The hardest sell to most small business owners is a blog. Why do you need a blog? You don’t read blogs, your customers don’t expect you to have a blog, and you’re not sure what “blog” means anyway. I’m going to sell you on a blog.

Let’s start at the beginning. A “blog” – which is short for “weblog” – is a webpage that hosts informally-written articles. These articles, called “posts” can cover any topic and are based on the opinion of the author. Think of it like the Op Ed section of the newspaper.

Bonus Definition: A “vlog” is a video blog. Which I strongly feel should be “olog”.

Blog and Pen

I digress.

Blog posts are written conversationally. Think of it as though you’re writing an email to your mom. Why would you write an email to your mom and the put it on your professional website? For the search engine optimization (SEO) opportunities. That’s plural because the blog is a cornucopia of SEO prosperity.

Pretend for a moment that your company makes novelty cookie cutters. If you write a blog post about your new line of superhero cookie cutters, someone searching for your company might find your post and delight in your new product. They will remember you, maybe bookmark your site, and they will definitely tell their friends. I hear you; the same could happen by finding your product page.

The most important reason to have a blog is to capitalize on their incidental marketing power.

If Dave searches for “superhero cookie cutters” and he sees your post in the search results, he’ll also discover your company. And when Simone searches for “superhero party theme ideas” she might find your post because you mentioned what a great addition these cookie cutters make to superhero party planning. Because your posts are available indefinitely, prospective leads could find your blog post months after you’ve written it. Years. Decades.

One blog post could generate leads forever.

And that’s one of the reasons we write blog posts informally; because you increase the odds of showing up in search engine results if your writing matches the words or phrases people are typing into a search engine. It’s not a straight-laced editorial decision that the title of this blog is an often-asked question instead of something clever or eye-catching.

The other reason we write informally is to connect with the audience on a person-to-person level. It’s inviting, entertaining, and easy to understand. You’re having a conversation over tea instead of a hard sell. People like humanity in business: it demonstrates that you care about your work, and your customers. When people like you, they want to be friends and sign up for your newsletter, follow your social media feeds; they will keep you in mind, and on the screen.

Regularly adding new content to your website also helps you climb the search engine ranks, which make blog posts a good way for retailers with fixed product pages to stay relevant in searches.

Don’t worry about the amount of visits, comments, shares or likes you get. Instead, look for correlations between what you wrote about and related product sales. Did you get 70 hits on your superhero cookie cutter post yesterday and sold 10 superhero cookie cutters? Success! Take those other metrics into consideration so that you know what garners the most attention to help you choose topics, but the overall goals of your blog are longevity, PR, and to demonstrate your expertise as a leader in your industry.


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