Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes
By Louise Bennett
Blogging has been around for ages now, and really started to gather momentum from 2004 onward. At the time of writing this blog, I had a quick look at some statistics and it's estimated that there are now more than 350 million blogs worldwide.
Whether or not you have a large readership (or any at all!) for your business blog, it's still worthwhile blogging for the following reasons:
Blogging helps your customers to engage with your business on another level
While comments, shares and likes for your blog can be boosting to your confidence, they also show that your customers are engaging with your business or service. There's the inevitable downside to this, of course, with possible negative or critical comments, but I think most customers are now fairly savvy with knowing that there will always be criticism (whether valid or not) and they'll tend to go with the majority. Certainly I'll read through several comments before purchasing a product to get an overall view of 5-10 comments before making a decision. And it's often easy to spot the people who just want to pull a business down. It's also easy to spot fake comments that are a bit too 'glowing.'
Using blogs for strategic purposes
For many small business owners, you can actually test out your ideas for article or ebooks on blog topics. This is a great way to see whether there is enough interest in your topic before investing a lot of time. So if you have an idea, write a shortish blog around it (around 750-1500 words) outlining the key idea or theme, and then see what interest (if any) your blog generates.
Another insight is to look at your blog to see what comments or threads of conversation it has created. Then any questions or areas of interest can be integrated into your article or book. This is basically researching what your market is interested in - and it's invaluable (and free).
Keep your blog within your website wherever possible
Some businesses blog using an external platform (such as blogger.com etc) and then link to their blog from their website. However, it's strongly advised these days to integrate your blog into your own business website for search engine rankings and navigational ease.
So, the answer to whether or not blogging is valuable for your business is definitely YES! Just don't get disheartened if you don't have much of a readership. Keep plugging along. I rarely get comments for my blog, but it doesn't worry or deter me, because when potential clients look at my site they see that I'm regular, I'm interested in my topics and I care enough to keep at it. That speaks volumes about my work ethic and reliability!
Please do leave your comments or feedback below. I love to hear from you!