Rick Hogan

Rick Hogan

Why Your Small Business Needs a Blog

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Congratulations, you’re in the publishing business now! (At least you should be!)

I tell my clients that if they have a website, then they are in fact in the publishing business. It is also important to understand that winning in a market and performing well in search means they need to position themselves as thought leaders by creating and publishing high quality, original content.

Why Blogging Matters

Many clients have heard they need to start blogging in order to rank better in search. This is not entirely true – in fact, websites we’ve published for some clients have remained fairly static for years, yet still perform very well in search. However, those with static websites are missing a great opportunity by not creating and publishing strong, original content on a regular basis.

High-quality content is increasingly holding more weight with rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). Google’s algorithm is continually improving the results it returns. With each update, it gets smarter, learning how to prioritize (and thus rank higher) content that is most relevant and useful to the searcher’s query and intent.

Reasons to Start Blogging

Increase Customer Loyalty: Create and publish great content that demonstrates your expertise in your niche market and is of use to your customers. Doing so allows your existing clients to learn more about your domain expertise and increases the value of your products and/or services to your customers.

Nurture New Customers: Consider your blog as a display window on Main Street. You can showcase things of interest to passersby and generate conversation and excitement about what you do and what you know. Oftentimes your blog is the first introduction to your business for many prospects who eventually become clients.

Become Known in Your Field: If you present thought leadership in your niche by creating quality content and blog posts, your competitors will take note. Besides increasing your stature in your business niche, blogging done right has numerous benefits like generating speaking requests at industry conferences.

Improve Your Position in Search: If ranking well in search is important to your business (it ought to be) you should never rest on your laurels regarding your position in search. Fresh useful content sends strong signals to search engines that are an important factor in search rankings.

What Should I Blog About?

Simply put, create content that is useful and relevant to your market niche, and both informative and entertaining in construct. If you sell database management software, then a well-penned blog post on tips and tricks for navigating the latest database versions or industry updates might interest potential customers. If you sell flowers, then consider creating a post on what different color roses mean: red is for true love, white is for friendship and so on. Write with your ideal customer in mind; identify their needs, pain points, questions they might have and solutions they need that your business is poised to provide.

Relevant content such as this will benefit the business in several ways. High engagement and interaction with content on your site sends strong signals to search engines. When site visitors start spending more time on your website, share your content or link to it, this boosts your site rankings. In short, by crafting high-quality original content that engages your target base you will improve your position in search, improve brand familiarity with existing customers and attract valuable prospects.

How Do I Start Blogging?

  1. You need a website that supports the creation and posting of blog content; all the popular content management systems (CMS) provide this functionality. Check with your web designer or host regarding what you need to do in order to get started.
  2. Come up with topics. I keep a document where I place all the links and other content ideas that arise on an ongoing basis.
  3. Put yourself in your reader’s shoes. As an expert in your field, you possess valuable knowledge and skills that have earned you clients or business in the past. You need to effectively convey the value of your expertise to the average person. Consider how to express knowledge of your subject matter in a way that a novice could digest.
  4. Every great post starts out with a good outline, and every good story has a beginning, middle and end. Decide on the message you want to convey and write an outline that adheres to it.
  5. Be friendly. Remember at the other end of the screen is a human being. Blogs allow the writer to use a conversational tone that is more relatable for the reader. Easily understood content without jargon or complex writing is more memorable.

Go Forth and Blog

If you’re convinced that your business could benefit from ongoing content development and blogging, then that is fantastic! My recommendation is to first develop your content strategy and blogging schedule.Good content takes time to craft (more so than many anticipate), so schedule realistically and aim to provide quality over quantity. With each piece you write, consider how a new prospect would perceive it: If this was the first piece of information that anyone ever read about you or your company, how would they view the business?

You also need to balance the demons of perfection and procrastination. Remember that “better is the enemy of good enough” otherwise many incomplete posts with potential may remain unfinished. Borrowing a phrase from Nike, the ultimate recommendation is to just do it! Blogging is like any skill in that your capability will improve with every written word and post you create. Here’s to happy and impactful blogging!


WRITTEN BY

 

Rick Hogan, CEO & Co-Founder – Bleevit Interactive

Rick possesses over 20 years of digital marketing experience and started Bleevit Interactive with the primary mission of helping local businesses succeed online. When he is not working he can often be found hiking Great Falls, Virginia with his Labradoodle Lily, or sailing the Chesapeake Bay.

If you have any comments or suggestions on how we can improve this post or otherwise want to give us a shout, send an email to hello@bleevit.com.

P.S. Try our FREE Local SEO Audit here. See how well your business performs on Google Search and Maps with our comprehensive Local SEO Report that outlines the steps you can take to improve your position in local search.

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