Small business owners have a lot to do. In fact, running a small business can often be overwhelming when you really think about it. You've got employees to train, teams to manage, products to sell, customers to please, and new customers to find. It's no surprise then, that small businesses are resistant to adding to their already overflowing plate of "things to do," especially when it comes to things they don't understand. I often find that blogging falls into the category of "things-I-just-don't-have-time-for-because-I-don't-see-the-benefit."
If that's you, you're not alone. In fact, research shows that less than 18% of small businesses have an online blogging presence. Here's the good news - that means that when you start a blog, you'll be far ahead of most of your competition! And, companies that blog get 126% more leads (socialmediatoday.com). If that wasn't enough of a reason, here's 7 more reasons that blogging might be good for your business.
1. Blogging Has a Lower Cost Of Investment
Small businesses are built on the hard work of the people who started them. In addition to having to invest cash into your business, you're investing your experience - and your life. Building a brand requires both money and time, and if you run a small business, you know there's no shortcut. If you're like many small business owners, spending your resources on paid, traditional media advertising means not having that money to hire a team, or purchase inventory, or any of the other things you do everyday.
Blogging, on the other hand, allows you to create a far greater return on investment than many traditional advertising methods by spending your time creating content that attracts the right type of customers. Blogging is a relatively inexpensive tool that can provide a huge return when used correctly.
2. Blogging Allows You To Share Your Expertise
Your customers aren't just looking for anyone to solve their problem. Whether you're a lawyer, accountant, or pool repair technician, your customers want to know that they've chosen someone that knows their stuff, and can solve their problem. Even if you're a boutique retail store, blogging gives you a chance to share your expertise, and position yourself as a resource among your potential customers. By creating relevant, helpful content - on a regular basis - your readers view you as a subject matter expert, and that increases the chances that those readers will become customers.
3. Blogging Makes Your Site More Findable
Search engines exist for one reason. Okay, they exist for two (when you include advertising). Originally, however, they existed to help people find the most relevant information about whatever they were searching. Blogging helps you build large amounts of searchable content that makes your company much more findable online, especially for the things your target customers are looking for. More organic search traffic to your blog means more qualified leads to your online presence, which increases the quality of leads that contact you.
4. Blogging Gives Your Company A Voice
People want to do business with people. Blogging allows your entire company to be a part of the client conversation, exposing your customers - and potential customers - to a much deeper relationship with your company. Sure, not everyone in your company is a writer - but that's okay. Everyone in your company has a different area of expertise (or you probably wouldn't have hired them). By giving them a chance to create content that is relevant to their area, you make your company more approachable, and more relatable to your potential customers.
5. Blogging Helps You Sharpen Your Focus
By creating relevant content on a regular basis, you find yourself having to have a laser focus on who you are, and why you matter to customers. Blogging makes you think about everything you publish, and make sure it lines up with what you want to say about your company.
Blogging also requires you to think hard about your ideal customer. In addition to focusing on what you're saying, you have to focus on who you're talking to. By thinking about your reader (or ideal customer), you become more focused in all of your marketing efforts when you create blogging content that relates to them.
6. Blogging Results in Much Higher Quality Leads
Creating relevant content on a regular basis gives potential customers (leads) a reason to keep coming back. The more someone is exposed to your content - and your business - the better they are able to make a decision about you and your company. When they finally reach out to you, you'll find that you end up with much more qualified leads because a large part of the "qualification" process happens before they ever click "contact." You'll also find that the leads you generate feel a greater sense of connection with you and your company, even before they ever talk to a person.
7. Blogging Makes You Sharable
Not only does blogging make you more findable, creating content on a regular basis gives your ideal customers an opportunity to share you with their friends. Creating great content that is relevant to your customers is an invitation for them to spread the word. Incorporating sharable links makes it easy for your readers to share your content (and therefore your business), with their social sphere of influence - which means your business is exposed to a far greater potential audience. By the way, many of your best customers would share you with their friends if you made it easy for them. For some of them, talking about you isn't their thing, but sharing you on Facebook or twitter is as simple as it gets.
What about you? Does your company have a blog? How has it helped your business?