Should I be blogging? And other content marketing questions
Blogging as a marketing strategy has gone through many changes over the years. We used to be told that, for SEO reasons, we ought to be publishing blog content every single day! Thankfully for my fingers (and brain) that’s no longer true. Back in 2013, blogging was oft-declared ‘dead.’ Blogging wasn’t dead, of course, but it had changed. The way people across the globe take in information has evolved so much since the days of the first blog (’94? ’97?) and the traditional blog format is outdated.
So, given that, should you be blogging in today’s marketing landscape? Some of you are probably thinking, “isn’t it more important to have a strong social media presence?”
Well, no, not really. Don’t get me wrong, you do need to be present on social. But you also need to be producing quality content.
Why engage in content marketing and blogging?
Creating compelling content is fundamental to inbound marketing. And blogging consistently is key to any successful content marketing strategy.
A blog drives traffic to your website
Blogs help drive traffic and convert traffic into leads. I’d wager that most people who could use your product or service haven’t necessarily heard of you. Most people who query things on their phone or computer are looking for a solution to a problem. They’re asking, “how do I use plugins on my WordPress site?” and come across your blog, “3 Simple Steps for Using Plugins.” How great to find such useful content in the search results! They click and right there is a new warm lead.
Blogging improves SEO
A blog serves many purposes, not least of which is improving your company website’s search engine optimization.
SEO used to be centered on keyword density and meta data, but now relevancy and authority are very useful in helping your website get seen by searchers. How well does your content reflect what users are searching? Are you publishing blogs consistently enough – blogs that are original and valuable? Sure, a blog is no guarantee that you’ll get top ranking on search engines but it helps to have one.
As a growing collection of keywords, articles, and expert positioning a blog fills the bill of an SEO campaign. Most users (75+%) don’t scroll beyond the first page of search results so it’s imperative we do all we can to land on page one of search engines.
Blogging increases inbound links
Companies who blog get more links to their websites. Inbound links – hyperlinks directing back to your site – are important. High quality backlinks, from a variety of websites, give your website a higher search engine result ranking. How do you get more inbound links? Write about useful topics.
Blogging helps establish you as a thought leader
Plus, a company blog helps establish authority. You know you’re an expert in your field, but do other people? Your blog is your platform to prove your expertise. Discussing news, ideas, and best practices which involve your business indirectly promote your products or services and establishes you as a thought leader, professional, and authority. Obviously, if your writing isn’t well-written or insightful, people aren’t going to think of you as a leader of anything! But when blogs are original, informative, and have no typos, people are more likely to view you as an authority and respect your opinions.
Blogging builds trust
When you build your company as an authority on a subject matter, you also foster trust. Good content tends to get linked more often, establishing trust and driving even more people to your website.
Simply put, people trust blogs. It’s a platform for your business to find its voice and provide a human touch. You can explore solutions to your buyer personas’ problems and concerns, differentiate yourself from competitors, and develop your business personality.
Blogging tells your brand’s story
Readers expect transparent storytelling on your blog. A company blog is so much more than just a platform for spouting your marketing agenda. Blogging is an extension of your brand. It’s an opportunity to develop a unique voice and personality while sparking connections with your audience. It’s great content that provides valuable information about your experiences, your knowledge, your people, your mission, and your ethics.
Blogging is key to social success
Blogging and social media were once two very separate beasts. A blog was where you created long-form, in-depth content. Social was an arena where you could be more playful and thus created very different content. But now, your blog informs your social posts. You promote your blog on social, right? Without a blog to promote on social, you miss a fantastic opportunity to drive engagement and traffic.
Blogging is a valuable tool for getting your business more visibility online and supporting business growth. Here are a few items to be thinking of as you launch a blog or improve an existing one.
So now we know why you want a blog but as a busy content marketer there are more moving pieces to consider before diving right it.
What’s your documented content strategy?
We try to avoid marketing without strategy. As excited as I’m sure you are to put fingers to keyboard, let’s first consider who our audience is. There is now so much content available on the internet that discovery needs a strategy so people will find your blog. How will you distribute blogs? Writing, editing, and hitting publish isn’t enough! What channels (i.e. social) will you be using to disseminate your content? Does your strategy include paid ad campaigns?
How much time will be spent on blogging?
How much time do you and your team realistically have to devote to writing quality blogs? Consistency is important so be honest with yourself and don’t agree to producing ten blogs a month when you probably only have the time to produce two a week.
Who’s doing the writing?
Will you be doing it all yourself or outsourcing? There are pros and cons to outsourcing for anything. But with blogging it can be nice to have a writer contracted to produce x many articles per month.
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“Should I be blogging?” I might be a bit biased (writing a blog about a blog and all) but yes! Whether your company is a big corporation or a small business, a blog is a fantastic way to extend your brand, showcase your knowledge, and drive more quality traffic to your site. This year, concentrate on writing in-depth content. Make it valuable and you’ll see many returns!