If your using the internet to help market your business, you’ve probably heard that you should blog. And maybe you’re not quite sure how that will help. If that’s you, then here are 10 simple reasons to help you see the true benefits to having a blog for your business. And this is one of the most viral blogging platforms I’ve seen and have been using: Empower Network
1. Cheap Advertising
I promise you, blogging IS a form of advertising and for as little as $10 a month you have an online advertising system that grows and grows and never expires.
Now when I say “advertising” I don’t mean that you will just continuously post advertisements all over the place. Ideally you’d place one or two ads on the site, maybe in the sidebar or header/footer areas. Then when you offer “value driven” content to bring people to your blog, many of them will notice the ads.
How much have you spent on newspaper or magazine advertising? Maybe a small fortune. And where was that ad the following week or month? Probably gone through the shredder or used to stop a puppy from peeing all over the floor.
I mean …seriously.
Those dollars don’t go far when using print advertising. Radio and television are the same. I’m not saying they don’t work. They do. But for a small business owner they can be costly. Here today…but literally gone tomorrow.
Spend $10 a month and 30-60 minutes of your time once a week and you will create long lasting, personalized ads that work for you over and over and over and over….. and over!
2. Attract Endless New Clients
You want new clients?
Write great stuff on your blog.
If you’re using WordPress, and you absolutely should be, you will definitely have an edge up on getting more traffic from Google. Google LOVES WordPress sites and WordPress sites are also easy to share on social media.
Making content easy to share means more people will see your stuff. The more people see your content, they more people will subscribe or sign up to hear from you again and the more highly qualified, interested people you have to sell to.
So the formula is blog + share = more eyeballs, which = more clients.
3. Improve Your Writing
Some of us were not born to be writers. That’d be me. I’m no Stephen King or J. K Rowlings but hey…at least I try. And I’m definitely not the worst writer in the world. I do find that the more I do it…I get incrementally better. If you want to get better…write!
“Just do it.” Nike.
Do the work. Stephen Pressfield (one of my favourite books).
If you want to get better at ANYTHING you just gotta do it! So get started. I personally find that writing in a conversational tone is much easier and I believe from the average readers perspective it’s more enjoyable. I write like I think. I write like I speak. So what you’re reading right now is exactly what is coming into my brain at this very moment!
Get started and you’ll get better.
4. Creative Outlet (In Case You Don’t Have Enough Stuff To Do)
Everyone needs a creative outlet.
Maybe you paint, or sing or dance.
Maybe you knit scarves for squirrels.. ? :-O
Not sure…but hey if you can kill two birds with one stone (although I’d never kill a bird) why not.
Blogging takes some level of creativity from figuring out what to write about, to coming up with catching titles and writing in a way that doesn’t put your readers into “OMG get me out of here” mode. (Refer to point #3 above…you’ll get better with time.)
As as you do it, you may find it to be quite an enjoyable task.
Hey it’s your blog. You can say whatever you want right.
So go on…get creative. Again..there we go…killing two birds with one stone again.
5. People Stick Around
As you get better and better at blogging and do it on a consistent basis, you will naturally grow a loyal fan base. People will stick around. Be sure to always keep their needs and wants at the forefront.
You’ll want to be sure to capture their email or give them a way to subscribe. One of the most annoying things is finding a blog and not being able to sign up for updates. I’m shocked that there are even blogs in existence that still do not have this option. But there is. I’ve been frustrated by a few.
Give people an easy way to “stick around” and they will.
6. Feedback – Both Good & Bad
Blogs can be very interactive and provide a simple method for you to get feedback from your readers/subscribers. Write a post and at the end, ask for feedback. Maybe you ask for their opinion, ask them to take action on something or just ask them to leave a comment.
The simple practice of asking people for feedback works.
This is something that in a more “traditional” marketing plan might include focus groups or expensive surveys. As a small business owner, if you want to know how your customers feel about your new cilantro flavored ice-cream, ask. You will know whether it’s something to pursue or not.
7. Community – It’s What People Want
Want to know the secret to creating long term fans and customers?
Apple is one of the best in the world at this. They’ve created such loyalty and raving fans.
A few ways to do this on your blog are
- proving great value that help your readers and customers immensely
- being interactive on comments, by responding to many of them
- responding to private messages
- inviting them to join you on Facebook and Twitter and interacting with them there as well
- featuring them in posts (ie: testimonials, videos, case studies).
8. You Become The Expert
If you want to be on Oprah, you gotta be an expert. Blogging consistently is one way to increase your expertise. Or at least your “perceived” expertise. I’m not saying you shouldn’t know what you’re talking about. You should. But you don’t have to have a PhD in the subject to be seen as an expert these days.
Blogging is like a platform that you stand upon. The first time you speak from the platform there may be a couple people listening. Maybe your mom and your best friend. That’s ok.
The next time …. a few more. And a few more. Until you have a crowd.
This crowd is there because you are speaking about something they want to know more about. (Well maybe not your mom, she’s just there for support, but the rest are.)
So to them, you’re an expert. Because you know more than they do about the subject matter.
Continue to learn, do and share, over and over. And eventually you will be known as an “expert”. Watch for Oprah’s people to be getting in touch with your people.
9. Create A List Of Potential Customers
We’ve already established in point #8 above that you will become an expert. So as you’re doing this be sure to collect the names and emails (and I’d also recommend cell phone numbers) of the people in your crowd. They are hanging out for a reason and some of them are willing to give you money for your products or services.
If you want customers, you start with a list of people interested. In that list, are the customers.
10. Potential Industry Partnerships
This one is powerful. Blogging allows you to get noticed by others in your industry. And one of the best ways to expand your customer base is by partnering with complimentary businesses. Find other experts (and they will find you via your blog) and figure out ways to cross promote each others products or services.
An example of this could be if you had a health blog where you focused on smoothies, juicing and fasts and how healthy they were for you. And you found a blogger who focused on raw food lifestyle. You might be able to cross promote, since they are non-competing and compliment each other.
Often times when you’re looking for joint venture partners, they will check you out online. They’ll look at your website/blog, maybe YouTube channel. And if you look like you have your stuff together, you’d definitely be in the running for a potentially profitable joint venture.
There are actually many, many great benefits to having a blog as a small business owner. The best advice I can give you is to get started, keep it simple, learn as you go, provide great value to your readers, capture their contact info so you can stay in touch, interact and engage with them, be consistent, enjoy the process and be your brand.
Do that…and you will reap years of benefit with very little investment other than your time.