"Content isn't King, it's the Kingdom." - Lee Odden
Over 60% of US companies don't use blogging as a form of marketing.
If you're a part of that 60%, you're missing out on a great opportunity to improve your business.
How you're hurting your business
Blogging can be one of the lowest cost and effective marketing tools you engage in. But it requires long term commitment to the processes of creating great content. A lack of commitment is where so many content marketing strategies fail. IBM cited that about 80 percent of corporate blogs never post more than five entries. What lost opportunity does this translate into?
To start B2B (business to business) businesses that blog, regularly, receive 97% more link backs then those that don't. It's estimated that 81% of US online consumers trust information and advice they read on blogs. Considering those two stats it's no surprise that B2B businesses who blog get 67% more leads then those that don’t. Blogging is just good for business.
What should you do to stop hurting your business? As you might have already guessed start blogging. (Gasp!)
The internet discusses this topic a lot. But if this is the first time you've heard that blogging is good for business don't worry we all start somewhere. I designed this post to be the starting point for your journey into blogging.
Let's get into it.
What is blogging?
Blogging is a process that creates short to medium length content, on a regular basis, to achieve measurable goals. (What a mouth full)
That definition has a lot packed into it and it should be clear right away that blogging takes a lot of work, but the payoff is worth the effort.
Let me break this definition down.
The process refers to all the formalized steps you need to take to establish, and maintain a blog. Some of the steps include;
- Creating an editorial guide
- Creating a content mix and schedule
- Who will be writing and publication steps
- Setting goals
Speaking of goals; why are we blogging in the first place?
The most common goal, in blogging, for business is to generate more leads. That isn't the only goal. In many cases a business will have multiple goals for a blog which can include:
- Gaining authority in their field or industry
- Driving brand awareness
- Gaining partnerships and community engagement
- And many more
It’s also important to set personal goals / reasons for writing. This prevents burnout and makes writing more enjoyable. I use blogging as an educational process. I research a topic, take notes, write an article, read and re-write the article. This process allows me to learn concepts and explore and re-work my understanding of topics. It’s an eye opening experience to read your own point out loud and realise it makes no sense. A real - oops maybe I should re-think that - moment.
Remember goals need prioritization. Having no priority will cause your blog to lose focus and become counter-productive.
To make prioritization easier keep your list of goals short. If you find yourself with a monster list of goals, then just give up on blogging all together... (No not really). Review your list. Ask yourself; are any of these redundant or worse conflicting?
If this doesn't reduce the list then you might have too broad an audience. If that’s true you'll want to consider creating multiple blogs / sections to focus on these groups.
A great example of this in action is HubSpot. They have 3 separate audiences they want to attract; Marketing, Sales, and Agency professionals. Each audience gets its own section on the website, differentiated by colour as well as unique search and subscription options. The articles written share similar topics but they are written for those audiences.
If you’re not blogging; why aren’t you? Is it because you don’t want to generate 67% more leads? Probably not. It's likely that you want to start but don’t know where to begin. You’re in luck! This my first article in a series about blogging and content strategy. I hope you learned enough about content marketing here to get you started. In future articles I will go in-depth on the subject of creating a successful blog.
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Feel free to contact me with your questions.