In the past, I have vouched for having a website for small businesses. But Blogs? Does a small business need a blog? Yes, it does. I have been emphasizing the importance of blogs from time to time. Blogs don’t just work as an information hub for your small business but also greatly help with sales.
In this editorial, I will explain why your small business needs a blog and why your small business website will be of no actual use without one.
Let’s start with a simple fact.
All #Fortune500 businesses have a blog.
I said, “All“. There is not even a single exception.
So, the need for a blog isn’t overrated. You need one for your business as well. With your small business blog, you can do whatever you want – write personal rants, tell office troubles, inform readers about the latest offers, tell customer stories, or even force readers to buy something. No matter what you do, it would be best to have a blog.
Why do I need a Blog for my Small Business?
If you plan on spending $10,000+/month on 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 don’t want to underestimate the importance of blogging.
Take Buffer’s website as an example. On the front page, it looks calm and captivating. But in their blogs, a lot is happening. Buffer uses their blog to do everything – telling stories to gain customers.
Why talk about others? I became a Buffer customer while I was reading one of their articles.
Your website is like a picture. Stable, solid and beautiful. Blogs are kind of movies—these flow with the changes happening around in your business.
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, just like Buffer does.
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 websites that don’t necessarily need a blog:
- Dropbox.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).
- Facebook.com – World’s largest social media network. People log into it an average of 30 times a day. No blog is needed (but they still have one).
- Evernote.com – website and app that lets you take notes, record audio, draw, etc and save 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.
Benefits of having a Small Business Blog
Google loves blogs. Or, more specifically, Google’s users love blogs.
Up-to-date content shows Google that you’re still in business and, in turn, causes Google to display you more often to their users. Not just this, more than half of the people on the planet use Google to search for a product, service or business every day.
Proper SEO can only be achieved through blogging. I know this is a strong statement. But I believe this by experience. 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 going to happen.
If you just have a static website, Google thinks either you or your business is dead. A blog can help you relay updates to Google and other search engines.
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 is easy to get started and doesn’t require you to pay much, 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.
People like Neil Patel 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 and 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 your customers’ questions, you too will be seen as an authority and will begin to see your business grow.
Let’s face it; there are 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 will share those kinds of posts with their friends. (Unless that’s a massive scam, like $15,843 to 15 people who comment and share this post, but even that’s not a very cost-effective way to grow a brand).
What they do want to hear is 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 uncontrollable 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 logic makes sense, the more information you put out for search engines to index about your business, the more likely it is 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, email opt-ins, quote requests, and ultimately, more sales.
Why People Like Blogs?
People don’t hop on the Internet for the sole purpose of buying your stuff.
If I am browsing the internet, I know from where I will be buying something I need. Amazon, Walmart, Etsy, eBay… we all have these shopping portals in mind. What you need to do, is to convince them to buy (a) from your website, or (b) buy your product (if that is selling on Amazon etc.).
Blog articles help in this purpose. You can rank higher on the keywords related to your business. And once a lead lands on one of your blog posts, you can persuade them to buy the products you sell. Even if you could not sell a product this time, you would at least have your brand name in their mind. You can try lead capture techniques to subscribe them to your email list and persuade them later using email offers.
Do you really need a blog?
You already have the answer to this now.
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, ignoring the more than 4 billion searches done on Google every day is a disservice to what you’re doing.
Just remember one thing.
You need to 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 the business are fun. If you hate writing, you can hire a freelancer to do that for you. You can even hire me (my rates are very reasonable). Otherwise, you can try Fiverr. They have quality content writers available at reasonable rates. There are other writing platforms too that mediate between writers and businesses.