You might have heard blogging is crucial for your business. But it's 2022, is blogging still relevant? Isn't YouTube or TikTok all the rage? Yes, videos are crucial too. But there is still room for blogging. More room than you might first think.
Consider the following metrics
- 59% of B2B marketers consider blogs the most valuable channel. Blogs are responsible for 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links.
- Social media sites and blogs account for 23% of time spent online.
- If you are a business owner, on average, companies with blogs produce 67% more leads per month.
Here is a helpful infographic highlighting some of the advantages from demand metric.
Why do business owners reject the idea of a blog for their website?
When doing keyword research and building out a sitemap for my web design clients, I always include a blog in the site structure. Most of the time my clients ask why or they flat out tell me they don't want a blog.
What is a blog?
According to Wordpress, one of the leading blogging platforms in the world, "a blog is an abbreviated version of weblog, which is a term used to describe websites that maintain an ongoing chronicle of information."
Blogs, then, are collections of articles on your website typically written in a more conversational tone. They are generally updated on a regular basis. They tend to be grouped by topic or category.
They provide individuals and businesses an opportunity to speak to their customers, educate, and inform.
What are their reasons for rejecting a blog?
(1) They don't like to write.
I understand. Not everyone likes to write, let alone write a blog post. Writing is a learned skill that is developed over time. Sure, it comes easier to some than others. But most people have to work at becoming a better writer.
One way you can improve your writing skills is simply by writing. If you never write, you will never get to the point where you are able to create quality content.
My personal journey
I have been writing a personal blog for over a decade now. Writing comes easy to me, and I am able to communicate effectively through written word.
But that wasn’t always the case. In middle school I had to take a remedial grammar class. It didn’t help. My writing skills were subpar all through middle and high school. In college, I pursued a Biology degree. My teachers didn’t care about the quality of my writing. All they wanted were the facts, which was great at the time, but didn't help me improve as a writer.
It wasn’t until I was working in corporate America that I felt the need to improve my writing. You know what I did? I bought a grammar workbook for elementary students. Yes, it was a little embarrassing. But it improved my writing abilities a hundredfold.
Learning another language helped me improve my writing abilities. Higher education and eventually a career in the ministry did as well. My point is, writing takes time. It takes effort.
The more you write, the better writer you become. As you improve, the more you will like writing.
If you are struggling, especially from a grammar standpoint, Grammarly is an excellent tool.
(2) They don't believe they have anything to say.
I don’t believe that to be true. Most business owners are passionate about their industry. They know a lot about their industry.
I bet if you sat down right now, you could come up with a list of at least 10 things that are important to your business and your industry.
Take action: Try it. Get out a piece of paper. Write out 10 questions people ask about your business, industry, or products.
Now that you have the questions, all that is left to do now is turn those questions into a blog post and feature them prominently on your website.
What is the optimal length of a blog post?
Try to write at least 500 words, but aim for more if you are able. Most posts that rank in Google are 1,500 words plus. But don’t let that number scare you. You can always go back and add to your post at a later date. In fact, continually updating your blog posts are a good tactic. It allows you to build good content over time, while getting content out there that will help increase your SEO presence now. More on SEO later.
(3) They don't have time for it.
Most small business owners are busy. I know I am. The day ends just as fast as it begins. I wonder where all the time went.
Small business owners are stretched thin. There is usually not much time to go around, especially when you are a startup.
I get it. I’m currently doing the job of four different people. Plus, I have two young children who require a lot of attention.
But to be honest, time will always be limited. Yes, writing takes time. But you don’t have to write an entire article in one sitting.
How can you produce high quality content with limited time?
Content writers often schedule short blocks of time to write. You do the same. Break up your writing into strategic segments.
- Start by coming up with a list of questions (see point 2 above).
- Write an outline for one of the questions. Think of your question like a thesis statement. Include two or three points that answer the question or thesis statement in the outline.
- Write the content for each section of the outline.
- Proofread, correct, and rework.
- Post your new blog article!
Here is a great example of creating an outline from ahrefs
Again, you don’t have to do all these steps in one sitting. Schedule it out over an entire week. Spend 15 minutes each day working on one of the above points.
We all have at least 15 minutes we can spare. So, put down your phone and get to work!
Maybe some of those objections resonate with you. Hopefully, I have given you some tools to overcome them and write a successful blog. But you still might be wondering why you should invest the time and effort.
What are the benefits of blogging for your business?
There are several benefits and reasons why you should spend the time and effort to write blog articles.
(1) Blogging good content is a major SEO strategy
If you read nothing in this list, read this - SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Blogging is one of the main ways to continue to create content that will help your business rank in Google.
Quality content can result in backlinks. Backlinks are links from other websites to yours. Backlinks can increase your domain authority and ultimately your ranking.
As well as quality content will decrease your bounce rate. If your content is informative, users will stick around to read it. They won't bounce from your page and continue to another one.
Google looks at all these factors and more when determining what to show users for a given search query.
The more people who link to your website, or to a piece of content you have written, and the lower the bounce rate, the greater chance you have to increase your domain authority score. Especially, if people are sticking around for a while and the websites that link to you have a high authority score.
The takeaway: The greater your domain authority, the more likely your website will show up at the top of the results.
(2) Good content can rank on its own
In the eyes of Google, good content is that which answers the searchers question in the most comprehensive way possible. In other words, a good article can stand on its own.
If someone reads your article and has more questions than they began with or has to go and perform a bunch of other searches to find a complete answer, then that is not a good piece of content. Chances are it will not rank in the search results for that particular query.
On the other hand, if your article answers the question in a way that is comprehensive and authoritative, it doesn’t leave people searching for more information, then that is a piece that has a high chance of ranking.
How do I know if my article can stand on its own?
An easy way to determine whether your article can stand on its own or not is to ask yourself: If I needed to know X, would I be satisfied after reading this one article? Would you bookmark that web page or share it with friends and family who had a similar question?
If you can’t answer yes to those questions, chances are your article is too thin. You need to do more research to beef it up.
By “beef it up”, I don’t mean that you should make it longer for length's sake. Instead, make it more informative.
Why should you spend time writing in-depth articles?
Content that is semantically related to your main keyword increases your main piece of contents ability to rank.
Think about your content in topic clusters. You will have one main question, idea or thesis for an article. But there are a lot of other topics and ideas associated with that main idea. If you include those ideas in your article, where it makes sense, of course, you can increase the likelihood your article will meet a user's search criteria.
Why shouldn’t you write a bunch of shorter articles instead of one longer article?
You might be tempted to think that you should just write another shorter article instead of including that extra information in your article. That used to be the case. The more articles you had the better you were doing. But Google is no longer prioritizing quantity over quality. It is exactly the opposite now.
Instead of quantity, you should focus on creating quality articles. Quality articles are those that don’t leave readers with more questions than answers. Articles that answer most of your reader's questions have a greater chance of ranking.
(3) Blogging informative articles position you as an expert
Let’s face it, no one wants to work with an amateur. Almost every post I come across on freelance websites say that they are looking for an expert. Many are not willing to pay expert prices. But most are asking for experts in their field.
No one wants to work with an amateur. Everyone wants to work with an expert.
How do you set yourself apart from the competition and position yourself as an expert?
One way you can set yourself apart from others is through your blog. The sheer fact that you are the one writing about a topic makes you the expert.
There may be others who are better than you. They might have more experience. They might even be better able to solve the client’s problem. But they didn’t show anyone they were the expert.
I purposely bolded “show”. Why? Because saying you are an expert and showing someone you are an expert are two different things.
Anyone can claim to be an expert. All you have to do is write it in the headline of your Linkedin profile or your website.
Since we know anyone can claim to be an expert, we don’t think much of that word. But when someone shows us they are worthy of the title expert, then we sit up and take notice. We believe their claim. They become the person with whom we want to work.
If you want to cut through the noise and beat out your competition, show others you are the expert. One way you can do that is through your blog.
(4) Blogging helps you become an expert
Not only does writing show you are an expert, but it can also help you become and increase your expertise.
If you are going to write expert quality articles, you have to do expert level research. Doing that type of research and then writing about it, helps you become an expert.
If you want your clients to see you as an expert, become an expert. Use blogging not only to show your expertise, but to grow your expertise.
(5) Blogging educates your clients
Regularly writing about your products and services, as well as sharing your process and growth, helps everyone learn more about you, your company, and your products or services.
Writing a blog is both beneficial to you and to others. It allows you to give back to your own clients, while helping them understand why your products or services are better than your competitors.
Plus, everyone likes to work with people who provide value. You’d be surprised how much that will help you grow your business.
(6) You can't afford not to blog
Organically ranking in the search results is by far a cheaper way to generate leads than paid ads. If you want the most return on your investment, spend time learning and writing.
Depending on your industry and the keywords you are targeting, ad spend, particularly Google ad spend, can quickly balloon out of control. Sure, you have the ability to limit how much you spend. But if you don’t spend enough, you won’t get the clicks you need to generate the leads you need to eventually close a deal.
Your future self will thank you when you are taking that ad spend money and putting it towards a vacation.
Don't dismiss blogging as an archaic activity that doesn't produce results. Yes, creating content is difficult. But that which is difficult often provides a big payoff in the long run. Blogging is one of those activities that do.
If you haven’t started blogging, begin. If your website doesn’t have a blog, talk to your web developer about creating one. It will be worth it in the long run.
Do you need help?
If you need help thinking of content ideas, or structuring content for your site, reach out: email@example.com I'd be happy to help you come up with a content strategy for your website.