Congratulations! You’re in the Publishing Business Now! At least you should be!
I tell my clients if they have a website then they are in fact in the publishing business. Not that they need to publish anything close to the New York Times, but if they want to win in their markets and perform well in search they need to position themselves as thought leaders by creating and publishing high quality, original content.
Why Blogging Matters
Just about every client I’ve worked with has heard that they need to start blogging in order to rank better in search. I quickly point out that this is not entirely true and I show them websites we’ve published for clients that have remained fairly static for years and perform very well in search. I also point out that these clients with static websites are missing a great opportunity by not creating and publishing strong original content on a regular basis.
Reasons to Start Blogging
Increase Customer Loyalty: By creating and publishing great content on your blog that demonstrates your expertise in your niche and is of use to your customers, you allow your existing clients to learn more about you and become closer and more loyal to your business.
Nurture New Customers: If you think about it, your blog is like a display window on main street. You can showcase things of interest to passerby’s and generate conversation and excitement about what you do and what you know. Oftentimes your blog will be the first introduction of your business for many who eventually become clients.
Become Known in Your Field: If you present your thought leadership in your niche by creating quality content and blog posts your competitors will take note. Blogging done right will increase your stature in your business niche which has numerous benefits like being asked to speak and present 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, your content needs be useful and relevant to your market niche and it should inform as well as entertain your target audience. If you sell database management software then a well penned blog post on database management tips and tricks regarding the latest version of the database would be of high interest to your potential customers. If you sell flowers, then a post on what different color roses mean, red is for true love, white is for friendship and so on.
Relevant content will help you in several ways. For starters, it will give your regular visitors an ongoing reason to spend more time on your website which will send strong signals to search engines. It will also provide strangers (window shoppers) something to read and hopefully link to and share when investigating a subject sending strong signals to search engines as well.
The point is if you commit to creating useful and relevant content that both informs and entertains your prospect base you will improve your position in search, get closer to your existing customers, and attract brand new customers.
How Do I Start?
- You need a website that allows you to create and post blog content and all the popular CMS’s provide this functionality. Check with you web designer regarding what you need to do in order to get started.
- Come up with ideas. I keep a document where I place all the links and other content ideas I think of on an ongoing basis.
- Put yourself in your reader’s shoes. As an expert in your field you likely take a lot of the knowledge and skills you posses for granted. The knowledge and skills you posses are why people decide to part with their hard earned money when they hire you or your firm. You need to express this knowledge of your subject matter in a way that a novice could digest or at least appreciate the ideas and information you write about.
- Every great post starts out with a good outline, and every good story has a beginning, middle and end. Write an outline and pick a format and adhere to it.
- Be friendly. Remember at the other end of the screen is a human being. Blogs allow the writer to use a conversational tone, and the more conversational you are when you blog, the more the reader will relate to your content.
Go Forth and Blog
If you’re convinced that your business could benefit from ongoing content development and blogging I have a few words of caution. Good content takes time and in my opinion quality should always win out over quantity. A good post can take anywhere from a few hours to several weeks to create but you need to understand that anything you post should be viewed from the perspective that 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 better is the enemy of good enough or you will end up with dozens of incomplete posts that never see the light of day. 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.
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.