Blogging takes a lot of time and is an easy task to postpone. There seems to be no short-term payoff. Does an SMB owner really need to blog?
The answer is YES for the following reasons -
A well-written blog post helps establish credibility
There is a lot of noise on the Internet. Two million blogs posts are written every day and most are not worth reading. But somehow readers find new and valuable content. A writer with authority notices and mentions a blog. Others notice and quote from it. Google notes the traffic and raises its ranking on their Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). Good things continue to happen that builds credibility for the author. All of this happens because the writer took the time to dig deeper into his research; wrote with clarity and built defendable positions. And in turn, the blog post became credible. This person proved that yes, an SMB owner does need to blog.
Another author does superficial research, copies or plagiarizes content and his blog is never noticed. His post will never be found or read. So no, this business owner doesn't need to blog.
Blogging allows you to speak directly to your visitors
Your visitors may visit your website with various questions. One may have an “explainer” kind of question. Another may have a “how-to” question. But you can answer all of their questions by writing a long-form blog post. Using anticipated questions you can add paragraph headings that will not only help you organize your writing but also add a signpost for your visitor. Each visitor can quickly scan your blog and find what they are specifically looking for. “How to” questions and “explainer” questions should use an image to add clarity. And of course, the ultimate in answering how-to questions is to use a video post.
A blog can improve conversion rates
A well-written blog reinforces the main premise of your website. The main focus will be explained in the pillar, cornerstone or foundation pages. See definitions here. They are the ones that supply the major support for the website. But your blog posts will reinforce the main premise by explaining and expanding on its points. Given this reinforcement, your reader will more likely sign up for a periodic email or perhaps go directly to the shopping page and buy something while he’s there.
Blogging supports social media initiatives
Blog posts can be reused for social media content. Write your blog post first, and then extract the most important point from the post. Find an image that helps explain the key point and will capture the attention of your social media visitor. I like to create social media content and then include a link back to my website so the reader has a map back to my blog post. You will not only improve his understanding but also increase traffic that Google recognizes.
Blog posts help you rank for long tail search queries
Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific keyword phrases that visitors are more likely to use when they’re ready to purchase. Long-tail keywords won’t produce a lot of visitors like those in general queries. But, you will get visitors that are looking for that last piece of information that they need to make a decision. And because you have provided it they may reward you with a purchase.
Blog posts tend to have lower level, more detailed information that further describe the information in the pillar pages. Without blog posts you might miss adding this to your website. Pillar pages introduce a topic with broad descriptive information while blog posts provide the specifics. What would a turkey dinner be without stuffing, mashed potatoes and other sides?
Blog posts help build traffic to your website
Website pillar pages only increase if a major new product or service is added to the business. If you sold ladies’ hair extensions you would describe them in their pillar pages. If you added a major new product like ladies’ wigs they would deserve their own pillar pages. And you would use blog pages to extend advice for all of your products.
The more pages you have the more pages you have to include additional keywords. Each page should have one major keyword (or phrase) with one or two synonyms included. But you want to offer information that satisfies many reader queries that find keywords on your site. Therefore, the more pages you have the more times you register with Google and the more likely you are to be found.
Keys to blogging:
- Be constantly on the lookout for topics and key phrases to use for your posts.
- Be consistent. Post once a month, twice a month, every week. Whatever. But be consistent.
- Only publish the best content your can create at the time. Your content will get better. Come back in six months and re-write your earlier content.
- Get started. Your writing will improve and will be easier to do.
Do you have any excuses not to write?