Is it worth starting a blog in 2020? The simple answer is yes, it absolutely is. Businesses without a blog, or who only update theirs occasionally, are ignoring an important asset. But if you need convincing, I’m going to share 9 brilliant benefits of blogging for your business.
Is blogging still relevant in 2020?
Have you read an article online this week? What made you decide to read it?
I’m going to guess you were interested in the subject because it answered a question you were searching for the answer to. Perhaps the headline caught your attention. Or it was giving you news about one of your favourite topics.
According to Quoracreative, more than 75% of internet users say they read blogs regularly. People turn to blogs for information and entertainment every day. Blogging is still relevant in 2020. We are living in a digital information age and we haven’t stopped reading.
Content marketing, including blogs, brings businesses three times more leads than paid search advertising (Content Marketing Institute, 2017). It is cheaper and more effective to blog for your business. Blogging isn’t just relevant in 2020, it’s the savvy thing to do.
What are the advantages of blogging?
Here are 9 advantages of blogging for your business including making you the obvious choice for new clients and raising your profile within your industry.
1. Blogging brings more traffic to your website
Let’s start with the numbers. The first benefit of blogging for your business is that it gives search engines lots of lovely information about your area of expertise that they can crawl. A search engine is effectively a gigantic encyclopedia of knowledge. We type our query into the box, just like using the index in a book, and it presents us with what it sees as the most relevant pages.
Your article needs to be the page that comes up when someone searches for information about what you do. If you can do this, people who have never heard of you will be sent to your website.
The more high quality articles you write, creating a hub of information about your niche, the more traffic Google, Bing, and other search engines will send your way. If you create shareable content then other people will advertise it for you, by putting it on their social media or linking to it from their sites.
70-80% of search engine users click on the organic results, according to stats collated by SEO Tribunal. That means that while paying for ads will put you at the top of the search results, people prefer to choose the results which turn up because of their content.
2. Blogging helps people make buying decisions
When you’re thinking of employing a tradesperson, you don’t go through the Yellow Pages anymore. Instead you tap what you are looking for into Google and you have a look at who comes up. It’s the same for all other businesses. We all check people out before buying from them. A blog is a useful way to introduce yourself to somebody, let them have a good look at you and judge whether or not they think that you’re the person who has something to offer them.
When was the last time you bought something for more than £50 without having already researched it beforehand? This is the zero moment of truth, you can find out more about it in my write up of MarketEd.Live 2018. Blogging enables you to get in the game. Your blog helps potential customers understand how you could help them.
3. Your blog enables you to present a rounded view of who you are
People buy from people. Your blog gives you an opportunity to let people know more about you. You can share stories about yourself and your experiences, talk about your interests, show the possibilities working with you could open up, talk about your customers, your approach and what your ideas are.
Reading through a few of your blog posts should give your potential customers an idea of your personality. They will feel they really need to work with you (or that you are not the one for them, and that’s just as useful because you’ve been saved from working with someone you wouldn’t have got on with).
Share yourself in your blog. Include photos and videos. Let people see you and your team, if you have one. When your potential client picks up the phone or emails you asking to work with you, they will feel they know you.
4. Blogging is a great way to showcase your knowledge
How do you want to be known? If one of your goals is to be known as an expert, speak on stages, and create content people turn to because of your name, then blogging is a great way to showcase your knowledge.
What do people need to know about your industry? Break each topic down into smaller chunks. Remember that what you think is ‘simple’ or ‘easy’ is complicated and advanced to people who do not have your expertise.
Think about who your audience is and write articles which appeal to them. Make your work accessible. Provide value. Think about how you can give people an easy win in terms of understanding a topic or seeing the next step to where they want to be. Share resources you have found valuable.
Share your research. You are an expert. You know other experts in this field (and if you don’t, get in touch with them and ask them about it). Share your knowledge and that of your community. People need reliable information.
You can share stories about the events you have spoken at or other places you have been a guest as well.
And if there is a question which comes up a lot, you can simply direct people to your article about it. It provides a Blue Peter service, saving you time and giving your customer instant value.
5. You can share case studies on your blog
Your blog gives you somewhere you can write about case studies and projects. What have you been working on?
Case studies are ideal content to share on your blog. They tick all the boxes for the first 4 benefits of blogging outlined above:
- You can link them to other articles about your area of expertise and to your sales pages.
- You can use keyword research to optimise them for search.
- They help people trying to decide who to spend their money with by showing them what you did and the results you got.
- People can see your approach to your work.
- A case study is about you as well as about your customer.
- Case studies showcase your knowledge and expertise.
Read my guide on how to write a B2B case study if you’re looking for tips.
6. Your blog helps you figure out what you think
Have you ever been asked your opinion on something, perhaps at a networking event, and thought ‘I’m not sure’? Your blog is an ideal place to get your thoughts together.
Has there been an industry development recently? What’s your view of it? Write an article setting out your argument. It’s a great way to think something through. You might spot aspects you hadn’t thought about. Or realise it means something for your customers that they need to know about right now.
It might provide you with follow-up content as you think around the topic. For example:
Blog 1 – Inform: this thing has happened, here’s what it is.
Blog 2 – Educate: this thing happened. You can read about it in my article (link to it). Here’s what you need to know about what it means for you.
Blog 3 – Entertain: 5 things you didn’t know about [topic].
If you are blogging every week, that’s nearly a month of material. Your entertaining content can inform and educate as well. It’s just a different way of talking about the topic.
Are your audience trying to make a decision, for example which software is best for them? What would you recommend? Write a piece comparing the options.
There’s a new trend: what do you think about it? Are people right to follow it, or should they be doing something else?
You find yourself in situation x, what will you do about it? If it’s a problem your audience could face, they will be interested to read how you would tackle it.
7. You will have plenty of content to share on social media
Do you find yourself wondering what to share on social media? Perhaps your business is not yet on social media because you don’t know what you would post about.
If you have a blog that you update regularly, you’ve got a bank of material you can share on social media all day long. An article isn’t just a link. It’s a gold mine of shareable content:
- You can quote yourself
- You can quote other people you have mentioned in your article
- You can take tips out of your article and share them individually
- You can create images with your extracts on
- Use an app like Lumen 5 to create a video version of your article
- Create cheat sheets, check lists, and infographics
- Take several articles around a subject and put them together in an ebook
- Use your article as the basis for a video script
8. Build your email list
Are you building an email list of people who are interested in you and what you do? Your blog is a good way of getting people to sign up. They will get value from your articles and want to hear more from you.
If you use your article to create cheat sheets, check lists, or ebooks, then these are useful products to tempt people to part with their email address. When people ask to download an item, they give you their email address. You tell them you will be sending them emails and they agree to this.
9. See what people are interested in - then give them more of it
When you blog regularly, you will start to see what topics people are interested in most. If you haven’t already, connect your website to Google Analytics (other analytics services are available). This will show you how much traffic is coming to your website, which pages people are visiting, and how they navigate through your site.
Seeing which pages on your blog are getting most traffic will give you a good guide to your audience’s interests. You will be able to see which topics get people clicking. It’s worth seeing what types of posts people like, such as ‘how to’ or lists.
Google Search Console will also tell you which search terms people used which led to your site coming up in the list of results – and which ones they clicked through to. If Google is showing your article in search but people are not clicking through to it, it’s worth looking at what you could do to make it more enticing.
You can also see where you appear in the search results. Use this information to improve articles to get them higher up the list.
All this data gives you a valuable guide to what people are interested in and the language they use to find it.
Blogging is useful for your business
Blogging remains a valuable tool for your business. People read articles on their phone when they wake up, over their morning coffee. They click on interesting headlines during breaks. They see useful guides which have been shared by colleagues and friends on social media. They click on content which answers the question they have typed in a search engine or asked Alexa, or Google Assistant.
Sharing stories about you, your work, your area of expertise, your colleagues, and your customers gives potential customers the opportunity to get to know you. They can find out about what you do and will see the value you have to offer.
Your blog helps to raise your reputation. When you write about a subject week, after week, you get known as an expert on it. People associate your name with that topic.
And it always feels satisfying when you get to the end of writing an article and press publish.
Would you like me to help you make your blog a success? Check out Blogability.
Blogability helps you drive traffic to your website by building your blog. You get one-to-one support with content planning, a professional edit of your articles, and tips about how to improve your blog along the way. I’ll also keep you accountable so you publish articles regularly. Find out more about Blogability.