WordPress was originally intended, and is still widely used as, a blog tool, so it’s no surprise to me when clients who I’ve built WordPress websites for ask me about blogging on their new website. I always reply that I think it’s a great idea to do so, and that incorporating a blog can have a great benefit for both the website and the business.
Case in point is a client I just finished working with. He has years of experience in his field, and his company is a 1-stop shop for all the needs people have when it comes to his particular service. He’s the personality behind the business, and the new website reflects this – which makes him a perfect candidate to start blogging.
How blogging helps your business
When he first asked me about blogging, the advice I gave him was based on my own experiences as a small business owner who blogs, and was that it could really help his business if he blogged regularly on your website. (Especially since he was already using WordPress.)
Here are some ways that blogging can help your business:
- Helps you reach out to clients and potential clients
- Establishes you as a subject-matter expert
- Gives you free publicity through search engine results
- Brings more web traffic to your website
- Makes your website more lively and friendly
- De-mystifies your business and makes it (and you) more approachable
- Lets you easily provide news, specials, etc.
- Helps you communicate in a timely fashion
- Builds a following of readers or visitors, who might turn into clients one day
- Provides technical support, online documentation, etc. – again, all part of establishing you as a subject-matter expert
I know that writing regular blog posts has helped my business out tremendously. One of the biggest benefits is that it helped me find my voice when articulating web design concepts to other people. Ultimately I think this has translated into a confidence in my professional skills and abilities.
Of course, the increased web traffic and better search engine results certainly hasn’t hurt either. Some of the posts that I’ve written have received a great deal of web traffic, none of which would have found my website otherwise. And since Google and the major search engines factor in the context of your website and what you’re writing about, the more keyword-rich content on it, the better off you’ll be.
While blogging is a great way to benefit your small business, I try to remind people that success with blogging isn’t easy and doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of hard work, but that’s a concept that any small business owner already knows.
So if you want to start blogging, here are some things to keep in mind as you get down to it:
- Leave time to write regularly – Give yourself time to write. You may be swamped already, but set a schedule and stick to it, even if that means only publishing content once a week. No one says you need to publish content every day anyways.
- Keep expectations in check – It took me over a year to get 100 subscribers to my blog, but I don’t define success just by my subscriber count. Given the other benefits that I’ve received from blogging, I think I’m successful. So what do you expect to gain from blogging?
- Learn to write different – Writing for a website is much different than the more formal writing that people are used to. You might not find your blog voice right away, but keep at it, do some research into how to write for a blog (see some of the links below), and you’ll ultimately find it.
- You have info people want – As a small business owner, you have knowledge that people want to know – that’s why they’re coming to you in the first place. If you’re able to translate that knowledge into quality blog, people will find it and want to read it.
- Think journal entry, not thesis – You don’t have to write a lengthy dissertation for each blog post that you put together. Keep it short and on topic, and you’ll get your readers more engaged with what you’re talking about.