By Shelley Widhalm
Are blogs like legwarmers that are trendy and fashionable, popular in the ’80s and back in style again?
Or are they like the necessary boots and thick socks that are the staple of any wardrobe in a climate with seasons?
With more than 150 million blogs in existence, it seems like everyone should be blogging from business owners to writers to anyone who wants to get their writing to readers, customers and clients.
But are blogs here to stay, necessary for your marketing wardrobe?
Google certainly likes blogs and other written content for Search Engine Optimization to give businesses, nonprofits and individuals higher online rankings, especially for recent content.
But blogging goes beyond simple SEO. It’s part of branding. It’s an aspect of creating a platform. And it’s a form of marketing.
Consistent, quality blogging creates an image. It demonstrates expertise and authority in a niche. And it gets readers to turn to you, because, over time, they begin to value your knowledge and how you relay that knowledge, your values and what you see as important.
“Writing creates a perceived leadership position and is a value positioning statement at the same time. It also allows those who agree with your ideas or philosophy to connect with you,” said Jeffrey Gitomer in “Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness.”
Blogs should educate and entertain and not be space fillers vying for that SEO. Content-mill produced blogs are written only to get clicks—what’s created is SEO-stuffed with little meaning and value. They only are about quantity.
Alternatively, quality blogs create relationships, build audiences and convert readers to customers. They result in engagement and a following.
Research shows that blogs should be posted once a week on the same day of the week, and not randomly, especially with big gaps of time and a mishmash of topics. To create quality blogs, think about your target market. Who are you writing to? What voice do you want to use to reach them? What is it you want to say?
Blogs are a way to talk about your business, your newest product or service, your latest book or your artwork. It’s a way to show your process of creation. It’s a way to show what attracts customers specifically to your business. And it shows why you are the best to offer what you offer.
Here are some advantages of blogging. Blogs can:
- Put you in front of your customers, serving a similar purpose as an ad or marketing materials.
- Bring traffic to your website.
- Nurture and build a relationship with your audience through regular connection.
- Separate you from your competition.
Blogs also can be used to tell your story and to make your business look personal and inviting. They’re not just about what’s for sale.