people still ask us, “Should we start a blog?” Understandably, content marketing is much more than just blogging, but creating and maintaining a blog is a good way to get started with content marketing. So why should small businesses blog?  Here’s how blogging helps your customers and your business.

Blogging helps your customers

Content marketing, which blogging is considered a part of, is all about providing useful information to your customers and your potential customers. Gone are the days of pushing out information you want people to know about you, your company, your product or your service. Honestly, people really don’t care that much. What they DO care about is how your product or service is going to help them. You can help your customers by giving them information they’re looking for. You can answer their questions, provide insights on how your product or service will help solve a specific problem, or you can educate them on industry trends. Your blogs can be informative, educational, inspiring, or entertaining. The goal is to ensure you’re providing information people will like and want. Let’s say you’re a custom wine cellar builder. Here are a few examples of blog post titles that illustrate content that helps customers:

  • 5 Ways a Custom Wine Cellar Can Protect Your Wine Collection
  • What You Should Consider Before Adding a Wine Cellar to Your Home
  • Technology Options You Need to Know About for Your Custom Wine Cellar

Helpful yes?  Informative. Educational. You could even get more granular and answer very specific questions in your blog post. You know that FAQ page on your website?  That likely was inspired by questions prospective customers were asking over and over again. Make a blog post out of each one and provide information that your customers will find helpful.

Blogging helps SEO

While your website should put visitors first and SEO second, SEO should be considered if you want a well-functioning site. Blogging does help SEO in several ways. First, adding new content on a regular basis, like blog posts, is a great way to keep your website fresh and updated. No one likes to visit a website only to find it’s out of date. Writing blog posts on a regular basis avoids that. It’s also a great way to not only attract people who may not otherwise have found or visited your site but will keeps them on your site longer. Think about it:  someone searches for a topic, and up pops your blog post in the search results. Tada! They click through and now they’re on your site. That’s pure gold right there, especially if the blog post you wrote targeted a longtail keyword phrase that really targeted what they were looking for. Another benefit from an SEO standpoint is not only the ability to create internal links between pages of your site in your blog post, but if you have a quality blog, other websites are more likely to link to you. It’s not impossible to get external links without a blog, but it’s much, much harder.

Blogging helps your business

Blogging helps you showcase your business to customers and prospect, even potential vendors and business partners. Search Engine Journal said it very succinctly – blogging helps to:

  • Draw online traffic.
  • Nurture and convert customers.
  • Keep current customers engaged.
  • Differentiate you from other similar businesses.
  • Grow demand and interest in your products or services.

It provides direct communication with you and the outside world, allowing you as a small business to share your expertise. It creates content that can be shared on social channels and in newsletters, further spreading your sphere of influence. Blogging illustrates to the outside world that you’re a thought leader, a subject matter expert. It’s a very creative way to show your company’s personality (funny, informative, even slightly sarcastic?). Sprout Content brought up an interesting point about blogging:  it creates free PR. Business bloggers are often interviewed by journalists as industry experts. Blogging can also increase sales by increasing credibility, showcasing products and services, growing your email list and connecting with customers. Blogging is awesome!

If you’re a small business, blogging needs to be a part of your small business marketing strategy.  Start blogging and get ready to see how blogging helps your customers, your SEO and your business.

Patty Hughes
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