Your Business Should Have a Blog

A man sits at a desk, hard at work, while a cat lounges on the edge of the desk and looks back at him.

A true millennial, I’ve had my share of blogs. In college, I had a blog where I’d post my [sometimes angsty] young-adult thoughts about everything and anything, punctuated by song lyrics. I haven’t revisited it in years, but I’m sure I’d cringe at a lot of what’s there. 🫣 

If you’re like me, you might have past experience with blogs that flavor your opinions of having one for your business. Blogs can feel irrelevant or—even worse—self-indulgent. But the purpose of a business blog is very different from the angst-fueled insights of a 20-year-old. 😉

What’s the point of having a blog?

Writing content and maintaining a blog might feel like it’s just a lot of work for nothing, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Blogs serve businesses in a multitude of ways, and every business could benefit from having a strategic blog.

The core of your content marketing strategy

Your customers are the core of your business; without them, you wouldn’t be in operation. Zeroing in on who they are and what they care about is the crux of marketing. Content marketing is no different: identify what kind of content and education your ideal customer is looking for and create it. 🎁 Not only do you offer something of value to them before they ever buy anything from you, but you also become the place they go when they need expert input.

Since your blog lives on your website, it’s completely under your control, unlike social media or content hosted on a third-party website. It’s also likely the place where you can post the lengthiest content since other platforms limit or disincentivize long-form content. 🙅 Your blog is at the core of your content marketing (or it should be), so it needs to be thought-out and not just full of posts about whatever came to mind that day.

Your blog should be a crucial part of your overall marketing strategy, and it should be in line with the larger goals of your business. For instance, if you are looking to sell more of one of your products, your blog posts should all work to further that goal: educating people about the need for this product, spreading information about it, or even offering tutorials or tips.

Blogs and SEO

One of the main reasons business owners are pushed to start a blog is because they can be a real boon to SEO. However, we strongly recommend that you think about the content marketing strategy before you think about SEO. 🚧 While SEO is important, getting in front of more people won’t be worthwhile if your strategy doesn’t take full advantage of increased traffic.

If you’ve done your work on strategy, you can start to leverage your blog for SEO. Consider keywords and search terms when you’re choosing blog topics and naming your posts. Think about what your ideal customer is looking for, and provide exactly that. 🎯

If your business covers a large collection of services or products, the blog can be an important part of helping search engines identify your site as being relevant to all of them. Spend most of your time focusing on the core of your business (your main offerings), but if you have some secondary services, be sure that they get their space on the blog as well, and get those keywords into post titles and headings (but don’t stuff the titles with keywords, since Google hates that).

Be a thought leader

The term “thought leadership” can feel a little gimmicky, but the idea behind it is solid: you want to be seen as someone at the cutting edge of your industry. It’s the folks who are forward-thinking that often create the best products, and consumers know that. It’s great if you get invited to speak at a conference, but not everyone ends up with those kinds of opportunities (or wants to do public speaking!). A blog offers a place where you can present your thoughts and ideas to your audience and further set yourself up to be seen as a leader in your field.

Not only will posts help demonstrate your knowledge and authority, they will also get your name (and the name of your business) out there. People often share insightful blog posts that they found helpful, and that can open doors that would otherwise remain closed.

You may already be doing thought leadership on your social media accounts, like Tiktok or Instagram, but these platforms don’t always tolerate long-form content. If they do, they might still disincentivize it because they know their users have short attention spans and will likely scroll through longer content. But that doesn’t mean that longer content isn’t worth making! If you get a lot of traction on certain topics on social media, longer blog posts about the same topics would likely perform well on a blog.

Lead generation and conversion

Blogs can also do a lot of heavy lifting for lead generation and conversion. You want to collect the information of visitors to your website to be able to continue to move them through your marketing process, and a blog can often create a desire in visitors to hear more. If you offer an email newsletter, you can mention that more content can be found there and prompt folks to sign up at the end of a blog post. If they’ve found one of your posts helpful, they’re likely to be interested in a newsletter.

To get people into your sales funnel, you need to first sell yourself as a crucial source of information. If potential customers see you as someone who holds the answers they are looking for, they’re more likely to be open to signing up for your mailing list. 📬 Once they’re in your list, it’s much easier to market strategically to them.

You can also use blog posts for immediate conversion: a targeted blog post about something important to your visitors often creates a perfect opportunity for a CTA that can use the post as motivation and push folks to engage or buy! It’s common for people to engage in information-gathering before making a purchase or choosing a provider of a service they know they need. If you can demonstrate through your blog that you’re the kind of expert they’re looking for, they’ll be more likely to pull the trigger on a purchase or get in touch.

Fostering connection

Engagement is a huge part of maintaining good relationships with your customers. While we often think about social media when talking about engagement, it’s possible to also create a space for people to interact with you on your blog.

You can end your post with a question that prompts some kind of response from your readers, or ask them to engage with you on another platform. Good business comes down to good relationships, so any chance to foster those connections is important to taking website visitors and turning them into customers and taking customers and turning them into returning customers.

Building your blog 🧱

Whether you’re just starting a blog or have had one for a while and want to add some intentionality, here are a few things you can do.

Considering your ideal audience and what they want

The first part of knowing what to write is understanding who you are writing for. If you haven’t done any work identifying your ideal customer or creating an ideal customer profile, that should be your first step. 

Once you know who you’re writing to, you have to figure out what they’re looking for. 🤔 If they are interested in what you have to offer, what are they searching for? What questions are they asking? Are they weighing different options? 

Sitting down and creating a longer list of content ideas can be a great first step, and then your job is a bit easier when it’s time to pick blog posts for the month. You may still need to research things or add ideas for current conversations, but you’ll have a place to go when it’s time to draft a post.

Thinking through the funnel 

Your sales funnel is the journey folks take from the time they first hear about you to the point where they become customers. People who have just found you are at the top of the funnel, and people who are on the verge of making a purchase are at the bottom. You want to write to both of these audiences (and the audiences in between). 

The content that people at different stages of your funnel are looking for is likely to be different. For Valerian’s website clients, top-of-the-funnel folks might be wondering if they need a website at all or what website platforms are best; our bottom-of-the-funnel folks are probably more interested in the details or specifics that are most important to them, like accessibility, translation, or how to approach their brand story on their site. 

Try to imagine the entire journey someone might take from first becoming aware of your service or product to the point where they make a purchase. What questions do they ask along the way? What information do they need to have to make a decision? If there are reasons someone might talk themselves out of what you’re offering, what would you say to convince them otherwise?

Creating a realistic strategy

You want your blog to work toward your overall marketing goals, so be intentional about what you choose to post and when. If you know you’re going to make a marketing push in Q4, start posting in a way that supports that push in Q3 (or, even better, Q2!). 

Choosing how often to post can be tricky, so my best advice is to be reasonable. 😅 If you’re generating the content yourself, look at your calendar and figure out how much writing you can realistically fit in. If you have someone on your team who can do the writing, make sure to check with them about the time they need to draft and edit something. If you don’t have a lot of time for content generation, you might want to consider content writing services.

Build in buffer time for your process. At Valerian, our blog creation schedule includes almost an extra week so that when we get busy, have a holiday, or fall behind, it’s not the end of the world. 

If you start posting and feel like you’re drowning, cut back. Posting in a reliable way is more important than how frequently you post. If four posts a month is too much, cut back to two and stick to it. And, if you can avoid it, don’t disappear for long periods of time. While people aren’t likely to closely check your blog post dates, a sporadic posting schedule may subconsciously communicate that you aren’t reliable or able to stick to a schedule.

🌿

Blogs, like websites, need to be well executed to be effective. There is absolutely room for figuring it out as you go, but you don’t want to launch a blog without any kind of strategy at all.

If you’re not convinced that your business should have a blog, let me know what’s stopping you in the comments. 

Did I convince you and you’re ready to add a blog to your website? 🤩 If you’re a Valerian client, get in touch and we’ll get you up and running! And if you’re looking for content writing services, we can help you there too!

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