Blogging and content marketing has taken the world by storm over the last several years, and with good reason. Blogging for business has big potential payoffs, and it’s a reasonably affordable way to market your business. But as with any variation of marketing, there are ups and downs of blogging for business—and sometimes business owners lose sight of what blogging can achieve.
Whether you are considering blogging for business or you’re a seasoned company blogger, an occasional reality check can help keep you focused on your goals. Losing sight can result in giving up too soon. And often times, business owners will give up before they experience the true impact of business blogging.
Here are 5 realities of business blogging to keep your efforts in check.
1. Blogging For Business is a Marathon
Business blogging is a long-term marketing strategy. If you’ve invested in traditional advertising methods such as TV or possibly direct mailers, you might have become accustomed to results happening within a couple weeks or even days. Blogging certainly generates traction and traffic for your business, but the process is a bit slower than TV advertising or even PPC (Pay Per Click).
This is because blogging is based on building connections, relationships, and trust. Sure, you might quickly reach multiple customers with other forms of advertising and generate fast sales. However, there’s a possibility that those sales are a one-time deal. That’s because the particular customer never felt a connection with your company, since they were lured in with a promotion or discount.
Blogging can turn readers into lifelong customers because it offers education, expert insight, and more value than a standalone promotion.
And as you know, it takes time to attract and build a lifelong customer. Relationships aren’t built over a few hours—you have to get that customer to trust your company, which is a time consuming process. But blogging is the perfect avenue for establishing those relationships and sense of trust.
Besides, who ever built strong customer relationships with a 20% off coupon that came in the mail?
2. Inconsistent Blogging Doesn’t Work
If you’re going to commit to blogging for business, you must adhere to a schedule in order to see results. Publishing a blog at random or going weeks without a new post will only prolong potential results. So, when you’re blogging for business, consistency should be top priority.
There are several reasons why it’s critical to remain consistent with business blogging, such as:
• Predictability. Customers don’t want to play guessing games in terms of when your next blog post will be published. If you go too long without publishing or publish too sporadically, customers will begin to lose interest and stop reading your blog all together.
• Steady stream of social content. As you consistently publish new blog posts, you’ll have a solid source of new content to share on social media. This will ensure that your social accounts never sit inactive, and you always have compelling blogs to promote to your audience.
• Earning the trust of Google. Blogging consistently will help web crawlers locate your blog posts and push them out to the search engines. But beyond that, consistent publishing will show Google that you’re a reliable source of data for your industry.
Commit to blogging for your company once a week. If you can feel that you can handle more as time progresses, you can always bump up the workload. However, you might be surprised with how effectively even one business blog post per week can work for you.
3. Choose Quality Over Quantity
Publishing consistently doesn’t mean you can sacrifice quality. Never publish a high volume of blog posts that are littered with grammatical errors, inaccurate data, or lacking relevance. Low quality blog articles are subject to hurting your search engine rankings; and if that’s not bad enough, those blog posts can also destroy relationships with your customers.
Think about how you would feel if you read a company blog post that was clearly thrown together at the last minute. Reading a blog post full of typos, missing words, and poor sentence structure probably won’t encourage you to pull out your credit card and buy from this company. Your customers feel the same way—never settle for low quality blog posts just for the sake of having content to publish.
Google takes low quality company blog posts very seriously. In fact, there’s an entire algorithm dedicated to weeding out (and penalizing) web content that doesn’t meet Google’s quality guidelines.
If you need a bit of direction, Google is pretty straightforward for what they expect in terms of quality blog content. These guidelines suggest that your blog contains:
• Unique and relevant content that your customers will find useful
• Content that is free from spelling errors, grammatical errors, and typos
• Blog posts that are engaging and build relationships with customers
• Add value with well-researched data and citations
• Include an author bio
• Refrain from placing excessive ads on your posts
While you don’t have to follow every single guideline in order to meet Google’s quality standards, try to check off as much as you can from their list.
So, the idea here is to only publish blog posts that are considered quality in the eyes of Google. If you can only handle one quality blog post per week, it’s better than publishing 5 low quality posts per week that adds little to no value for your customers.
4. Blogging For Business (The Correct Way) is Time Consuming
While it’s true that business blogging is an affordable marketing method overall, you should expect to dedicate quite a bit of time to your blog in order to get the best benefits. It’s nearly impossible to publish and promote a quality blog post in an hour or two per week.
These are a few of the top time-consuming blogging efforts that you’ll have to work into your routine:
• Topic research. This is an area where many business owners struggle, as it can take quite a long time to strategize the best topics for your blog. Admittedly, sometimes a blog topic might strike you and within minutes you have a topic ready to go. But there are other times you are left clueless as to what to blog about, and research is in order.
• Keyword research. In addition to researching company blog topic ideas, keyword research is recommended to help SEO efforts. Depending on your niche, there may be hundreds or even thousands of keywords to consider and choose from. If you decide that you want to add keyword research into your blogging strategy, you will have to spend a little bit of time sifting through results and cherry picking the best keywords for your business.
• Writing your blog post. Research has shown that long blog content has better SEO advantages, encourages more social shares, and engages customers more effectively than short content. Long content is considered to be 2000+ words. The chart below from OKDork demonstrates the correlation between long content and social shares—content that is 3000+ words has the most shares overall.
How quickly that you’re able to write long blog posts depends on your typing speed and knowledge on the topic at hand.
• Editing your blog post. Special attention should always be given when you’re editing your blog post. I personally take two dates to edit—I read over the entire post one day and do it again the day that I publish. After you take a break, you’ll be surprised at little errors that you catch when you sit back down for another editing session.
• Sharing your blog post. Sharing your blog post might be the most time consuming portion of business blogging. It seems quick enough to post your link on Facebook and call it a day, but there really needs to be more strategy to promotion than simply uploading a link. You’ll want to test the best day of the week and time of day for your promoting, and actively engage with people who interact with your posts.
As you can see, blogging for business takes a bit of time, but the payoff is well worth the time spent in the end.
5. Business Blogging Has Multiple ROIs
A lot of business owners get caught up on immediate blogging ROI in terms of profit. This is entirely understandable, as making money is the overall goal of any nearly every marketing plan. However, blogging acts as a funnel that flows customers through the buying cycle. This means that you will eventually see ROI in terms of money, but you’ll see others forms of ROI as well, such as:
• Web traffic. An increase in web traffic is a good indicator that your company blog is doing its job. It’s a sign that customers are interested in your topics and they’re clicking through to find out more on what your blog (and company) is about.
• Social shares. Good quality blog content will encourage customers to share your posts via Twitter, Facebook, and other social platforms. Social sharing is a form of ROI since it indicates that customers are enjoying your content and want others to do the same.
• Visitor retention. You can analyze visitor retention data within your Google Analytics dashboard. Visitor retention is an important form of ROI, since it indicates that your content is compelling enough for customers to spend an extended amount of time on your website. The longer that customers stay on your website, the better chance of a conversion.
• Lead generation. Generating a lead is possibly one of the highest quality forms of ROI that business blogging can offer. Lead generation in the form of a phone call or e-mail can directly lead to a sale, while also building a relationship and creating a customer for life.
When your company blog doesn’t immediately convert, don’t be discouraged. Staying dedicated to consistent publishing and offering high quality content will ultimately lead to conversions.
The Best Reality of Blogging For Business
As you continuously blog for your company, there’s always one reality to keep on the back burner: blogging for business is an effective, powerful marketing strategy that pays for itself. According to HubSpot, companies that prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to see a positive ROI—this is because your blog extends the reach of your customer base and works for your around the clock.
The reality is that blogging for business requires consistency and patience, but good things come to those who wait—and those who blog.