Today, I took a session on ‘Benefits of Blogging for Business‘ at Makers of Milkshake, Thoraipakkam, Chennai. It was facilitated through MarkHive Meetup group, focused on getting marketing professionals together and sharing ideas.
Since I have been a professional/full-time blogger for 6-years, I was invited to share my thoughts on this topic. I still maintain my blogs, and I enjoy writing on this lifestyle blog, but only as a hobby.
I will be using content marketing for my video creation website and I intend to create a lot of blog posts and other content for that venture in the near future.
Here are a few pointers I spoke on the benefits of blogging for business,
What is a Blog?
A blog is a website that arranges content based on the date of publication – the latest post being on the top, and the ones published before that pushed down with each subsequent post.
I suggested that in 2019 any platform that enables people to distribute content can be considered as a blog – be it social media pages, Youtube channels, podcasts, LinkedIn posts, etc. In fact, Instagrammers routinely call themselves as bloggers!
What is the USP of a blog – in the context of blogging for business?
Blogs and Youtube channels are capable of pulling regular traffic from search engines (esp. google), organically, for related keywords. If a business creates useful and educational content about their products/services that their prospective customers want to know, it can result in leads for new business opportunities.
Blog posts can be discovered via search engines for related keywords. And if businesses create interesting, unique & useful content to target keywords with buying intent, they can increase their no. of leads/prospects.
How can one start a blog?
The best way to start a blog — especially for beginners — is to create a free account on Blogger.com or WordPress.com. Once ppl are used to the process of writing blog posts and become comfortable with it, they can buy a domain name & hosting space, and create a blog by installing self-hosted wordpress(.org) on it.
Is blogging only about writing?
While blogging used to be mainly about written content, nowadays, one can embed any type of content, like Youtube Videos, images/graphics, SoundCloud audio files, PDF/ePub documents, and even powerpoint presentations, within blog posts.
Are we required to follow a schedule for publishing blog posts?
While that is not a requirement, it’s always better to follow a regular schedule for creating and publishing blog posts. That way we can keep the blog updated frequently (good for SEO), and the necessity to create new blog posts will enable us to follow the latest industry trends and happenings.
What types of content are good for businesses?
Any content that gives more information about one’s products/services and enables a prospective customer to make an educated buying decision are good for business blogs.
Examples of this type of content include how-to articles, comparison articles, Top 5/10 posts, educational articles, opinion posts, latest trends, review posts, customer testimonials, etc.
How can people discover and follow blogs?
Readers most probably discover blogs through search engines, social media, and word-of-mouth. For following blogs, there are services like bloglovin that syndicates the most recent blog posts. Many blogs send links to the latest content via email newsletters. Or they share blog post links on social media accounts that people can follow.
Repurposing blog post content into videos, audio, infographics, text summary, presentations, etc. would enable people to follow blogs in the format that they prefer. This is better than just sharing blog post links everywhere.
Where do blogs fit in Marketing Funnels?
Blogs are an excellent way to bring new prospects into the top-level of a marketing funnel. Thereupon, businesses can warm-up these prospects by creating different types of content (including blog posts, remarketing, email auto-responders, social media posts, etc.) to move them further down the funnel until they become ready to buy.
For certain types of products/services, as many as 16-20 touchpoints may be required to convert prospects into paying customers. Blogs are an excellent way to educate and answer all questions that prospects might have.
Is it possible to generate revenue directly through blogs?
It is possible to make money blogging and there are multiple revenue streams like contextual advertisements (Like Google Adsense), Affiliate Network Links (Like Amazon Affiliate), Sponsored posts for Influencer campaigns, etc.
However, over the years I have found that the best way to use a blog is to support one’s own business by educating and engaging prospective customers. Hence blogs are a great tool for lead generation.