And now – a blog about blogging.
We’re diving into this metanarrative matryoshka doll of a topic because, as we’ve surveyed the digital marketing landscape, what we’ve found is trillions upon trillions of half-completed WordPress.org blogs with three entries, each posted years apart, with nothing since May 2012. These abandoned blogs litter websites of every shape and size, from Fortune 500 companies to the corner store.
That’s not a blog. That’s a ghost town.
It’s like a memo went out around 2010 that everyone needed to put a blog on their website – and nobody’s touched ‘em since.
But if you have a blog, you need to make it a priority. An untended blog makes your website look unmanaged, and raises the question as to whether you’re even still in business, where an active, well-developed, well-written blog continually provides engaging content that can help drive traffic via both organic search and organic sharing.
Think about how people find your website. Direct traffic (people typing in “www.website.com” or whatever) really only accounts for a small percentage, and generally isn't even new prospects; they already know your business, and are going right there on purpose. But generally, you want to drive traffic that includes new prospects, and then build their interest and loyalty.
And blogging is a big part of that strategy. It does three main things:
- It improves your search engine ranking
- It encourages social sharing
- It delights existing customers and drives new prospects further down the sales funnel
It Improves Your Search Engine Ranking
See, every single blog post you write is one more indexed page for your website. That means you have more opportunities to show up in search results for a larger variety of topics. So more people find you, more people reach you, and more people engage with your content.
The audience for an individual blog post builds over time. Whatever the initial traffic, eventually it’s indexed by Google, which means it drives visits over time. So it’s less “how did the blog do on day one,” and more like this:
In other words, a blog post now can turn into traffic for years and years to come. On an active, engaging blog, you can begin to bank that most traffic and most leads come from older posts. And while not every post will be this high-traffic-generating lead machine, if you aren’t posting, then you won’t have any. It’s like that old Gretzky truism: you miss every shot you don’t take.
It Encourages Social Sharing
Blogs are shareable. That’s kind of the main thing they are.
Think about the blog posts you’ve read recently. Absent a couple of blogs you may subscribe to, most of them you probably found on Facebook. Friends’ Tumblr pages, blogs of news sites, even clickbaity Buzzfeed posts – these bite-size content pieces are easy to share and easy to consume, and millions of people are clicking and reading and consuming every day.
Why wouldn’t you want a piece of that?
Your ideal clients are out there – and they’re already interested in what you do. Interested enough to share what they find, and click when your stuff turns up in their news feed. Building out blog content helps you address a wider ranger of their interest, establishing your reputation as an authority while increasing their investment in your content.
Imagine: sending your clients content you generated in-house that educates and informs them about their biggest concerns. The impact can be enormous; increased engagement leads directly to increased sales. When prospects can find answers to their questions, they’re much more likely to come into the sales process at all, and enter it with a much higher degree of education on your place in the market – pre-warming them to your offerings.
It Delights and Converts
Every post is an opportunity to generate new leads.
Think about it. You write a great blog post about your industry, and your readers are loving it. If you place a conversion opportunity at the bottom – something as simple as “learn more” or “get in touch” – you’re much more likely to snag their contact information. And that’s especially true if you place more relevant content right behind that conversion opportunity.
Regular blogging provides additional value to your existing clients, confirming and reinforcing their decision to do business with you, and helping to keep them in the sales funnel longer-term.
It’s time to prioritize your blog! You don’t have to post sixteen times a day like HubSpot, but frequent posting is a plus; HubSpot finds that companies that publish 16+ blogs a month generate 3.5x as much traffic. And it scales depending on your company's size.
Obviously your posting frequency is going to depend highly on the availability of your internal resources. But by posting with regularity, you build up a content library that drives engagement and pushes sales well into the future.