If your business has a website, and you aren’t already blogging, you’re missing one of the cheapest ways to build a pipeline of qualified prospects. As you’ll learn by reading our post about how to blog, getting started is easier than you might think, and as we’ll show in this article, the benefits derived from a well-run business blog are many.
Why You Business Should Have a Blog
The bottom line is that a well-done business blog will produce qualified leads. How does this happen? It’s a multi-step process:
- Search engines love regularly updated websites, and a blog that is updated according to a regular schedule will produce a very tangible boost in search engine ranking over time.
- Well-written blog posts on properly selected topics establish authority. Consider two identical companies: one starts a blog and does a great job with it while the other doesn't blog at all. Six months down the road which one of the two companies will be considered the “industry-leading expert”?
- Blog posts have a lasting impact. Over time, you’ll find that your most popular blog posts drive the majority of search engine traffic that reaches your site.
By blogging effectively, you’ll drive more search engine traffic to your website, establish your company as a leader within your industry, and gain value from posts months and even years after you post them.
Establish a high-quality business blog, and your readers will stop thinking of your company as Company XYZ: maker of widgets, instead they’ll think of you as Company XYZ: the most knowledgeable, helpful, and findable maker of widgets in the world.
How to Have a Great Business Blog
Now that you’re sold on the idea of launching a business blog, it’s important to get it right.
If you hope to have a blog that your customers value, share, and return to, you have to learn to pick the right topics. Your customers will only read your blog if you provide information that is valuable to them. So you have to know your customers, and craft blog posts that are relevant to the relationship they have with your business. If you’re a realtor, don’t blog about becoming a realtor, blog about getting the best interest rate, or picking a great house inspector.
Blogging regularly is one of the most effective ways to improve your website's search engine results page ranking.
When you write your posts, have a plan. Don’t just sit down and start typing. First, draft a headline and introduction. Then, pencil out an outline. Don’t start writing until you know what you want to say, and have a working outline that will help you say it well.
We can’t emphasize this strongly enough: write readable content. Writing a readable blog post is an art. Use very short paragraphs, strong organization with frequent use of headers and lists, and leave lots of whitespace on the page if you want your blog posts to be read.
Some Great Business Blogs
Now for some inspiration. There are many companies doing a great job of blogging. Here are a few of our favorites:
- InVision is a company that offers design collaboration software, and their blog is chock full of design best practices and free resources – exactly what every designer is looking for.
- If you’re in real estate, subscribe to Zillow’s blog for a great example of blogging that’s sure to attract prospective home buyers and renters.
- One thing the Disney Parks blog does well is to take you behind the scenes. The posts put a human face on a large corporation – a smart move for a company aiming to make an emotional connection with their customers.
- We’ve linked to it a few times already, but we couldn’t complete this list without mentioning the HubSpot blog. If you search for nearly any topic related to blogging and internet marketing you’re likely to see a HubSpot blog post as one of the top results. Their blog drives a ton of traffic to their website.
- If you want to take a look at a smaller business that does a great job of blogging, take a look at the Big Sea Design blog. A web design and marketing agency, they have established themselves as a recognized voice within the inbound marketing community.
Now that you know the reasons why a business blog makes all of the business sense in the world, and you understand how to thrill your readers, there’s only one thing to do: Make a plan and start blogging!