Hello, Michelle here!
I’m the new web and social media editor on the block here at Sookio HQ.
Now, as someone who cut their copywriting teeth on their very own beauty blog before getting involved with a fair few other blogging projects, I like to think I know a few things about the art of blogging.
Still, it surprises me just how misunderstood the concept of blogging is – in particular, by businesses.
Contrary to popular belief, a blog is not just a repository (hidden away in the deepest darkest depths of your flashy, corporate website) for stream upon stream of your exclamation-strewn consciousness.
If there’s one key thing I’ve learnt during my time on the blogging scene, it's that: when done properly, a strong blog (accompanied by a well-thought-out blogging strategy) provides a super-effective way of achieving your business’ overarching goals – be they sales, brand loyalty or PR-related.
Here are just three ways your business can really make the most out of blogging – no matter what your company’s size or industry:
1. Let your true colours shine through: Writing and publishing regular blog posts is a great way to really show the personality behind your brand.
Yeah, you may have a great product that people buy in their droves, but what we customers are really interested in is learning about the people behind the business. What makes them tick? How do they come up with such great product ideas? Are they more partial to a cup of green tea or a mug of Earl Grey?
By really letting your personality show through in your blog posts, this helps improve customers’ perception of your brand no end.
You’re no longer seen as a faceless, careless, money-driven organisation, but a company filled with real people who understand the product, love what they do and care about their consumers.
The more we, as customers, see and like of you and your brand, the more willing we are to put our trust in you and the more readily we’ll perceive you in a positive light.
The teapigs blog is a really good example of how a company can show a more personal side of itself through regular, fun-filled, photo-laden blog posts.
2. Become an industry expert: Are you a cosmetics company? Then show me you know about my particular skin type and how to care for it! Are you a water filter company? Tell me about the interesting science behind your product and what great charitable initiatives you have to help those less fortunate than us access clean drinking water!
By posting blogs on a wide variety of aspects relevant to your industry (and the product or service you’re selling) we customers are more likely to see you as an expert in that area.
In gaining my respect as a customer and providing me with valuable blog content, I’m less likely to doubt your product’s credentials, more likely to make use of your product/services in future - and more inclined to share your interesting blog posts with my friends who may or may not already have heard of you and your business.
Fashion brand Urban Outfitters provides a great example of a blog that’s relevant to the business it serves but is not all about this sole topic – mixing it up with shareable posts on artists they’ve worked with, new fashion trends and the cities they visited and been inspired by artistically.
3. Boost your visibility in searches: Now, this is the biggie really. It’s also one of the main reasons why businesses set about creating a blog in the first place. SEO (search engine optimisation) relates to whereabouts your business’ website will feature (its ranking) in the list that comes up when you search for something online – be this on Bing, Yahoo! or Google.
Ideally, you want your website to be up there near the top (without having to pay to take out any Google Ads) when people search for the type of product or service that you offer.
Where your blog ranks on these search engine results depends on lots of different (and very, very complicated!) factors determined by the IT boffins at these search engines’ HQs.
However, having a blog section on your site that’s updated regularly, read widely, crammed with highly shareable content and packed full of the sort of keywords and phrases people will be searching for, can only help matters!
For instance, say I wanted some business cards made up, I’m going to search for the term “business cards” which would bring up a list of the top search results. The fact that Moo features right at the top of the list (go on, try it!) is due, in part, to the fact that they boast a strong, super-readable and shareable blog whereas other similar companies do not. It’s also the sort of blog that, irrespective of whether you need/want/like business cards, you’d probably give it a regular read anyway!
So, to conclude…
As you can see, blogging (when done properly!) can benefit your business in many a different way. And, although adding a blog to your website may not translate directly into an increase in sales, the intangible benefits are much, much further-reaching.
Go on, get your blog on! What’re you waiting for?