If you run a business, you’ve probably been told you have to blog.
And if you’re like some business owners, that feels like a death sentence.
As if you weren’t busy enough helping your customers, planning your growth, and doing all the small “fun” stuff business owners get to do — like fixing the printer and being on hold with your internet provider. Now you’re supposed to sit down and write an essay every week, too?!
You’re busy. So it’s worth asking: do you really need to keep up a blog?
Blogging’s Not for Everyone
A blog is a useful tool for your business ONLY if…
- It appeals to your current and potential customers
- It shows you in a good light
- You do it consistently
After all, the purpose of a blog is to connect with customers. Whether you’re answering their big questions, giving them hope and inspiration, or helping them take action with helpful how-tos, your blog should be a place where customers get to know, like, and trust you.
So, if you have a blog, but it’s really painful for you to write and sounds forced, odds are it’s not much fun for your customers to read! You’re probably not coming across as your best self. (If this describes you and you’d like to change that, let’s talk.)
And if it’s such a pain that you only get to it once every six months, potential customers will already have forgotten who you are. (If this is you, don’t feel bad. It happens to the best of us!)
What if your ideal customers are too busy to read blog posts? Or what if they’re spending their time online almost exclusively on social media instead of on websites?
The Purpose of a Blog
To make the most of blogging, think of the term a bit more loosely. Let’s look at the key goals of a blog:
- Demonstrate your expertise
- Help clients hear your voice and connect with you
- Give potential clients value (“If that’s what she offers for free, her paid services must be amazing!”)
- Answer common questions efficiently
- Bring people back to your website
Hmm… couldn’t you easily accomplish 1, 2, and 4 with videos on YouTube? Couldn’t you do 3, 4, and 5 with posts on Facebook and Instagram? Twitter and Pinterest might be great for 3. And of course you could hit all five goals with a recorded webinar.
That means you get to choose the best way to put yourself out there. Whether it’s video, shorter text posts, or more visual offerings, there’s a platform out there for you.
The best kind of “blogging” is the kind you do consistently that reaches your ideal audience and helps them.
The Advantages of a Blog
Are there advantages to having a blog on your website? Absolutely.
Sharing the link to a blog post brings people back to your website. Those additional visits move you up in Google’s rankings. That means your website is higher up on Google’s organic search results.
A blog on your website also helps build trust. When someone comes to your website and is thinking of hiring you, there’s more content to browse. Your site looks well-tended to. (But, of course, only if you have a recent post up. A dusty blog can be a real turn-off to potential customers!)
My favorite reason for having a blog is that it’s a big ol’ storehouse of your knowledge. When someone on your business Facebook page asks a question about something, you can say, “What a great question! Here’s a blog post I wrote that will answer it. Let me know if you find it helpful. Make sure to tag me if you have additional questions.”
Sharing a link is more efficient than answering the question again every time someone asks it. And you can do it in a way that still provides personal attention and demonstrates your willingness to help.
But it’s not just that. You’re also showing your expertise. Since it will be clear that you’ve already created the blog post, video, or Pinterest board you’re linking to, your audience will feel like you predicted their questions. That’s a total expert move!
Plus, you’ve just sent a potential client directly to your website. You know, that place where you list all your cool products and services?!
Should You Write a Blog?
You’ll have to decide this for yourself based on these questions:
- Will it show you and your business in a good light?
- Will your potential customers read it?
- Will you keep it up consistently?
Do some brainstorming about your business. Think outside the box about what would work for you and your audience.
Take me, for example. I blog about business writing, blogging, and beating writer’s block because I know my entrepreneur audience tends to read blog posts.
But, I also create a lot of content for authors. While some of it ends up on the blog, most of it ends up as live videos in my free FB group for people writing books and then goes to my YouTube channel, Write with Megan.
Since indie authors tend to network on Facebook and get how-to tips on YouTube, I know I’m putting the help they need in the place where they’ll find it.
Just like a blog, a YouTube channel stores your content, and you can even create playlists. So when someone asks about how to write a climactic scene or use an apostrophe, I can easily share a link to content. It’s easy for me, it’s convenient for my followers, and there’s one more big bonus: people get a chance to see my (incredibly goofy) personality and whether they’d enjoy working with me.
Your Next Steps
Now that you know the purpose of a blog, you can adapt the principles to work for you. A blog is just a tactic. The larger strategy is what’s important: connecting with your audience, helping people, and bringing traffic back to your website.
You might have other facets of your business that are achieving these same goals. In that case, don’t fix what ain’t broken.
Whether or not a traditional blog is right for you, you need to connect with your customers and potential customers in a consistent, on-brand way.
People buy from people they know, like, and trust. A blog is a pretty darn handy vehicle for creating connections and building trust.
Ready for help with your blog? Check out Blogging Flow, a unique membership site that helps you blog more effectively and more easily. Because when it feels in flow for you, it means you’ll actually commit to creating content that helps your audience. ?