If you plan on spending $10,000+/month on PPC advertising, then maybe you can survive without a blog (maybe).
But if you’re like most small-business owners operating on a shoe-string budget, you absolutely don’t want to underestimate the importance of blogging.
And in this article I will show you how you can blog, even if you’re not a good writer or don’t have the time.
What’s the difference between a blog and a website
Think of it like this, a website is a photograph and a blog is a movie.
When you share a blog post on social media about your business, it’s like sharing a little movie trailer to your audience.
But if all you have a is a website, then there’s nothing really new to share with your audience.
All you can do is point out different parts of the photograph (or website) and hope people understand everything you have to offer.
If your website doesn’t have a blog, it would be like a movie only advertising it’s poster.
With a blog, you can showcase a variety of different aspects of your business (like a movie trailer does).
Google and other search engines love to show relevant, new content to their users. Blogging is truly the best way to achieve that.
In Hollywood, they make movie trailers to appeal to very specific types of people. Some movie trailers show the action contained in the movie to attract people who love action. Or show the love story within the movie to attract those who love romance.
Each trailer can bring massive awareness to the same movie while appealing to people who are interested in different aspects of it.
And when you add a blog to your website, you’re able to to the exact same thing.
If you have a blog, and you offer dog grooming services, you’re able to write a post about dog grooming products one day and then another post about dog grooming tips for German shepherds and then another post about the top 10 must-haves for a well-groomed dog. All bringing people back to the same website.
So basically, while websites hope people can find all the useful benefits of the business, a blog showcases all the useful benefits of the business. Make sense?
Here are some examples of website that don’t necessarily need a blog:
- Box.com – SaaS based website that gives people cloud-based storage space. People will come back to this website, with or without a blog (but they have one – read it here).
- Facebook.com – World’s largest social media network. People log into it an average of 30 times a day. No blog needed (but they still have a one).
- Evernote.com – website and app that let’s you take notes, record audio, draw, etc and saves the information to the cloud for universal access (guess what? they have a blog too).
Even websites that don’t necessarily NEED a blog have one.
That should tell you something.
Let me tell you exactly why almost every small business needs to follow in the footsteps of these juggernauts and start blogging.
Benefits of having a blog
Google loves blogs. Or more specifically, Google’s users love blogs.
Up-to date content is what shows Google that you’re still in business and in turn causes them to display you more often to their users. According to Internet Live Stats, there over 3.2 billion google searches per day.
Almost 1/2 the people on the planet use Google to search for a product, service or business everyday.
SEO (search engine optimization) is only achieved through blogging. Don’t buy into the hype that an “seo specialist” can optimize your 3 page website for it to begin showing up on the front page of Google. It’s not gonna happen.
The only 100% effective SEO strategy is to maintain a consistent message and share useful information that people are looking for answers too.
If you’re not serving up new information for Google to display to it’s users than you don’t exist.
We all know the traditional methods of marketing online; there’s paid advertisement, email marketing, social media marketing, video marketing, podcasts and all kinds of new marketing methods are being created every year.
Content marketing is the ONLY type of marketing that doesn’t require you to pay anything, have any subscribers or followers and doesn’t force you to put on make-up (or any clothes at all).
Good content marketing is creating and sharing useful information that answers a question, solves a problem or gives insight to people.
Great content marketing communicates with your audience in a way that doesn’t come off as sales-y and is truly the best way to become an authority in your industry.
Brands like NeilPatel.com have mastered the art of content marketing. By producing quality content and serving his marketplace through blogging, Neil has become one of the most influential brands in his industry. This creates a demand like no other, allowing him to charge upwards of $25,000 to speak at events as well as have an endless stream of consulting jobs available to him.
Blogging for your business is no different.
If you add a blog to your website and share valuable information that answers the questions that your customers have, you too will be seen as an authority and will begin to see your business grow.
Let’s face it, there’s only so many social media updates about your business you can post before people start tuning you out.
No one wants to keep reading about your 5% discount or blowout sale or new promotion on their Facebook or Twitter feed every day. And even more importantly, no one is going to share those kinds of posts to their friends. (Unless your Southwest Airlines offering FREE trips to people who comment and share their post, but even that’s not a very cost-effective way to grow a brand).
What they do want to hear are the “Top 10 Reason Why (FILL IN THE BLANK) Works” or “Why You Should Avoid (FILL IN THE BLANK)”. Those types of updates are only possible to small business owners with a blog.
Having up to date relevant content to share with people is what will grow your social media followings and bring people to your website. And it’s there that you can advertise your blowout sale or offer subscribers additional discounts on products or services.
This is one of those awesome benefits of blogging that just happens based on your efforts.
According to Hubspot, businesses with 401-1000 pages of content get 6x more leads than those with 51-100.
In simple terms, the more you blog, the more leads you generate.
The more information you put out for search engines to index about your business, the more likely that someone searching for content related to your topic will find one of your articles.
This is amplified even more by SEO if you blog consistently. Consistent blogging is what gives Google more reasons to index your site quickly and display your more prominently for relevant searches.
This is how a start-up company can go from no leads a day to 60 leads a day after just a few months.
More content means more form submissions, more email opt-ins, more quote requests, and ultimately, more sales.
The psychology of blogging
This may come as a shock to you, so I hope you’re sitting down before you read the next sentence. People don’t hop on the Internet for the sole purpose of buying your stuff.
People generally hop online simply because they want information. A lot of time and advertising dollars are thrown away when you simply push a product, but offer no information.
That tells us a lot about what a blog should offer, doesn’t it? Offering relevant information that people want to consume is key.
Share what you’re learning, and share regularly so that your readers know when and where to easily find the information they want.
Do this long enough, and you’ll develop a following of potential customers who are aware of your product or service. Even if they’re not ready to buy now, your brand will be strong in their minds, and they may be sharing your site to other people who are ready to buy now.
Do you really need a blog?
If you read this entire article, how dare you ask this question. Just kidding (kinda).
Of course you should be blogging. And I’m not just saying that because I show people how to start a blog (for free), but because your business deserves it.
If you’ve put in the time, money and effort to create a service or product for people, then ignoring the more than 3 billion searches that are done on Google every day is a disservice to what you’re doing.
As I mentioned earlier, you could simply focus on paid advertisements to drive traffic to your website, but if you look at the search marketing budgets of the companies you’d be going up against, you’ll quickly notice that you really have no chance.
What you can do to even the playing field is simple. Write articles and blog posts that people want to read.
Blogging is the only way to compete with Fortune 500 companies spending millions in online marketing.
But what if I hate writing?
This is honestly the most legitimate concern that people bring up when the topic of blogging comes up.
The answer is simple, not all parts of business are fun.
In order of fun it’s:
- Spending money on vacations, buying gifts for people or buying things off your dream board
- Cashing paychecks
- Selling products
- Getting customers or subscribers
- Getting traffic
- Posting in social media
For some (like me), blogging might be higher up the list. But as you can see, it’s still a crucial aspect of business and must be done.
In sports, players have to practice. On vacations, you have to sit on a plane or in a car for hours. It’s not all fun, but the end justifies the means and makes it worth it.
So just do it and trust that you’ll slowly get better and better and (maybe) start to love it.
I don’t have time
Blogging as a business owner can be very time intensive.
With so many other aspects of your business to focus on, it makes sense that spending an additional few hours each day putting out a high-quality article for your customers just might not be possible.
In those instances, I recommend 2 options:
- Problogger.net – While not the cheapest choice, you can get professionally written articles done for about $.10 cents a word. So, if you’re considering a marketing budget of say $100 a week, your money would be better spent on one 1,000 word or two 500 word professional articles that will last forever and bring you leads until the end of time.
- Fiverr – You can find people who are willing to write you articles for your website for as little as $5 an article. While the quality might not be the absolute best, it’s better than nothing. Be sure to check out reviews and read samples of content written by the writer before spending your money.
Did this article help you realize that you need a blog? Can you think of a popular brand or website that DOESN’T have a blog? Please leave a comment letting me know.
About The Author