Read on and you’ll learn some interesting things about business blogging today. To set the stage, though, I’m going to do something I don’t recommend when meeting people for the first time, writing most of your website’s content, or going on a date: I’m going to talk about me for a bit.
When I started my Web design, development and online marketing company TimeForCake here in Summit County back in 2002, the vast majority of projects I took on were those requiring the creation of brand new websites for businesses that had never had websites before.
Fast forward 12 years later. Hello 2014. My things have changed.
And my work is much, much more fun these days.
Here’s why: Because it’s now so easy to make a website, and because nearly anyone (and their 12-year-old nephew) can get a website up and running these days, there is exponentially more online competition compared to what existed back in the early 2000s.
The more competition there is, the more nuanced and strategic businesses’ websites and online marketing strategies need to become to outperform that competition, and to help businesses truly move toward their overall visions of success.
That’s not fluffy talk. That’s the truth.
Thus, the majority of projects I and my team now choose to take on are for established businesses looking to improve the performance of and get more out of their existing websites.
This means we’re no longer dealing with “Just-help-us-get-a-nice-looking-website-up” mindsets. Instead, we get to work with far more visionary businesses with “We-need-to-figure-out-a-comprehensive-strategy-to-get-our-website-to-do-a-helluv-a-lot-more-for-us” mindsets.
In other words, we now have the pleasure of working with businesses that show up and are seriously ready to play. They think big picture. They know their websites can be doing so, so much more for them. Things have changed, and I love it.
So here’s where this all ties into business blogging …
As we conduct audits and analyses of our clients’ websites, online marketing efforts and competition, a strategy we often determine can impact our clients’ success is the addition of — or the implementation of a proper strategy for — a blog.
Unfortunately, I’d say nine times out of 10 businesses grumble when they hear the word “blog.” In fact, I’d say we experience more resistance during conversations about blogs than we do about conversations regarding any other online marketing tactic in existence these days. (Social media coming in a close second.)
“A BLOG??” “Nobody reads those!” “We don’t want to write!” “There’s nothing interesting to write about in our industry!” “Our industry is boring!” We don’t have time!” “Why on EARTH would a blog help us??”
An article I bookmarked years ago, written by Paul Boag, one of the Web world’s highly respected Web strategists, does a beautiful job of summarizing the top benefits businesses typically experience when they implement a well-constructed blog strategy and dedicate ongoing resources to blogging. These benefits include: boosting search engine visibility, increasing incoming links (which drive more eyeballs to your site), reaching new audiences, generating repeat traffic, and gaining customer feedback.
I’d also add to the list: positioning yourself as a knowledgeable industry expert, starting the experience of a dialogue with potential customers (“I feel like I already know and trust you!”), and setting yourself apart from the competition.
Blogs truly can be incredibly powerful tools, when done right (which unfortunately isn’t easy).
If you’re interested in learning a bit more, I encourage you to take a look at these excellent posts Paul Boag wrote that dive into a bit more detail:
A secret to successful business blogging: http://tinyurl.com/loa8zrm
Make your company blog work harder: http://tinyurl.com/lkygpey
Ten harsh truths about corporate blogging (this ain’t easy, folks): http://tinyurl.com/kfmpuzw
Now look at that! He wrote blog posts and they’re driving more awareness to his brand and traffic to his site through me sharing his links. Smart fellow indeed.