Is blogging worth it for your business?
Even as passionate believers in content marketing, we don’t believe every single business will benefit from a blog. It’s also clear that some businesses get more value out of blogs than others. So let’s dig into some of the factors which make a blog worth it. Then you can decide, from a position of knowledge, whether your business should invest in a blog.
Let’s start with the basics.
How does a blog add value to a business anyway?
There are a number of things a blog does which are good for your business.
- It raises your visibility and brand awareness.
- You can demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. 68.5% of internet users think blogs add credibility to a website.
- It builds relationships. A blog means you’ve always got something new to talk about. You can use the content for email newsletters too, so you keep in touch with your clients and contacts.
- You can use your latest blog posts (and older ones too!) as content to share on your social media accounts. 60% of bloggers re-use their content in other places.
- A quality blog will help your SEO and lift your site traffic. The research says a blog can increase traffic by 2000% – we’ve seen increases of 3000% and more.
(By the way, all those statistics come from our blogging infographic – check it out if you want to know more.)
The last one – how a blog can improve your SEO – is no more important than the others, but it may need a little more explanation for non-marketers. Here’s how it works:
- Every blog post you publish is a new page on your website.
- Google will examine every web page (blog post) separately to determine what it’s about.
- If you blog on a variety of different but related topics, Google will see a collection of articles related to an area of expertise.
- If each and every blog post is optimised for different but related keywords, they will show up in Google results for different but related search queries. So many more searchers see your post and click through to your site.
Which businesses get the most out of having a blog?
Any business can get value from a blog in the ways listed above. But notice, none of those benefits we listed actually means you get another customer, or more revenue.
The businesses where blogging is most worth it are those where the blog drives customers (enquiries or leads – your sales team may still have to convert to actual dollars) as well as traffic. What are the characteristics of those businesses, and how well does yours fit?
1. You’re selling something which depends on knowledge or expertise
Usually – not always – this means a service.
There are so many kinds of services, selling to both businesses and individuals:
- professionals such as lawyers, accountants, engineers, coaches and consultants
- tradespeople including electricians, builders, carpenters and stonemasons
- specialist health services, from chiropractors and physiotherapists to acupuncturists and masseurs
- ‘creative’ services from interior design to event planning to landscapers
- specialist business-to-business services like web development, IT support, recruitment and training
The businesses are so varied, but there’s one thing they have in common. The end result depends on your expertise. If you can convince potential clients that you have more expertise than your competition, you’ll get more customers. Blog posts are a great way to showcase and prove your expertise.
You could also be selling a product.
Think hand-crafted or custom-made items. Jewellery, art, luxury furniture. Custom-designed wedding dresses. Personalised gifts for babies, or pet accessories. Here the blog stories are about your craftsmanship and how you fulfilled the customer’s individual needs and desires.
For all these businesses, blogging is an opportunity to stand out and impress with your knowledge and expertise. (Point 2 in the list above.) It will attract customers who are more interested in expertise and value than in price. Isn’t that what you want?
2. You service clients from a wide geographic area
This is related to point no 5 – you get more website traffic.
Google search results for the same term vary depending on where the searcher is. If you’re a Sydney business with a Sydney-based Google MyBusiness profile, you’re more likely to show up when people from Sydney search, and less likely to show up if the searcher is in Melbourne. But unless people put in a specific suburb, most of the variation is at the city or government area level, not at the suburb level.
So if you’re a builder, pest controller, family lawyer or recruiter covering the entire Sydney area, a lot of the website visits your blog generates will come from the Sydney area. All of them are potential clients. Blogging is very likely to be worth it.
If you’re a cleaner servicing the Hills District only, more of that traffic will come from outside your area. So your conversion from website visitor to enquiry is likely to be lower. Even if your website is just as good!
If you’re a personal trainer working in 2 or 3 suburbs only, or a single location cafe, even less of the traffic will be potential customers. To take an extreme example, during the recent lockdown, people weren’t allowed to travel more than 5km from home. So the percentage of website visitors who could become clients – even if they wanted to – was very small.
If you’re one of these smaller hyper-local businesses, is it worth blogging? Like so many things, it depends.
- Do you have plans to expand to other areas?
Blogging is a long term strategy. If your long term strategy is expansion, now’s a great time to start investing so you have the traffic when you want it.
- Do you have local partnership and sponsorship arrangement?
If you’re involved in the local community, blogging about sports, events and people is a great way to generate local interest. You can build a high profile in a small local area which you service.
If neither of these is the case, look carefully at the time and effort you’ll need to invest. You may find you get better results from other activities. Proactively seeking positive reviews is a common one. You could also post regularly (business updates, promotions, client feedback and questions) to your Google MyBusiness account rather than running a blog on your site.
3. Do your customers need a high degree of trust before they commit?
Some purchases are low risk decisions. A take-away meal. A dry cleaner. We assume the service will be at least OK – and if it isn’t, there’s no significant loss. We just go somewhere else next time.
Other buying decisions require a lot more consideration and a lot more trust. Cost is one factor – the more expensive something is, the more likely we are to do lots of research before deciding. But it’s not just about the money – it’s also about how important that service is to us, practically or emotionally.
Do we trust the accountant or mortgage broker with our financial information? Is that physiotherapist going to make us better or damage us? What about a family lawyer when considering divorce?
Blogs build trust and relationships – especially if you include real-life stories and examples! (Here’s one we wrote for Streamlined Organising about the paperless office.) Of course you need to get permission before you feature any client, but if that permission isn’t forthcoming, you may be able to tell the story anonymously. (Another one we wrote about the risks of buying strata property.) These stories demonstrate how you work with clients to make things better for them. They’re not quite word of mouth or a referral, but they’re pretty close. And they’re more interesting than yet another ‘What is xxx?’ post like all the others in the search results!
So is blogging worth it for your business?
How many of the boxes above does your business tick?
- Is your knowledge and expertise important to how you service customers?
- Do you have clients across a reasonable geographic area?
- Do they need to trust you before they buy?
If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, chances are a blog is worth it for you. And since it’s a long term build, it’s better to get started straight away. If you need help, ask us! Our voice-to-blog service is designed to make it as easy as possible for you to blog consistently.
If you answered no, then you need to think much harder about what value you’ll get out of a blog. You can still use one to build brand, raise profile and showcase your expertise – but it may not be the most effective way you can invest your marketing dollar.
If you’re still not sure, let’s have a chat and work it out together.