Why do people blog? What are the benefits? How can you benefit from blogging? Those are a few questions I hope to answer for you in this blog post. In today’s society where information and technology are king, blogs are becoming more and more popular and are being written by everyone from stay at home moms to Fortune 500 companies. In fact, in case you didn’t realize it… you are on my blog right now! Most of the time when we search for an answer on Google or the search engine of choice you will normally get a list of blogs with different opinions about your subject. Heck, you may have landed on this post if you searched for “Why Should I Blog?”. Today we are going to take a look at a few different topics related to blogging and they are:
- What are the statistics about writing and reading blogs?
- Why is blogging beneficial for your company?
- How can you make sure your putting out the best blog for yourself or your company?
- What should we blog about?
Let’s get started!
Blogging comes in a couple different forms… there is a traditional blog such as this one, and then there is micro blogging, which is simply just using Facebook, Twitter, and the like to send out short messages to the world. Let’s take a look at the numbers to really get a grasp on the vast acceptance of blogging.
6.7 million people blog on traditional blogging sites such as this one.
12 million people blog via social networking sites like Facebook.
An estimated 23% of the time people spend on the internet are spent on blogs and social networks.
77% of internet users read blogs.
53.3% of bloggers are 21-35 year olds
The majority of bloggers are women!
As you can see blogging isn’t just a hipster thing or a passing trend, its a fast growing world wide practice, and I suspect that when reflecting back on this blog at the end of 2015, the statistics will have jumped increasingly more. On another note, COME ON GUYS we are losing to the women. Open up a blog and let the opinions fly!
Check out the full infographic at http://www.social4retail.com/the-blog-economy-blogging-stats-infographic-2014.html
Blogging For Your Company
I would normally start off a topic like this by asking something like “should your company blog?” but I think after seeing the statistics in the first section, that the answer could only be YES! However we obviously just can’t leave it at “YES” because this is a blog and what do blogs do? They inform! So let’s take a look at a few reasons why blogging for your company is a good idea.
- They Inform!: Got a special promotion coming up? Wanna share some great news about the growth of your business? These are all situations that make blogging perfect for your company. I am an avid watcher of Shark Tank on NBC, and I have heard over and over the investors ask the question… How are you going to inform the potential customers of your product, and even more so telling them its going to be too hard to inform people about their new products by just using retail displays. This is where blogging can shine and generate your company a lot of buzz, and help inform the general public about your company and products with very little effort.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): This is huge! Search engines love new and valuable content, and by blogging you are giving Google, Bing, and whomever else is out there some nice keywords, phrases, and more. By keeping your blog active, this can be the #1 way to get your company higher up the search engine listings, and help it stay there.
- Free PR: Business bloggers are often interviewed by journalists as industry experts. This can get you some free press!
- Brand Story: Blogging can be a great way to spread the story of your brand. Make people feel personally vested in your company emotionally if they know your journey! This is especially great for small businesses.
Building a Better Blog for your Business
We have covered statistics to show the demand, we have covered why you should blog….. now let’s cover how to build the best blog you can for your company. Blogs are a more personal down to earth approach to deliver information to your current and potential customers and that leads us to our first tip!
- Create a Great About Page: Its all about sharing your story and why your company is the best! It helps build a rapport with your customer and develops brand loyalty. You can find more on creating a dynamite “About” page here.
- Persuasive Call-To-Action (Sidebar): I am going to be a little specific on this one since I am sure most of you reading this have plenty of call to actions on your website, but what about getting rid of the crap in your sidebar and putting one there! You can add anything from an email sign up form or even an advertisement. The sky is the limit! Make that sidebar really count!
- Keywords: When writing the articles for your blog keep keywords in mind. For instance, by me saying “The best keywords for a blog are” could really generate me a lot of hits! Why you ask? Its what people want the answer too, and remember that thing called SEO we talked about earlier? This is directly related. The better the keywords…. the better the ranking! You can find out more on optimizing your blog here at DIYthemes.
- Guest Bloggers: Invite guest bloggers to write an article for your business! Let’s look at one example of why this could be helpful! Let’s say your business is a bookstore, and you invite JK Rowling to write a guest article on what its been like interacting with fans of her books, and she agrees to do so. When shes finished and its published, she will more than likely tweet out or post on facebook the link to your blog, and considering she has literally millions of fans, your blog will be over ran with fans of her work, and while they are visiting, they will more than likely poke around to find out about you, who you are, and maybe even purchase something from you!
- Answer Consumer Questions: “Its called a blog not a brag” as one blogger put it when I was researching material for this article and I agree with him 100%. Take the time to not just talk about yourself, but to also answer some questions that your audience may have about your business. Turn your company into a “true listener” and your customers will notice.
Content Is Everything
Content is king, and what you choose to blog about is really important. As a student of UX Design, I often find that I like to blog about why User Experience Design (UXD) is beneficial to businesses, and that good and bad UX is all around us, in everything we do. For example let’s look at my local Burger King…. they have a handle on the PUSH side of the door….. what the (*@# do you need a handle on the push side of a door? I am sure most everyone has grabbed this type of handle only to feel completely embarrassed because you pulled to open instead of pushing. This is an example of UX gone bad. The correct way is to have a nice flat panel that simply reads push. So next time this happens to you, don’t be embarrased it wasn’t your fault! The designers of that door, are to blame and need to hire someone like me, wink wink. So make sure your content is relevant to your cause, informative, and insightful.
In closing, I think its pretty clear that blogging is extremely important and by doing so you can educate, sell, and communicate with your current and potential customers. Don’t be left behind, open a blog today!