Blogging is "the bomb" and this post gives 3 compelling reasons to blog, along with some suggestions about how to get started. However, first, let's get one thing straight. For those of you on the younger side of the curve, use of the phrase "the bomb" was popularized in the 90's and according to the Urban Dictionary means "exceptionally cool". Now that we've established that, let's talk about why blogging is "the bomb".
A very credible player in the online space recently reported the following stats...
- 48% more traffic is generated by websites with more than 50 web-pages vs. those with fewer pages
- 67% more leads are generated by B2B marketers that blog consistently vs. those that don't
- Websites that have good blogging activity have more than 4 times the number of web-pages and nearly double the number of back-links vs. those websites lacking blogging activity (you'll learn later why more web-pages and back-links are good)
- Marketers who invest in blogging are 13 times more likely to achieve a positive ROI from their marketing investments
Here's the deal...in most blogging platforms, each blog becomes a unique web-page. So in our case, we have about 50 marketing and informational pages in our website. But when you ask Google how many web-pages they index as part of our website, the number is 869. How do we know this? Go to a Google search box and type in "site:(your domain name). For example, if your domain name is website.com, then you would type into a Google search box "site:website.com", and Google would show you how many "results" (unique web-pages) there are.
Why are more web-pages important? There are 3 main reasons...
- As mentioned earlier, more web-pages typically means more good content about what you do. Google loves good content because it is informative and educational to the online world, something important to Google. If your site has lots of good content about a unique set of topics, Google will want to get you a lot of exposure, and that means ranking your site higher in the search engines...a good thing for most of us.
- Second, people share good content with their friends and online communities in which they participate. When someone shares your content (your high quality blog content), they are creating a link back to your website where the content can be read. This back-linking that results from sharing your content online is like a "vote" of popularity for your website. Google likes sites that are "popular" and will often reward your website with greater visibility and higher rankings.
- A good quantity of high quality blog content helps to educate your target market, and this might well give you a competitive advantage. Think of it this way...someone is online researching services that your company provides. They come to your site and see lots of blogs that inform them and begin to answer some of the questions they have. Then they go to one of your competitors' sites and see little to no blog content. If you were that person, what would you think about which of the two companies is better and perhaps more credible? The former one that has helped to educate you through their blog content. Pretty common-sense right?
How do you get started and what do you blog about? Following are some suggestions...
- First, get a blog integrated into your website. We use Wordpress because it is very easy to learn and use.
- Think about your target market's "value-drivers" - what's most important to them when evaluating products/services in your industry
- Make a list of themes associated with #2 above
- Do some key-phrase research to determine the best key-phrases associated with the themes you've listed
- Pair up your key-phrases with your themes, and now you have a list of topics about which to blog
- Make a commitment about how often you'll blog and stick to it - it is hard at times but if you blog at least once a week, you'll be well ahead of the majority of websites
Once you begin blogging and feel good about the quality of content you are creating, push out your good content via social networks and email marketing. Share your blogs through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other online networks relevant to your industry. Include links to your blogs in your email marketing activity. Finally, use blogs to help nurture leads through the buying process. There are so many ways you can use good content.
In summary, developing blog content is hard and it is time-consuming. But, the value you get is tremendous. Google will likely reward you with higher rankings. Your customers may find your blog content as a competitive advantage in your industry. Your blog content can be used in your outbound marketing activity. Now, go start blogging.