Blogs are everywhere and lots of people are reading them. How many people, you ask? Currently, Word Press (one of the most popular web-hosting vehicles due to its user-friendly blogging platform) has over 70 million sites around the world. (And that number rises daily.) Those Word Press sites are viewed by over 370 million people each month. But, you might say, how do I know that blogging isn’t just another internet fad with a short lifespan? Because people will always seek information and now we do so online, often in the form of blogs. In terms of Word Press, for instance, over 100,000 blogs are created every single day.
People are heading to blogs daily, using them to gain knowledge, to see something visually interesting, to connect with others, and to publish articles that can be shared widely. So, quite simply, if you’re a small business and you’re not blogging, then you are missing out on myriad connections with current and potential customers. We’ve got five basic reasons why your business needs to be blogging.
1.) Write Your Own Story
Positive or negative, the social media sphere is buzzing daily with reviews and commentary on businesses. Your customers are already talking about you on Facebook, Twitter, etc… No, you can’t control what customers will post about you online, but you can write your own story with a blog. Blogging provides your business with a platform to get more personal with your customers, allowing them to see you, the owner, as a real person and your business as a labor of love into which you’ve invested yourself fully. Write a blog post about your business’s origin story. Write a post that takes readers on a day-in-the-life journey. Write about why you love what you do. By telling your business’s story through blogging you have the chance to create deeper bonds with your customers.
2.) Be A Teacher
Advertisements are everywhere, permeating our lives throughout each day. Because of this, you don’t want your blog to be just another endless sales pitch. People can spot an advertisement-disguised-as-a-blog-post from a mile away and, when they’ve sniffed out the commercial element, they typically click away. The best way to sell your business to customers via blogging is to be a teacher–an expert–in your industry. Do you own a car wash? Blog about the difference between car waxes, for instance. Own an apartment complex? You could blog about various ways to decorate a living room. As a small business owner, you are an expert in the industry in which your company resides. Why not share that expertise with the blogosphere and gain some some new fans in the process?
3.) Go Viral
If you use your blog as a teaching mechanism, then you have the chance to go viral. Why? Because when you are sharing valuable information–not just company-specific advertisements that are tied to your local area–people will post your blog on Facebook and Twitter to spread good ideas around. Your company’s name then has the chance to be seen far-and-wide and your brand becomes synonymous with your industry. This is the best kind of word-of-mouth advertising since you’re not being pushy with overt advertising and you’re engendering trust in possible customers. And when a blog goes viral it can do so forever, landing on websites around the world and social media networks of all kinds.
4.) Communicate With Your Customers
A company blog can be a great place to crowd-source your current and prospective customers. Get a conversation going with people. Are you considering offering a new product at your business? Ask your customers first with your blog. Readers can chime in with their thoughts in the blog’s comments section. And conversation starters get people talking on your blog’s own page as well as in the social networking community; your readers will be more likely to share your blog post on Facebook if you’re asking for input. People love to see their ideas online–Facebook is filled with users sharing their opinions ad infinitum–so a crowd-source focused blog post can solicit lots of helpful feedback and more exposure.
5.) Share What’s New
Use a blog post to share what’s new with your business. Make it a less aggressive way to advertise new products and services. Tell a story about why you’re bringing in these new elements. You don’t want every post to be a sales pitch, but it’s OK to sprinkle in an article about new offerings and sales every now and then. When you strike a balance with a variety of types of posts, then your customers won’t feel bombarded or annoyed with a sales-y post once in a while.