Dolphins are really smart – if you haven’t had a chance to check out the new show Life from the Discovery Channel you’re missing out. There was a recent episode that did a segment on dolphins who lived in a really shallow area in the ocean. The dolphins would purposely stir up mud in a circle around a bunch of fish. The fish would see the mud as an obstacle and jump over the mud…right into the waiting mouths of the rest of the dolphins! Lunch delivered!
What does that have to do with blogging for business? Technically not much other than blogging for business is also a really smart thing to do…and I bet if dolphins could type they would have blogs for their businesses!
Still not convinced? Well here are 5 great reasons why you should have a blog for your business:
By the way – when I’m talking about blogging for business, that covers pretty much any kind of regular content creation. It could be a podcast, a video blog or the old fashioned run of the mill blog that you just read!
1. Educate clients and prospects
Regardless of what business you own, you would benefit substantially if people considered you to be an expert in your field. Now you and I both know that simply writing a blog post does not make you an expert, but if you consistently write good posts that educate people on your stuff…then you’re an expert!
Take Jason and Garret at BridgeBuilder as an example: They are estate planning attorneys here in Kansas City and part of their mission is to help people understand how Estate Planning really works and how it might impact you – here’s a recent post answering questions that clients have been asking about Estate Planning law changes.
2. Great for Search Engine Optimization
Search engines love content! Google is like the world’s biggest librarian and the more relevant (and fresh) content the search engines can find, the higher your site will move up the search engine results.
Check out Signal Integrity. Colin Warwick is a product manager at Agilent and his product is all about improving Signal Integrity, which is a term Network Engineers have to worry about. Last year, if you went to Google and searched on Signal Integrity (which his potential customers were likely to do) his product’s page was 5 pages down in the search results – no way they were getting found! Colin decided to start a blog, he called it Signal Integrity and began to write about Network Engineering topics that his prospects would be interested in…a few months later he was on Page 1 of the search results! Here’s a more detailed write-up of how that worked for him.
3. Start a conversation
One of the reasons that blogging and social media work so well from a marketing perspective is that they open the door to interaction and conversations. Most people (your customers) are burned out on traditional 1 way advertising and being told what to do. Blogs enable you to tap into what your customers are thinking, get feedback, get ideas, all sorts of great stuff that come from having a discussion.
One of the best blogs I’ve seen in terms of generating interesting comments is Awake @ the Wheel by Jonathan Fields – here’s a great post and example of a conversation: Be your own guru.
4. Show your personality – be a person
People want to do business with other people, not with a nameless, faceless corporation. Although it’s generally important to be professional, it’s just as important to have some personality and let people know that you’re real.
A blog gives you the opportunity to show who you are as a person…it’s a business blog, so it’s 80% to 90% about business topics, but even there you can demonstrate some personality and let people get to know you. This example is putting the bar pretty high – but Seth Godin does a great job of letting you know what he’s all about – here’s a post on Exposing Yourself!
5. Gently….sell stuff
I hesitated to put this one on here because it has to be done the right way. In my opinion, the primary purpose of a blog is to educate with a dash of entertain and a healthy dose of putting yourself out there so people can get to know you. However, as long as you’re doing all of the above, it’s perfectly fine to occasionally slip in a soft sales pitch. After all, people are looking to you for answers, and if your business can help address their problems – it’s your job to let them know about it.
The writers at Copyblogger are masters at this selling process. Copyblogger is one of the best business blogs in the world – if you ever have a couple of hours free, you will learn more from Copyblogger than any number of business books you could find out on the shelves today. And while you’re learning, you’ll have an opportunity to buy some of their products! Take a look at this post on Social Media Marketing to see what I mean!
What else am I missing?
You’re a blog reader (otherwise you wouldn’t be here…) and maybe you have a blog of your own – what are some of the other great reasons to blog for business? I’d love to hear your thoughts – share them in the comments below.
Shawn Kinkade Kansas City Business Coach