It’s not a million dollar question, per se, but most small business owners have stumbled upon it more than once. And the answer is a rather simple one – yes and no. Confused?! Well, the truth is that the ‘right answer’ actually depends on a number of things that you need to consider, so let us go through the reasons why you should, or should not, blog, to help you make an informed decision.
Let’s start with the noes and look at a few reasons why you should not have a blog:
- “I’m no Shakespeare” – but then again, most bloggers aren’t either. However, blogging and writing on a regular basis will actually improve your writing skills. Plus, there are quite a few online tools these days that hat can help steer you away from the big blogging mistakes. And maybe you haven’t considered it yet, because you think it’s too expensive, but what about hiring a copywriter to write the articles for you? It’s probably cheaper than you think and you would get them professionally written, with all the bells and whistles (and keywords!) that Google is so fond of, and that your clients and users appreciate.
- “Time is already spread thin for me” – even though blogging takes up quite a bit of time, the same can be said about social media management, website updating and digital marketing in general. However most of us still go about them, right? Blogging will take up some of your time, but it does not necessarily take you away from your business, as that time is actually being invested in it. On the other hand, once your article is written you can use it not just for your blog, but also share it on your social media, to drive traffic and potential clients to your website, and send it out in a newsletter. So, so far, and in what time is concerned, you’re actually being quite savvy about it. And it may just happen that by doing this you actually find ways to improve your business that you hadn’t consider before, as now you are ‘taking the time’ to think about it and fine-tuning your observation skills!
- “No way will I have that much inspiration on a regular basis” – ideas for blog articles are indeed an important part of blogging, but they’re easier to come around than what you might think. Just look around – your customers will prove to be a great source of inspiration. Why not answer their questions, especially those that are frequently asked? Do it in an in-depth way, so that the article is not only interesting but also useful. Or talk to (‘interview’) an expert that relates directly to what you sell or do. If that expert is the real deal, maybe you don’t even need to interview him/her, as that content might already be available online and you just need to feature it in your blog. And if you’re really stuck, just use a content idea generator. There are quite a few online that you can use for free to help you get the ball rolling for your next blog article (if you’re curious on how this works, just test, for instance, Blogabout by Impact, and we’re sure you’ll find it rather fun!).
- “Yet another blog?” – the proliferation of blogs across the internet in these last few years has indeed made it increasingly difficult for anyone to stand out from the crowd. But are you starting a blog because you want to be a famous blogger and join that influencers’ community everyone seems to want to get into now? No. You’ll be doing it as a way to help grow your business, a part of your digital marketing strategy, so it doesn’t really matter if it stands out from the crowd for everyone, so long as it does so for your clients and users, existing and potential ones. And obviously it doesn’t hurt to give Google bots a little help in understanding what your website is all about, so it can be shown in more queries related to the products you sell or services you provide, thus helping boost your Google rankings.
So you see, there are many reasons why you should not have a blog! But, what if to blog is actually a verb you should be using?
Let’s thus have a look at the yeses and consider a few reasons on why to start a blog:
- Self-promotion and new opportunities – are you an expert in what you do or sell? Good! Then tell the world about it! Promote yourself and your business by showing off your knowledge and expertise on subjects relevant to your clients, so that the existing ones keep coming back, and the potential ones find you. Plus, we human beings tend to trust people who ‘know what they are talking about’! And building trust amongst users that don’t know you, across this World Wide Web, is never an easy task; so helping, sharing and assisting them before they actually ‘get to you’ is a great way to do it.
- Blogs can be a powerful SEO tool – if you’re thinking that by writing a few blog articles, filled with great keywords, you’ll immediately become an SEO master and rank on the first place of Google’s search results pages for all queries related to your business, think again – that will not happen. However, a carefully constructed blog with well thought out and relevant content, combined with a proper social media strategy will definitely go a long way.
Creating a blog gives your website more pages that can be indexed and therefore found in the search results, which, in turn, will give more of ‘your keywords’ the chance to rank higher. Don’t go overboard with the keywords though; use them as starting points for your blog’s topics but don’t try to stuff as many as you can into your copy as it will work against you, both from Google’s point of view and the users’.
- Blogs improve your communication (and argumentation!) skills – blogging obviously impacts highly on your writing skills and, with time, they’ll improve. And since writing is a way of communicating, this improvement will rub off into all its other forms, thus improving your overall communication skills. And communicating is essential for anyone with a business, right? Since the more you write, the easier it becomes, you will feel more and more confident, which consequently will also improve your argumentation skills (beautiful isn’t it?!).
On the other hand, because you’re spreading your information and knowledge through blogging, you can actually help other people with specific problems, which will, not only help grow your business, but also make you feel good as an individual (as your body is stimulated to produce one (or all!) of the four so-called ‘happiness hormones’ – endorphin, serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin – that will, in turn, boost up your confidence once again!).
- Google loves blogs – it’s true! Why? Well, because for Google it’s all about the users – they need to keep coming back and that won’t happen if it doesn’t deliver good results/ answers to their queries. Google therefore relies on written content (we’ve told you before that Google, though being very smart and getting more and more intelligent by the day, still does not fully ‘understand’ images but, more importantly, doesn’t use the content displayed in it for ranking purposes). By creating a blog you have the perfect opportunity to ‘offer’ Google that content, without having to add more text to the existing pages of your website (unlike Google, most users tend to be discouraged when they see a large amount of text in a ‘regular webpage’… unless it’s really good, relevant content, but this is something for another time!).
Show Google you love him too by giving your website a little bit of love and care every so often, for there’s nothing Google likes more than websites with fresh, regularly updated content.
And there it is – a few (good) reasons on why you should have a blog.
So, now that you have more information at your disposal, it’s up to you to analyse the yeses and the noes we’ve given you (or find others!) and figure out if you want ‘to blog, or not to blog’, so you can answer that question.
Personally, at Clarity, we love writing and blogging, so we’ll keep coming back with more articles on this and other digital marketing related issues. But do let us know what you’ve decided!