4 reasons to create a blog
Even if you're not sure what a blog is, you've no doubt come across one at some point in time. Perhaps you've stumbled across a blog when you've searched "healthy dinner recipes". In fact, if you're reading this, guess what? You're on a blog. (Very meta, I know.)
If your business doesn't have a blog, you might want to reconsider — B2B marketers who use blogs receive 67% more leads than those who do not, and blogs have been rated the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information.
At its most basic, blogs can help you develop an online presence, prove yourself an expert in an industry, and attract more quality leads to all pages of your site.If you're contemplating creating a blog for your business, or simply want to know what one is, keep reading.
What is a blog post?
A blog post is an individual web page on your website that dives into a particular sub-topic of your blog.
For instance, let's say you start a fashion blog on your retail website. One blog post might be titled, "The Best Fall Shoes for 2019". The post ties back to your overall blog topic as a whole (fashion), but it also addresses a very particular sub-topic (fall shoes).
Blog posts allow you to rank on search engines for a variety of keywords. In the above example, your blog post could enable your business to rank on Google for "fall shoes". When someone searches for fall shoes and comes across your blog post, they have access to the rest of your company's website. They might click "Products" after they read your post, and take a look at the clothing items your company sells.
What is a blog used for?
1. To help your company rank on search engines.
Typically, a business will use a blog to help the business's website rank on search engines. You can absolutely employ SEO tactics, or use paid ads, to help your company homepage rank on page one of Google -- but a more effective, long-term solution is blogging.
To consider how your company can rank on search engines via a blog, we'll start with an example -- let's say you work for a web design start-up with very little online presence.
You decide to spend the first year writing and posting regular blog content that strongly relates to web design. Over time, your traffic increases and other companies link to your site for information regarding web design. When this happens, Google recognizes your company as a legitimate source for web design information. Eventually (with a lot of trial and error), your blog posts begin ranking on page one of Google for terms like "web design", "website builder", and "e-commerce website".
Then, one day, you search "web design companies in X city" and find your company is now on page one. This is likely due, in large part, to your consistent blogging efforts.
2. To share information about a given topic and become an expert in an industry.
In 2006, Boston-native Matt Kepnes quit his job and began traveling the world. He documented his travels in his now infamous blog, NomadicMatt.com.
After about a year, thanks to tireless blogging efforts and SEO strategies that enabled him to rank on Google, he began pulling in $60,000. Matt also created e-books, and used sponsorships and affiliate marketing to make money. Additionally, he wrote a New York Times best-seller, "How to Travel the World on $50 a Day."
Now, Matt's blog attracts 1.5 million visitors a month and grosses about $750,000 a year -- and he's become a well-known expert in the travel space.
If you want to become known as an expert in a topic that interests you, from fashion to blogging to fitness, you can -- and, oftentimes, it starts with a blog.
3. To attract visitors to your site, and turn those visitors into leads.
There's only so much traffic you can get from the homepage or About Us page of your company's website. Of course, those pages are critical for leads who are already interested in your products -- but they often won't attract traffic from top-of-the-funnel. That's where your blog comes into play.
Your blog can be a general resource to help your website visitors even before those visitors are ready to purchase from you. For instance, let's say you sell products for e-commerce stores. You might attract some e-commerce owners who are already searching online for your products, but in most cases, the e-commerce owner isn't going to be ready to buy right out of the gate.
Alternatively, if you begin blogging about tips to help the retail owner who is just starting out -- like "How to start a retail website", or "Benefits of e-commerce vs. physical store" -- you'll slowly attract an audience who enjoys your content and finds it useful. Then, when those site visitors' e-commerce stores begin growing (thanks, in part, to your blog), they'll already know about your brand and already trust it as a helpful source. That's when they'll check out your product pages.
4. To cultivate an online community and engage with an audience.
At the very least, you might create a blog to engage with an online community of readers with similar interests. Maybe you start a food blog and ask readers to share their own recipes with you.
Alternatively, perhaps you start a blog that focuses on DIY projects. You post the fun, DIY projects you've completed in your own home, and you ask your readers to share their own DIY tips in exchange.