I made a conscious decision not to start blogging for my business because I felt I didn’t have the time to do it ‘properly’ and I engaged actively with Twitter as a micro-blogging option. I felt this was an important first step and I could see how well I leveraged it to drive traffic to my site and meet my overall marketing objectives. However over time, I realised I could no longer ignore the SEO and traffic building potential of blogging, so after much dithering and delaying, I started blogging last Autumn.

In that short time the traffic to my website has increased by almost 100%, the quality of visitors has improved (i.e. they are actually interested in finding out more about my services), they are more engaged and stay on my site for longer and view more pages, Great! The net and all important result is that I receive more enquiries and the conversion into fee paying work is making tapping away at the keyboard very well worthwhile.

Blogging has been around for over 10 years now and is well and truly established as an effective marketing tool. It gives you the opportunity to engage with your audience on a more informal basis and, importantly, to interact and encourage a two-way dialogue – a completely different method of communication to your traditional website and advertising approach of pushing a message out there (very much a one-way process!).

If you have a new service or product to promote or you want to share your thoughts on a hot topic that relates to your industry you can do it within minutes – without having to wait for your web developer to update your website and without burning a small hole in your pocket. WordPress is an affordable and capable blogging platform and can’t rave about it enough! And blogging is an instant way of building brand awareness and reputation and creating a community of followers who are genuinely interested in what you have to say.

The more you can develop a relationship with your blog readers the more they will come to trust you and the more likely you are to convert them into customers. People buy from individuals and companies they trust and respect, so through your blog you can become a trusted business ally to your readers. Get it right and they will buy in to the personality that you convey.

So much of our communication and interaction with others is done virtually these days, but it makes all the difference if people can actually hear your voice. Imagine it like going shopping: buying your fruit in a supermarket may be convenient and all the apple varieties have a little bit of blurb about how they taste, but make regular visits to your local greengrocer and they’ll talk to you about the produce, ask you if you enjoyed the variety you bought last week, and did you know that asparagus is now in season. Given the choice, which customer experience would you find more satisfying? Hopefully the latter!

So your blog creates a friendly smile and the feel of an informal chat, supported by a wealth of knowledge and expertise – it’s a more emotional connection. And it’s also a great way of hearing from your readers/customers and understanding what they really want from you and what you offer. Feedback to a blog post is invaluable, it gives you a direct link to your audience (free market research if you like!) and means you can measure and hone your particular offer.

And of course, the more fresh content you generate by blogging, the more Google and the other search engines will find and index you  the higher you’ll be ranked in their listings and the more likely you’ll be found by customers looking for your product or service.

It’s got to be worth it, hasn’t it?

What’s your view on business blogging? Let me know how long you’ve been blogging and what results you’ve achieved. Can’t wait to hear from you.

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