By now, you’ve realized the importance of building your own website. However, a strong web presence requires more than just the digital equivalent of a billboard. Your company name, description, and a brief advertisement of services is a good start, but you’ll need an active blog if you want your site to become even more effective-and that goes for any niche, any vertical, and any long-term goal.
Motivations for Blogging
Why is active, regular blogging such a big deal? Let’s take a look at the reasons:
- Most research starts online. According to Green Residential, approximately 92 percent of shoppers end up going online for at least some of their consumer research. It’s no secret that both end consumers and business buyers rely on content they find online to make purchasing decisions. If you can manage to get in front of those customers, you’ll not only control the conversation, you’ll also earn more brand visibility and perceived authority instantly. Without a blog in place, you’re forgoing the opportunity to teach those customers what they want to know—and earn a reputation for yourself in the process.
- An active blog means an active business. Have you ever gone to a company’s website, only to see that it hadn’t been updated since 2002? Most people steer clear of those businesses, assuming they’ve either gone under or they no longer care about their customers. When a customer visits your site, you’ll want them to see that you’re paying active attention and working hard to keep your site updated-a blog demonstrates that to them.
- Each blog post is a new indexed page. In Google’s own words, you can think of online searches as a way to look through a massive book-and each web page in the “index” (the book, in this illustration) is another entry, thus occupying more web real estate. Every new blog post you produce is another entry in Google’s search index, giving your website more space to occupy online, and therefore, more visibility.
- Content boosts relevance and authority. The search engine optimization (SEO) authorities at Moz define your site’s domain authority as an aggregated measure of your site’s trustworthiness, which is then used, in part, to calculate the rankings of all the pages within that site. Writing more high-quality content boosts your authority, and also your relevance for certain keywords and key phrases that users might associate with your brand, cumulatively making your site more likely to appear in search results.
- Onsite work yields offsite possibilities. The more time you spend building a blog on your site, the more opportunities you’ll have to post offsite. Publishing content on offsite sources, sometimes called guest posting, is one of the fastest ways to build your authority, increase your visibility, and build links back to your site.
- Blog posts have synergy with virtually every other marketing strategy. The real magic of content marketing is that it has some level of synergy with almost every other form of marketing, so no matter what your strategy is to increase sales or web traffic, an active blog can help. You can use blog posts to populate social media posts, flesh out your email campaigns, or even attract your in-person customers to your website.
- Blog work helps you refine your own business. Scientific evidence suggests that writing regularly can actually make you smarter; it gives you a chance to refine your vocabulary, process your beliefs and emotions, and spend more time immersed in your chosen subject matter. That means blogging about your business could help you become a better entrepreneur, improving your business overall as you continue to write.
- Websites with blogs keep visitors longer. Without something to hold their attention, most web visitors will leave within a few moments of visiting your page. A blog gives them something to focus on, allowing them to read and process more details, and possibly probe deeper into your site. And of course, the longer your visitors spend on your site, the more likely they’ll be to convert.
- Blogs offer call-to-action opportunities. Finally, your blog presents an unparalleled opportunity to present your visitors with calls-to-action, whether you’re trying to get them to buy a product or simply fill out a form for more information. No matter what your end goal is, your blogs serve as a conduit to connect your visitors to that end goal, and the more blogs you post, the more opportunities you’ll have.
How to Get Started
If you’re completely unfamiliar with the process of building and maintaining a blog, don’t worry. It’s relatively easy, especially with the help of today’s technology. WordPress and most other website builders already have a blogging platform built in, so you can log in immediately and begin writing. If you’re stuck on ideas, research the competition to see what types of content they’re producing. Draw inspiration from these posts, and come up with your own unique views, tips, or insights. With practice, you’ll become an expert blogger in your own right-or at least boost traffic and engagement for your site.