A blog, short for a weblog, is an online journal where writer/s can speak their mind. It is usually arranged in reverse chronological order, where the latest entry shows up first.
For the longest time, blogs have been used by people to talk about virtually anything under the sun. It’s a platform that suits anybody – whether you are a Taylor Swift-loving teen or a 65-year-old collector of vintage cars.
With the cult following that a blog generates, many marketing minds have seen the potential of blogs for all businesses. In fact, more than 92% of content marketers consider blogging as a good asset. As such, more and more companies are appending blog sites to their official websites.
Why Create a Business Blog
If you don’t have a business blog, then it’s time that you got started. As mentioned, it holds a lot of potential. Here are some of the benefits that you can surely reap from a business blog:
1. A business blog can help open doors (although virtually) to potential customers.
If you run an online-only shop, then you should place much importance on a business blog. Compared to a brick and mortar retail store, no one can drive by your store and see that you are open for business. With the help of a blog, you can tell the people that your store is up and running.
Remember, 60% of buyers do so after reading a blog post about the item. It’s best to take advantage of this by setting up a blog site right away.
2. Blog posting is cheap.
If you are worried about the cost, know that a business blog is one of the cheapest yet most effective ways to advertise your company. For one, most blog sites are free of charge. You can create a WordPress, Wix, or Weebly accounts in just a few clicks. Afterward, you can start blogging right away.
If you are still not convinced about the benefits of a business blog, then consider these: 77% of web users read blog posts regularly. Factoring the current US population, that’s about 198 million potential readers! This is not including the traffic you can generate from outside the country. Just think of the potential customers (both local and international) that you can make simply by blogging.
Remember, while blog posting is cheap, it entails a lot of time investment. It usually takes an average of 3.5 hours to craft one good post. However, its benefits surely outweigh the time you devote for one blog post.
3. It can help improve your search engine rankings.
Numerically speaking, having a blog site can increase your search engine rank by as much as 434%. For you to get this four-fold increase, you need to bombard your blog with legitimate information (tips on how to do these are written below).
Why is it important to rank high in search engines? For one, the top 3 Google results get 75.1% of all the clicks. With the people’s limited attention span, most don’t consider anything beyond the 5th result.
With that being said, you need to strive hard to get higher in the search engine rankings. Going from rank 6 to 5, although seemingly trivial, can help improve click-through rate by as much as 53.2%. If you want to have a 50% increase in visitors, then you need to make the most out of your blog site’s SEO benefits.
4. It lasts forever.
What’s great about a business blog is that it lasts forever. It doesn’t fade away into memory like a newspaper or radio ad. Once you publish your blog post, it stays there (unless you delete it).
What’s great about this is that you perpetually get your word out about your business. A potential client can stumble upon your 2-year-old article and still be enticed by that call to action at the end. While it seems to be a lot of work at first, its ROI is sure to last for a long time.
If you haven’t created a business blog yet, then you better start now! After all, you can use this to generate leads and attract potential customers. Here are some tips on how you can do it successfully:
Using Your Blog to Attract Customers
1. Create a culture.
A blog can help you create a certain culture – so potential customers can find the way to your website. For example, if you sell clothes, then your blog should be all about fashion trends. If you’re selling laptops, then you should make content about the latest models and related technologies.
Creating a culture will help you amass a following of people who are highly likely to buy your items. Even if they don’t generate sales soon, you can count on them to spread the good word about your blog site.
2. Establish a relationship.
Good customer relationships are vital for all businesses. And just like in real life, you can’t build a good business relationship in just a flick of a finger. You need to nurture it and work hard for it. Fortunately, you can do this easily with your blog posts.
You can establish a relationship by creating a connection and showcasing your business initiatives. This show of ‘good faith’ can help entice potential customers. And, when clients trust your services, you can expect them to spread the good word about your business. This positive word of mouth helps attract a more loyal client base.
3. Use a catchy headline.
Even if you create compelling content, it would be useless if it’s made with a dull headline. Remember, web users are more likely to read a blog with a catchy title. As such, you need to get your creative juices flowing and make your title as attractive as it could be.
If you want to generate more traffic, experts suggest limiting your catchy blog headline to 6 to 13 words.
When creating a title, make use of sensory or emotional words. Don’t forget to utilize numbers. After all, list articles continue to be the most popular reads out there, with odd-numbered lists surprisingly outgunning the even-numbered ones. Most importantly, state the benefit of reading the article. This will surely prod your potential client to check your post.
4. Craft an impressive opening paragraph.
It’s not enough that you make a catchy headline. You need to maintain interest by supplementing it with an enticing opening paragraph. Remember, the average reader only takes 37 seconds to read a post.
Keep your reader glued to your post by following these tips on how to create an interesting blog opening:
- Write as if you are in your reader’s shoes.
- Tell your potential client about the benefits of reading your blog.
- Make it easy for the reader. Everybody loves a shortcut. Promising helpful, simple tricks will keep your reader enticed with your blog content.
5. Don’t sound like you’re selling something.
Even if you created your website to generate sales, you should avoid this tone when writing a blog post. Instead, you should create material that is more or less related to your niche. Publish information that your potential customers would want to see. To generate readers, convey a tone that is conversational instead of formal.
6. Instead, tell a story.
As mentioned, your business blogs should not seem like it’s selling something (though it is). If you are looking to attract more potential customers, then your blog should seem as if it’s telling a story.
What makes your business exceptional?
Who are the people who make your enterprise possible?
Creating a story that generates ‘awws’ will help drive more attention (and eventually, more sales) to your page.
For best results, make sure your blog post is within the optimal length of 2,250 to 2,500 words. However, you can opt for a shorter run (1,000+ words), as this is the preferred length by 55% of all the bloggers out there.
7. Close it with a captivating conclusion.
Your closing statement is just as important as your opening paragraph. Ever remember a movie with all the build-up in the beginning – that just fell flat-out at the end? You wouldn’t want to do that to your customers. In case you do, there’s a huge chance that they won’t set foot in your blog site ever again.
With that being said, this is where a call to action comes in handy. Now that your client has learned about the helpful tips, you need to convince your customers to act on such a need.
Think of this: your client just read your blog post entitled “10 Fashion Pieces to Make you Look Chic AF”. Now that he/she knows what to wear, the next question usually is: where would I buy those things? That’s where a captivating conclusion comes into play. You need to convince your reader that he/she needs to have those fashion pieces, which could be bought through the link you just supplied.
8. A picture paints a thousand words.
While blogs are usually text-heavy, this shouldn’t be the case with a business blog. It’s best to create a post with many photos, because, as the header suggests, a picture paints a thousand words!
Here are some statistics that should convince you to add photos to your blog posts:
- Blogs with related images receive 94% more views than those without.
- 60% of clients prefer business listings that come with images.
- 70% of online shoppers say that good images help them finalize a purchase.
Add to that, photos can help attract more potential customers because they help generate more social media shares. In fact, having a photo every 75 to 100 words can help improve the article’s share rate by as much as two times.
So if you want to have more readers, and consequently, more patrons, then you should make it a point to add photos to your blog posts.
9. Generate an e-mail list.
Now that you have captured the attention of a blog reader, you need to take advantage of the time he/she is spending on your website. One of the best ways to do so is to create an e-mail list.
Here are some techniques that can help you persuade them to sign up:
a. Promote the benefits of an e-mail sign-up.
Give them a reason to leave their e-mails. Will you promise to deliver helpful information? Some discounts, perhaps? Telling your client about the advantages of signing up can keep these potential customers ‘linked’ to your website.
b. Send bonus material.
Apart from forwarding e-mails to them now and then, maybe you could supply them with bonus materials such as e-books or video lectures, to name a few.
c. Make sure that your sign-up call is placed at a strategic location.
Place it at the bottom of the post, the sidebar, the home page, or the about page. Just make sure it is visible, so your customers can sign up right away.
10. Post regularly
Even if you have mastered all the techniques of creating a good business blog, it would be useless if you don’t blog regularly. If you want to stay relevant, you need to publish as often as possible.
So what is the definition of posting regularly? According to reports, the usual trend is three to six blog posts every month. While this is good, always remember that “the more, the merrier.” After all, statistics show that those who publish 16 times a month get 4.5x more leads than those who post 4 times monthly.
Here are the benefits that come with blogging regularly:
a. Increase website traffic.
Remember, content generates traffic. If you don’t post about the relevant issues of today (that relate to your business of course), your blog site won’t generate leads as often as it used to.
b. Improves SEO.
As was mentioned, search engines crawl through blog sites to see if they publish important information. If your blog posts are limited to just 3 – all published the year before – then there’s a big chance that you won’t climb the ranks. Google and Bing want to index good data – and that is something you should give them regularly.
In a Nutshell
A business blog is a good way to generate more leads, and consequently, more paying customers. Even if you are a newbie in the field of blogging, you can make the most out of its marketing potential by following the tips mentioned above.