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Blogging has never been so popular, particularly among the online marketing community. But why should you take it up? Here are 25 good reasons…
Blogging is good for your organic SEO
The main benefit of a blog in terms of search engine optimisation (SEO) is that it builds backlinks to your pages. If your content is good then people will discuss and share it, creating links to your pages on their websites, their own blogs and through social platforms like Twitter.
It builds corporate authority
A business with a popular blog will seem more informed and articulate than one without, enhancing its reputation as an authoritative organisation.
Writing enhances your personal profile
Not only does a blog build your company’s reputation, it showcases the talents of the staff members who contribute. This allows them to develop their own online profiles, which helps both the company and the individuals’ reputations grow.
Blogging lets you extend beyond Twitter
I have heard people suggest that their corporate presence on Twitter means they don’t need a blog – they are networking and marketing without one. But a blog allows you to continue those Twitter conversations in more depth, and to justify your tweeted opinions. The two platforms work very well together.
Blogging encourages you to remain on top of industry developments
If you’re a regular blogger then you’re always looking for new ideas and potential posts. That gives you an extra motivation to read new pieces of research, attend conferences and events, debate with your peers and read other blogs.
That prevents you from becoming complaisant and keeps on you on top of our rapidly changing industry.
You store and chronicle useful information
When you’re absorbing so much information, it can be hard to remember which piece of research you read about a particular subject or whose blog post you would recommend. But if you’ve blogged your reactions to these then you have filed away your reactions, thoughts and links – allowing you to find them again in the future.
You’re more likely to be approached by the press
If you’re regularly putting out informed opinion on events within your industry, then you make it more likely that you’ll be approached by the press if your specialism ends up in the news. Once you have a successful blog, you can even approach specialist publications and offer articles, further enhancing your corporate reputation.
It enables conversations with customers
Your readers and customers can comment on blogs, allowing you to enter into conversations with them. Positive conversations and interactions like this build consumer loyalty.
Blogging helps you network
Both businesses and individual staff members can use a corporate blog to build connections with relevant and useful people. If influential people read your blog, share it and discuss it with you, then you can network with bigger fish than before.
It encourages regular traffic
Add regular useful content to your website and people wanting useful content will visit regularly. Boosting the number of engaged, interested visitors to your website can help increase your chances of a sale.
Your competitors will be doing it
So many companies now have active blogs that those that don’t risk looking behind the times. If your competitors are benefiting from a blog then you could be too.
It enhances your PR
Whether you have an extensive PR team that’s regularly pitching stories to the nationals, or barely any PR budget at all, your blog can enhance your PR strategy. It’s an additional channel to showcase your PR efforts through and it can be the basis of your PR if you have a very limited budget.
Blogging shows you are in touch with your sector
A blog allows your customers and peers to see you regularly commenting on and discussing developments in your industry. This gives them confidence that you are not out of date.
It can help you sell (if you’re careful!)
A blog must never be used to overtly sell or market at readers, it should be useful and entertaining. However, you can publish posts inspired by a new product or service you’re offering, and you can link to relevant sales pages on your websites without offending most readers.
A blog gives your company a personality
Blogs are necessarily chattier and more informal than most other ways that businesses communicate. That lets your corporate brand show off some personality, helping to engage visitors and build brand loyalty.
Blog posts keep on giving
An emailed newsletter or PR stunt is a one-off event. But a blog post is archived and constantly available online. Even after it has long gone from your homepage, people will stumble across it through internet searches and inbound links, meaning it continues to work hard for you.
You can learn from discussions
Not only will keeping a blog motivate you to stay on top of industry developments and news, you can also learn a lot from comments and debate inspired by your post. Always take the time to read what people say about your posts.
Sometimes, highly informed individuals (who’d charge a hefty consultation fee if you asked them for their opinion!) will freely share their knowledge and opinions in response to your article.
It’s a useful and saleable skill
Individual employees can add another string to their online marketing bows by learning blogging skills – it’s an increasingly important tool.
It’s a cheap way to market yourself
If you can’t really afford a major marketing or PR drive then a blog allows you to raise brand awareness and interact more effectively online. While a blog takes time, it is a PR strategy that the whole team can help out with, allowing you an online marketing foothold with very little investment.
You can address any online reputation issues swiftly
If your company is being badmouthed online or if it’s made a genuine mistake then a blog allows you to respond quickly. Whether you’re correcting a misconception or apologising for a gaffe, a blog post lets you be frank with the online community. It’s also friendlier than a statement.
You’ll be at the front of readers’ minds
Your regular readers will automatically think of your business the next time they come to need your product or service, because they visit your site so often.
It showcases your brand
If you’re writing interesting articles that people want to share and discuss then you widen your brand appeal. As the online community pass your article around, it raises awareness of your brand in a positive way.
You’ll enjoy it
Don’t look on a regular blog as a drag or a chore, it can be great fun. Writing interesting, useful articles on demand is a challenge but it’s an exciting one. Set yourself goals like increasing your subscribers or generating more comments or tweets with every post and you’ll soon see what fun a blog can be.
It’s easy to do
Unlike a major new PR strategy or marketing plan, a blog is easy to create, set up and populate. The only difficulty you might find is generating ideas, but as soon as you get into the mindset of always looking for your next post, you’ll soon find the ideas start to flow.
You can host guest posts
Once you’ve created a corporate blog, you can invite industry peers, suppliers and commentators to write guest articles for it. They will then share their posts with their own networks, spreading your brand awareness across an even wider pool.
You can even offer guest posts to other blogs yourself, further boosting your corporate and personal reputation.