There's certainly a lot of hype around blogging these days - there's the fashion blogger, the social commentator, the salesperson and just about everyone in between. We're all hopping online, hammering away at our keyboards and becoming the published authors of the digital era. We all know that blogging is great for business, essential even - but do any of us know why? This week, we dig deep and uncover five awesome benefits of blogging for business.
1 Boost Search Ranking
Whether you're an expert on search engine optimization (SEO) or not, being aware of search engine power is crucial if you're working in an online space. In a nutshell, increasing your search ranking is pretty self-explanatory: it means making your blog/website easier to find when someone is using a search engine like Google to find information. By blogging, you're creating a better keyword focus for your site.
If you're super tech-savvy you'll know all about this, but for those of you who don't - it's well worth looking into. You can target certain terms - ones which you know your intended audience are likely to search for, in order to bring more traffic to your site. If you want to know more about keyword research, try SEO Nick's 'How to Do Keyword Research for SEO' or if you're completely new to the game, check out the Marketing Donut's 'Keyword Research: A Beginner's Guide'. Adding a blog to your business also allows Google to index more pages, which in turn also increases your search engine ranking.
2 Increase Your Income
No matter what kind of business person you are, or organization you work with, chances are: you wouldn't say no to a little extra cash. Having a blog that's regularly updated provides you with a new platform for earning some well-earned dosh. There are three main ways you can monetize this space: advertising, selling product and publishing sponsored blog posts. Advertising is a pretty simple way to increase your income without you having to do too much additional work - let's face it: you're already running a business and a blog - you don't need anything else on your plate. You can add an advertising sidebar and/or banner to your blog and use Google Adsense or create the widgets yourself and reach out to other businesses who might pay a fee to have their ad displayed there.
Once your blog is up and running, you can also generate additional income through sponsored blog posts. Other businesses either pay you to write about their organization (usually including a link to their site) or they'll write a post themselves and pay you to publish it on your blog. This kind of 'sponsored' blogging can also increase your income without adding to your workload too much. Though we'd advise that you highlight the fact that it is sponsored to your readers, just by adding something like 'Sponsored Post' to the byline - just to maintain your readers' trust.
Last but definitely not least: selling product. Your blog provides you with ample opportunity to explore the benefits and behind-the-scenes stories of any products your business is selling. This allows your potential clients to get to know your product and explore your brand - once they've done this through your blog - they can also purchase directly from those posts. But it doesn't end there! You can sell other people's products through affiliate relationships and pop-up windows. One of the most popular products being sold on blogs at the moment are e-books. These generate passive income as well as provide you with an email list to promote your other products to. Click here for more information on e-books and blogging from Blogging Tips.
3 Build a Network
Blogging provides you with a platform with which you can connect with like-minded people. Reach out to your idols in you chosen field and request an interview. If you get one, great! Post it on the blog in every medium you can - video, audio, transcript. Once you've done this, we can't stress the importance of sharing on social media enough. Be sure to tag your interviewee - you want their followers and fans to see your post too. This is a fantastic way of not only connecting with someone you admire, but also reaching a new audience who are completely right for your business.
If you don't get an interview - that's no drama! You've put your name and your brand out into the world, and more importantly, in front of someone who clearly matters in your industry! Much of blogging is simply about creating awareness. You can also target industry experts - perhaps you could write-up a profile on them and ask for a quote? If you're lucky, maybe they'll be happy to do a guest post on your blog. Whatever the outcome, make the most of these new connections, you never know who they might connect you to in future!
4 Learn New Skills
Nothing will make your business or brand be more successful than if you're constantly learning. Education can only benefit us, and running a blog teaches us so many new skills and lets us dip our toes into some areas that would otherwise remain completely foreign to us. Practice makes perfect when it comes to the written word, and writing content for your blog is no exception. Through posting fresh and engaging content, you'll see a vast improvement in your writing and communication skills. These abilities are essential to running any successful business, and so blogging can only benefit you here. You can also learn how to use Wordpress (only the world's most common Content Management System) - if you know how to use this, chances are you'll be able to learn how to use any basic CMS very quickly. Have you tried your hand at graphic design? Blogging encourages your education down this path, as all great written content is accompanied by even greater images. If we want to get into the real nitty-gritty, developing your blog can also hone your skills in SEO, content marketing, HTML, CSS and online publishing in general.
5 Control Your Online Identity and Stay Informed
There's a pretty high chance there'll be a fair bit of information about your business already available online. A blog is your opportunity to 'set the record straight' when it comes to your brand, and determine what kind of impression your clients and potential clients are getting. It's much simpler to update your blog than fiddling with coding within your site. This makes it so much easier to showcase your portfolio and latest work. This is the ideal way to manage your online presence and identity - how you present your brand on this platform will speak volumes.
Updating your blog with useful and relevant content also ensures that you remain completely informed when it comes to what's going on in your industry. This will not only provide you blog with ultra share-able posts, but will also benefit your brand as a whole. You'll be aware of the latest news, what's trending and most importantly, you'll have a good idea of what's in store for the future.
Let us know what you think! Are there other hidden benefits to blogging for your business? Share them in the comments below!