Learn How a Blog Can Benefit your Business

Guest post by Liz Krause
It seems over the last 12-18 months every business had jumped on board with either turning their company into a blog, or at least adding a blog to their existing website.

From looking at business blogs online, including our own, I’ve found during the first four or five months the blog is full of creative ongoing posts either from the boss himself or whoever was behind the new blog upgrade. Typically that once the newness and novelty has worn off the blog owner/manager’s dedication to timely blog postings begins to slip and soon they become fewer and fewer.

In my view, blogs are not critical for every business, however every business could benefit to some degree by having one – if used correctly.

Here are some tips to find out how blogs can benefit your company:

View your blog as a value-add, not a sales generator.

Too often companies can have this assumption that a blog will generate more sales. This is not always the case as it depends on how your blog is used.

For example, if your company sells gardening supplies you could use your blog to talk on topics that potential customers would have, such as what plants grow well near swamps. This will provide the potential consumer an answer as well as direct them to where they can order these types of plants (ideally from you!).

However, if your company does not sell products but mainly services, such as accountant services, then the purpose of generating sales leads will be less considering this is a very geographically based service.

On the other hand, an accountant can use the blog to add value to the website by providing informative data to clients, he/she such as explaining recent tax updates and changes, current tax forms and even instructions for filling out forms properly. This all adds value to the services of this business.

Use the blog to help your page rankings

As less and less people tend to use the actual phone book to lookup up businesses, the benefits of appearing in the top of the search engine results for your company service/product terms is never more important.

One of the areas that the search engines look for when running their ever changing algorithms is fresh quality content. The more information a company can put on their website the more engines such as Google or Bing will spider and index those pages. This will help your site look more favorably as a valuable and legitimate source of information for people who search on terms related to the content of your site.

Use a blog to aid internal linking

When incorporating SEO, we normally tend to focus on the benefits of external linking, however, internal linking is just as important. You can see Google’s Matt Cutts explains it here himself on You Tube .

There are two main reasons:
a. Search engines spider our sites, and they do this by following hyperlinks. This is why a sitemap is important as it is a clean way of getting the engines to easily spider the content on each of our pages.

b. Internal linking should be used as a way to reference other related parts of the website. For example, if your company sells a variety of phones, and you have a blog post mentioning the latest upgrade for the Polycom xxxx phone used for SIP Trunking and connectivity, then you can link from that post to the page where you sell the Polycom line of phones. This allows the potential client to easily navigate directly to that page for more information without having to search around the entire site.

Blog postings do not guarantee immediate sales

Recently I was asked by our CFO, to explain the point of a blog for business. I explained the exact points I listed above. I wasn’t sure how he would react as I stood there wishing I could just tell him it will help our bottom line and bring in vast amounts of revenue. After all, CFOs are concerned with the bottom line and everything else – well that’s just not their department.

However I did manage to explain the value of a blog… when used correctly. I’m sure you have had to explain these points as well, and if not – you will.

Blogs which are used as an extension of the overall business site, should be viewed not so much as a sales tool, but an avenue for marketing the company name, products and services. Using blogging as a marketing tool brings awareness to the company brand and the value their products provide their customers.

A business should not put the resources into maintaining a blog unless they understand the point of the blog. Blogs are a supportive arm of a business, yet if it is used improperly it can project a poor image on that business. Blogs are often viewed as a personal journal and it is important for businesses to make certain a professional tone is maintained in each and every post.

With a clear understanding of the overall goal of your company blog, you will find it easier to not only write on topics of interest, but to provide compelling and valuable content as a benefit for both your customer and your SEO techniques.

This guest post was provided by Liz Krause of EtherSpeak, Inc. , which is a SIP trunk service provider located in Central, VA. Liz writes on a variety of topics and subjects. You can follow EtherSpeak on Twitter at http://twitter.com/etherspeak or Join us on Facebook!.  The principles above are from personal experience working with a Microsoft Lync SIP Trunking Service Provider as their Marketing Manager promoting IP business solutions such as business quality voip service and internet fxing services .

Comments

  1. From here, most of the people will get benefits on here :) thanks a lot for sharing your post on here :)

  2. I totally agree because we use our blogs as a timeline so our customers know what we are doing and in which dirrection we as a business are going. It is too early to say but we believe that our blog has helped our business, in terms of SEO.

  3. I like the last paragraph – indeed, a blog should be used as a business card, so it needs to have the right attitude and transmit a message. I like to visit Cisco’s blog – it is very professional in all aspects, but also it has an informal tone, so it’s easy to read.

    • Great point Mia – people pick up on professionalism and it’s so important to keep that in mind in everything we do – especially with our sites! I like your business card analogy – well spoken!

  4. “Your Blog should be used as a business card.” great advice.

    My blog has been in existence for about 6 months and I haven’t gained any major work from the actual blog.

    However… What I have gained is the fact that potential clients read through my blog and then decide to use my services. I’m sure it has helped get my business over the line with about 50% of my current customers.

    • I’m sure it has Robin. That’s the whole marketing aspect of the blog. Marketing is about generating leads and it sounds like your blog is doing just that! Good job!

  5. Surely every company who has a site should have a blog as the place of informal communication and development among clients and workers. I think there should be at least one person who should be responsible for running such a blog and if it is done properly it will be great benefit to the site.

  6. Good points! It’s not a one night money deal for a blog. it takes time and trust from your readers.
    I’ve meet a couple of business owners that are against blogging, the reason? They don’t want to share their idea / information. But they do want to have some sales through their website, tried explaining they never listen.

  7. Fabulous post, Liz — thank you!

    You’re right. Not every business absolutely needs a blog. But for the most part, I consider a blog to be the “Grand Central Station” of a business!

    A blog helps your business to brand itself. It’s the ideal locale to showcase your expertise. Lots of questions can be answered through blog posts and certainly lots of customer service issues can be addressed via posts, as well.

    What I like to focus on the most is educating, enriching, enlightening, and entertaining my readers.

    Blogging is my all-time favorite social media platform! :)

    Wishing you tremendous success at EtherSpeak!
    Melanie

  8. Hi Liz,

    It is important for the online business marketers to know about this because sometimes they are more focused on their sales and products and not the benefits of the blogs.

  9. Great article Liz,

    I would like to add where you say “use the blog to help your page rankings” that adding fresh content it’s not the only way that you can rank in the first pages so people can find you. You need to do keyword research by using KW Tools and write posts that are not too competitive! First you have to know who your audience is and then make a blog post!

    To your success,
    John

  10. Great writeup. I agree with all these useful elements of blogging. I also use blogging for all these benefits.

  11. Great Liz!!!!

  12. Lorarian89 says:

    Great post!!! very useful info! I’m using a blog for my business and got some great tips in here, so many thanks!

  13. Great article for newbies as well as experienced bloggers too. It is really crucial for me to know about the benefits from online business. You made it clear. thanks for sharing.

  14. Really nice stuff… learned alot from all this… will be starting one more effectively now…Thanks

  15. Really nice stuff.. this is something i want to go through before starting my blog… Thanks

  16. Good Informative Post Liz.

    Your post inspires me not only to view the blog as the sales tool, and there are many things right behind that such as to create awareness for company brand & product and many more.

    Thanks Liz :)

  17. Blogs are for champions! Company blogs are well worth the time and effort because it really does increase their brand awareness.
    Companies who leave valuable free information that anyone can read is well respected now.

  18. Edward Culligan says:

    This was absolutely a great post. Its because of people like you who write interpreting material we all are able to benefit from it. Thanks so much

  19. I would rather read about how blog would hurt your business :P

  20. For me, the main benefit of blogging is to maintain connection to other people. Others won’t be clueless of any business udpates. Through comments, a business owner can also have an idea on how to improve the business structure too. Blog is a matter of long term investment than short term investment.

  21. Thanks for the interesting info! I like it.

  22. I agree on focusing on putting value to blogs’ contents rather than making a sale. I prefer authors that share how they came to see or think of the product. Adding value can gain the trust of viewers, and can most likely make a sale.

  23. Another great post from Liz, Thanks!

  24. Judith Santiago says:

    “Your Blog should be used as a business card.” great advice. I like the last paragraph – indeed, a blog should be used as a business card, so it needs to have the right attitude and transmit a message. Companies who leave valuable free information that anyone can read is well respected now. Great point Mia – people pick up on professionalism and it’s so important to keep that in mind in everything we do – especially with our sites!

  25. Absolutely brilliant! I loved that video by mark – it really helps to understand everything mush better! This is so helpful!

  26. If every business knew this >> “View your blog as a value-add, not a sales generator.”, they would find it easier to blog for business. Thanks for highlighting that. Many businesses think a business blog is an instant sales generator and when no sales come through quickly, they give up and abandon the blog. A blog is more of a value add than a sales generator, like you have rightly put it.

    Thanks.

    Mike

  27. The best practice is to connect your blog with your website. Regular updates on blog is helpful in achieving a good rank in searching engines. After the Penguin2.0 update Google taking serious steps towards the duplicate content websites and giving a good rank to websites using blogs.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] How can a blog benefit your business? [...]

  2. [...] The When: One would assume, if you’re in business, you’re in business to make money. So you’re likely thinking, “When will I see actual business after writing all these lists, posts, and updates?” Well, your blog is not a sales tool. It’s a marketing vehicle for your brand and an opportunity to attract a new audience for your services. In other words, think of it as added value. It sets you apart from your competition by offering extra information and expertise that benefits your customer. It makes you more accessible online and more easily found. In short, it provides a lot of value to your business and your clients while building your brand, online presence, and reputation. But it may take time and it’s success all depends on your goals and expectations. If you expect to put up a blog and be ringing up sales after your first post, you’ll likely be disappointed. Give it time. The more content you share on your blog, the higher you’ll rank in search-engine results. It adds up. And again, when’s the last time you used a phone book? [...]

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