7 reasons why blogging is good for business

Many business owners are reluctant to start their own blog. I certainly do appreciate how intimidating it can be, after all you are putting yourself out there, but that is the same feeling you must have had when you first started your business. Starting something of your own and going public about it definitely sets expectations and can feel a little daunting at first, but once you get started it gets easier and easier.

The reality is that you know something your clients don't and that makes you an expert in your field. This is what you should be blogging about and the following seven reasons will explain why blogging is good for your business.

1. Generate sales leads

By writing about the problems your business can solve, and offering solutions to these problems you will draw in potential customers who find value in what you are writing. By building your blog around helping people and welcoming a dialog around your posts through comments you can generate potential sales leads as your blog reaches a broad enough audience.

Beyond that, now that you have a few blog posts, you can start increasing exposure by posting links to them on social media sites and other industry-related websites or forums. Spread the word about your blog and use it as a marketing tool to show how you can solve problems or provide advice in your field.

2. Improve your search engine ranking

There are hundreds of factors that determine search engine ranking, but none matter more than your online footprint - the number of quality links pointing to your website. Search engines look for the authority on given search terms and use the infinite web of links to calculate this.

By running a regular blog, you have an endless flow of content that can be linked to. There isn't much to link to on a small website with only static content. Your blog posts give people something they can link to and talk about on their social networks.

Dynamic content is where its at according to Google's 2011 Freshness Update where it altered its search algorithm to put more emphasis on website's with up-to-date fresh content. A blog is a great way to keep posting new and unique content on your website.

3. Establish credibility and trust

By writing about what you know, you will attract like-minded individuals and develop an information-sharing network. By writing consistently, readers will get to know you and begin to trust what you have to say. When you offer your opinion in a respectful and sincere manner, it is often well received.

Blogging is an intimate process. Over time, as the readers gets to know you and build their trust in you, you will build up credibility on this topic and establish yourself as an expert on the topic. This credibility and trust can serve as a foundation for securing sales to new customers.

4. Make new, and solidify existing, connections

Blogging will get the attention of all types of people in your industry and many will feel compelled to get in on the conversation. This is a great way to make new connections. If the old proverb "it's who you know that matters" holds any weight with you, then you'll want to make as many connections as you can. 

Malcolm Gladwell states in his book The Tipping Point: "The success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts."

By responding to your follower's comments, you strengthen those relationships and create loyalty in your readers, who now feel they have made a connection with you. You can even use the dialog as a source of potential blog topics based on which discussions flare up the most.

5. Learn and get feedback

Finding topics that are interesting and relevant is not always easy, but as you write more and more, it will come naturally. Blogging will keep you thinking about your business, your industry, your competitors, your clients and the problems they have - it will keep your mind on alert and the topics will flow easily.

A blog is the perfect platform for putting your ideas or concepts out there and getting feedback on them to gauge their potential before you implement them in the business. Once you have followers, you can engage them by simply asking for feedback. It's simple and it works. When you ask for opinions, you usually get more than you expect.

Knowledge is power. The more you write, the more effective your writing will become as you begin to anticipate things that your readers may point out in comments. This process will enable you to hone your communication skills and this can benefit you in many areas of your business.

6. Educate your clients and promote your products

Create awareness through your blog by explaining things and letting people in on the "why" and "how" of what your business is doing. Your loyal clients will appreciate this insight and will likely tell others about this information you've shared.

The more people understand your belief system and philosophy, the more they will appreciate what you are trying to do. Blogging about your products and the reasons why you came up with them will help sell them. Writing about your business and your products will improve your messaging - and this will benefit you not online online, but in person as well.

Your blog posts will also serve as a tool for your readers to promote your products and educate others too by re-posting and re-purposing your content.

7. It gets you in the game

Many business owners I know still claim that Twitter or Facebook is for kids and doesn't apply to their business, but that's usually because they just haven't yet figured out how social media can help their business.

It's hard to jump into the social media game without having something to say. Blogging helps get you focused on your comfort zone and producing content that you can then contribute and spark discussions around. Blogging is the perfect way to get you in the social media game.

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