Building a visually appealing website and taking the necessary steps to drive traffic to it is great, but if all your visitors are doing is browsing – rather than engaging – on your site, that’s not going to do your business much good.
One of the most effective ways to engage your viewership is by creating a blog on your site (like the one you’re reading right now!). A blog is an area on your site that will allow you to write articles (as long or short as you want) to creatively express your thoughts about your business; educate and give advice to your viewers on various aspects of your business and industry and products; and – perhaps most importantly – help personalize the shopping experience for your customers without actually advertising.
Building a blog may take some time and effort on your part, but doing so will bring a myriad of benefits to your business and will be the next logical step for your success after you’ve spent time and resources on building ways to drive traffic to your site.
Why a Blog is a Must
A good blog will:
- Make you an authority (and possibly an influencer) in your industry. Whether you’re a lawyer, doctor, or electrician, you can write articles making people understand how your trade impacts their lives, while giving them sage, friendly advice within the area of expertise. For example, if you’re a doctor, you can write an article on ways to keep your blood pressure under control. If you’re an electrician, you can write a piece on ways to save on your heating bill during winter months.
Writing these articles will increase your visibility as an expert as well as strengthen your SEO strategy, as your articles will increasingly show up in Google searches so long as you use relevant, long-tail keywords.
- Improve internal linking. While your blog may not be a direct sales tool, it can be a good compliment to your sales funnel. Your blog articles can educate readers about your general industry while providing links to other pages on your website that describe the products or services that you sell. These types of articles will give business credibility while directing interested readers to the pages where they can be educated on what you specifically offer.
- Increase your social media hits. Instead of constantly struggling to come up with reasons to post on social media channels, blog articles are great reasons to post in the proper forums on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and others. Posting a link to articles from your blog with topics of interest about your industry will enable you to reach new audiences; get feedback; share ideas, and increase your company’s visibility.
- Bulk up your email database. If visitors find your blog articles helpful and insightful, chances are you will gain their trust and, as a result, many of them want to receive email updates from you or sign up for an electronic newsletter in which you can compile your past blog articles with internal links. This will increase your database of sales leads and increase quality traffic to your site.
- Get additional feedback from your current and potential customers. An interactive blog site – one that enables readers to ask questions or add their own input on a subject you wrote about – will help you sharpen your marketing and sales strategy, as well as differentiate you from competitors by further strengthening your reputation as an expert in your field.
- ·Give you a way to teach your customers about your products. An integral part of your sales strategy should be to educate your customers about the benefits of your products or services. A blog is also a way to keep current and potential customers updated on your business in terms of new products or services you are offering.
Adding a Blog to Your Site
The mechanics of adding a blog to your website won’t be too difficult – it really depends on what content management system (CMS) you use for your existing website. The most commonly used CMS system is WordPress, which comes in both free and paid forms If you already use WordPress, creating a new page for blog articles is as simple as using the “Create a New Page function.
Once you do that, you can design the page and add articles and other content to it like you would with any other page on your website. There are also features that allow you to elicit reader feedback, as well as maximize internal linking and add photos and/or videos to your site. IF you’re not a techie and need help doing this, you may want to consult with an outside web designer or consult with companies such as Bluehost.com, which offers a free tutorial on how to add pages to your website via WordPress.
If your company doesn’t have a website but you want to create a blog to promote yourself, you can also create a separate site for blogging. There are plenty of free services out there such as www.blogspot.com that offers you a way to create your own blogging page. If your company’s website was created through web hosting platforms such as www.wix.com or www.squarespace.com, those sites will give you the option of creating a new page.
Finding time to come up with subject matter and writing 400 to 800 word articles for your blog will be time-consuming, and professional writing may not be your area of expertise. That’s okay, because there are plenty services out there such as www.contentfly.com that can offer you a range of good freelance blog writers that can produce copy for your blog for a fee. The fees may be per word or per article, but the investment would probably be worth it, given the rewards that a good blog site will bring to your business.
If you’re struggling to come up with article ideas, try getting inspired by reading online articles about your industry. Also, you can try reading posts in forums on social media that pertain to your industry. For example, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram each host thousands of specialized groups, and at least one of those groups directly relates to your business. The posts in those groups are from actual consumers who are sharing their thoughts and concerns about your industry. Those can be very good fodder for article ideas as well.
Remember, creating a blog is all about getting your business visibility – becoming known as an authority in your field will certainly give you a competitive edge in your industry.
If you decide to create one, think long and hard about the issues your customers want to be informed about and answer their needs with articles. Additionally, when you create a blog, it’s important to be consistent with your postings and to have patience, as it may take a while to gain traction.