There’s a common opinion that your businesses should blog. And that’s true — a lot of them should, but that doesn’t mean you should blog just to blog. Many businesses do the blog thing wrong, and apply it for the wrong reasons. This can create productivity gaps and areas where resources are allocated improperly. Blogging shouldn’t be done just to blog — there should be a clear focus, goals, and actionable metrics applied to it. It shouldn’t be done just because people do it — for the same reasons that Facebook and Twitter accounts shouldn’t be created because you heard “social media’s good”.
Blogging for SEO purposes. Business blogs can help you rank elsewhere in a few fashions — but they have to be used this way to matter. First, if you have a few products that remain pretty static, having a constantly updated blog can be the quality signal that indicates to spiders that they should frequently return to your site, which is always good. Secondly, by using intelligent internal linking practices, you can help improve the crawling process to deep links on your site, and also help indicate some relevancy with internal anchor text.
HOWEVER, if you have a pretty shallow site with only a few product pages, the benefit of this is negligible, and the benefit is really almost none. If you have a domain with pages in the multiple thousands, however, the benefit from this is real — if done properly.
The best benefit from this practice is interweaving the deep, internal linking practice with actually obtaining links — but this part can be difficult, especially for business blogs. You have to create truly great content to do this consistently. I would go as far as to say that blogging that creates real ROI needs to have someone almost dedicated to it full time — if not from one person’s full 40 hours, from the combined effort of a few.
Blogging to show expertise. For service providers, blogging is one of the most critical activities. Even if many leads come from referrals or networking, starting that spark and ensuring expertise can be guaranteed with a strong blog. Many service-based businesses thrive by creating great content revolving around their vertical, content that sets them apart from the crowd. Again, if you simply create throwaway or average content, it’s likely that the ROI you see from blogging would be better invested elsewhere — especially with limited resources.
It shouldn’t surprise you that creating standout content, here, would also obtain you more links — helping you on the SEO side as well.
Blogging to attract traffic. This is best utilized on the software side, because you can talk about one-offs in the industry in an interesting way, and by doing it compellingly, many will end up signing up for your service and hanging around. Similar with service providers, but with likely signups further down the line — and more sporadically, so conversions are low. In E-Commerce, it’s more difficult, and it’s my recommendation that you most likely avoid blogging — because the point of purchase is later down the line, it’s hard to retain users (because there is no real “interest” segment generally in the blog category), and the amount made per customer is almost always incredibly low.
For this reason, I have difficulty citing even one e-commerce blog that utilizes blogging effectively to primp their products. However, these sites sometimes also have incredibly large
The Ultimate Checklist
When we look back at the three points before, you can ultimately boil it down to a checklist of whether or not you should consider blogging for your field. You don’t have to hit every point — besides the great content part — but I would suggest only not checking one, if possible. If you hit them all, what are you waiting for? Get to blogging!
- Ability to write unique and revolutionary content
- Business in service/software industry
- Exists on a large website (>1,000 pages)
- Exists in a somewhat social-friendly vertical
- Exists in a large enough vertical to obtain an audience
- Website has a clear SEO strategy/need for SEO
Can you think of any more points that might make a business want to start a blog? Add them in the comments!
Jayne Kopp says
I have found blogging quite enjoyable, but I do feel if you don’t particularly enjoy writing or adding fresh content, it would not be quite as beneficial.
I have enjoyed using my blog for personal branding to enhance my business as well as broaden my network.
Thanks for your post. I enjoyed it.
Tom Chapman says
I was quite nervous when I started blogging – it felt like diving into the deep end – without knowing if there were any sharks in the pool!
Having posted for a while I enjoy it tremendously, and I feel its a good tool to show the human side to the business
Aloys Yeast Doc says
Blogging properly may seem daunting at first for a business owner, but it’s probably easier to do these days than ever before. Once you have a strategy in place for the blog, then it’s not that costly to find a good writer to write articles that are also aimed at the human reader as well as at the search engines.
It’s actually more complicated to come up with a strategy than with the blog content itself.
Jeffrey Gross says
I agree with you! a blog is a must for your buisness, as you can keep your audience updated of all the latest happenings, you can guide them, and the best part is that you update is daily, SE’s are going to love your site!
Blogging can be fun once you set your mind to it. When you are blogging keep a keyword in mind that you may use on every paragraph. Not only this will give you a topic to write on but it’ll encourage you to write more.
Steve Hall says
I agree a blog can be a great way for a business to build an online presence and create a following with their customers.
A few clients that I have worked with have been very keen on a blog until they figured out that they would need new content on a regular basis.
The blog must be kept fresh and relevant so that it is a proper representation of your business.
“Blogging shouldn’t be done just to blog . there should be a clear focus, goals, and actionable metrics applied to it. It shouldn’t be done just because people do it”
A business shouldn’t blog just because everyone else is doing it. I agree that if it serves a purpose through clear goals, then that’s the time it should be used.
HP van Duuren says
To be able to get Feedback from Customers, possibly get ideas for Product improvements, or even for new Product Ideas.
All the Best,
To your Happy – Blogging – Inspiration,
With new Google PANDA update things changed. It’s really hard to get to the TOP of SERP. I cannot understand why sites like ehow.com are preferred now. In my eyes it’s full of crap.