The Blogosphere is here and it is not going anywhere. It’s not just for people talking about what their eating for lunch or their next celebrity crush. Blogging is big business for entrepreneurs and business owners. CEO Blog Nation recently launched a blogging community and we regularly blog for entrepreneurs and business owners and there are numerous reasons to blog.
Rescue a CEO asked some businesses how they use blogging to help their business.
1) Answering Questions
As a personal injury attorney, a good portion of our blog content is focused on answering questions people might have about the personal injury legal process, but we also like to alert people to changes in Illinois law or changes in roadways or traffic patterns that might impact them on a daily basis. Safety is a big concern for us since so many accidents can be mitigated ahead of time, so we provide actionable tips for people to take into consideration when driving, traveling with their families, or partaking in outdoor activities.
Thanks to Jared B. Staver, Staver Law Group, P.C.!
2) The People Behind the Company
I cringe when I go on a business website and the blog is neglected and it gives me the feeling that the business is not on top of its game. That’s why I always recommend to businesses that if they aren’t going to update their blog, don’t add it! A corporate website is usually pretty static. A blog consistently adds new information to the website so the search engines like that. Moreover, it enables the company to get information out about its latest developments at the company and in the industry. The public wants to know the people behind the company and a blog does that!
Thanks to Bob Bentz, ATS!
Example Post: Facebook Advertising for SMB's
3) Amplify Content & Engage Our Readership
We use our blog to help amplify our content and engage our existing readership. Typically its about ways that people have used our service or educating them on why they should use our service.
Thanks to Roger Wu, Cooperatize!
Example Post: What Agency Department Will Claim It?
4) Leverage Points as a Leader
I've been actively blogging for more than eight years. It is, without question, one of my greatest leverage points as a leader. In addition to contributing content to a number of industry websites, I also maintain a blog on Blue Corona's Intranet. Our own external, marketing blog has generated well over a million dollars in revenue, which is an absolutely incredible ROI even when you consider the time we've invested in content production.
Thanks to Ben Landers, Blue Corona, Inc.!
5) Questions Submitted by Clients
Our staff has really succeeded with blogging for our website which is such a difficult task for any business to start, and maintain over time. Many businesses have resorted to hiring outside writers, which I don't feel is the right approach because your in-house staff will best be able to create content that is engaging to your core consumer base, as well as appropriate for your brand. I asked two of our sales staff, Jessica and Amy, to put their talents to work for the blog. Their blog posts sometimes come from questions submitted by clients like in the Ask Amy section, or are very current and engaging topics about jewelry, fashion and watches. I have found that one of the best ways to attract blog visitors is through proper SEO in addition to social media. Optimizing for SEO will help ensure that your posts are able to rank higher and ultimately be seen in the search engines. Social media is especially useful as long as you build a strong following- a tribe of readers who love the content you share. This is done by giving them content that they enjoy seeing in their social media feeds. Not only will you see readership levels go up, but conversions as well. You need to be inherently useful to your followers. Not just kind of useful but truly useful and they will keep you close to them. These social platforms are unprecedented because they put businesses and their friends together and their friends aren't constantly trying to sell to them, so you shouldn't either. These permission based marketing vehicles allow small businesses to continually engage with these potential clients and win business.
Thanks to Jayme Pretzloff, Wixon Jewelers
6) SEO & Increased Web Traffic
Just became CEO of a great Startup that didn't have a content strategy and was getting just under 1000 visitors a month to the site. We've added a blog that we then share on Social Media (primarily Twitter) and that has increased our Traffic to our site since February to 6000 visitors a month. Long-Term we'll get great SEO benefits that will help us rank higher on Google, but short-term it's driving us a great increase in Web traffic. We plan to continue adding 3-5 new pieces of content a week that will be shared on Social Media to increase that traffic even further! Lastly we're quoting entrepreneurs in our blog and tagging them on Social Media when the post is released. They in-turn share us to their audience for even further reach.
Thanks to Mike Kawula, Social Quant!
7) Thought Leader in my Field
I use my weekly blog to connect not just with potential customers, but with those who might refer my service to people they know. By posting original and useful information about home maintenance, organization tips, and property trends, I increase my authority and set myself apart as a thought leader in my field. I push my blog posts out to other social media sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) to expand my business reach.
Thanks to Elaine Kollaja, Fixit Stageit Sellit!
Example post: The #1 Best Tip for Decluttering Success
8) Marketing & Education Tools
At Block Island Organics we put out a weekly blog post (http://www.blockislandorganics.com/blog/) that is one of our most effective marketing and education tools. We use it to discuss everything from company news to humorous events to sun care education. For us it's a perfect way to communicate our company values. Beyond that it is also a great marketing tool. Some of our education articles are great evergreen topics that do well for long tail SEO. They consistently drive traffic over time. The more time specific and/or humorous articles are great to share on social media. They generate immediate interest to drive traffic plus they are just fun to write. Beyond those we also blog because we think it's important to spread the word about sun care. It's such an important topic for one's health and relatively easy to do – a little daily sunscreen – yet so many folks are unaware. For example, skin cancer is the #1 cancer in the United States. I really can't think of a better way to communicate our beliefs while also getting marketing value than blogging.
Thanks to Will von Bernuth, Block Island Organics!
Business Blog: Block Island Organics Blog
9) Valuable Information & Content
We use our blog as a way to provide valuable, informative, educational content about the commercial real estate world — a topic that can be very complicated. We provide clients with information about the process in a way that is digestible and interesting. By delivering this consistent, ongoing valuable content we believe that they will ultimately develop loyalty to our brand, trust our knowledge and authority on the space, and chose to use us for their commercial real estate needs.
Thanks to Emily Elliot, TheSquareFoot!
10) Educate Current & Prospective Customers
More than anything, we use our blog to educate current and prospective customers. What our company does (frequent employee surveys) is a shift from the traditional mindset of most companies, so as much as we can educate people on why we're doing what we're doing, the smarter our users will be, which will lead to higher retention once they sign up.
Thanks to Jacob Shriar, Officevibe!
11) Education-Based Marketing
Blogs for my business (publishing) are used as what is called “education-based” marketing. Publishing is not a quick explanation. Authors and clients need to be educated and made aware about the process. I can't translate 25 years of experience and knowledge into a single conversation or piece of promo. I have to develop ideas and find ways to communicate information, value and benefits. My blog does that for me.
Thanks to Michelle Gamble, 3L Publishing!
Our blog has become a great place to network with other small business owners and companies. We started it for the normal reasons – blogging is an excellent SEO tool, and I liked the idea of have a place for our customers and visitors to access good, informative content. Cross-blogging seemed like a natural progression since it allowed us to bring in outside perspective and expertise. And while it did just that, it has also been monumentally useful in helping us expand our network of business owners and partners. In fact, whenever we bring in a new partner, a major part of that relationship is an agreement to regularly swap posts.
Thanks to Deborah Sweeney, MyCorporation!
13) Portfolio of Work
As a blogger and copywriter, I use my blog as a portfolio of my work. It is a place where I create new content aimed at my target audience, share news about my business, and provide links to my work on other websites and blogs. I will often use content from my website in social media updates. It’s a great way to drive traffic to my website. In fact, social media sharing of my blog posts is about half the traffic.
Thank you Anne McAuley, McAuley Freelance Writing!
14) Touchpoint for Brand Interaction
I have a company blog that I update 3+ times a week. I primarily use it as another touchpoint for my customers to interact with my brand. Since I am not releasing new products every week it is a nice way for me to communicate with my customers without always feeling like I'm constantly pushing a hard sell. The secondary reason for posting on my blog is to generate traffic through social media and organic search. Writing good quality articles that are relevant to my brand and my customers not only helps to get my brand in front of a larger audience, but also helps my keyword ranking, a huge bonus. I always publish at least one post a week that shows how my customers can style their VAUGHAN shirts. I try to give them new ideas and really showcase the versatility of the brand.
Thanks to Lindsay Narain, V A U G H A N
Example Post: A classic white shirt for 6 of our favorite Mad (wo)Men
15) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
I run a boutique consulting firm called Cascade Asia. We are focused on Southeast Asia primarily working in the political intelligence and market research space. We noticed early on that most of our competitors, who were much better financed and well established, were not using a blog and seemed to be relying more on traditional media appearances and well-known executives. With no brand equity to speak of when we first started out in 2012, we began churning out regular blog posts at first to help our SEO, which it did. It did something else though that surprised us; it lead to media inquiries. Many of our press appearances–CNN, Forbes, LA Times, etc, originated with content we posted to the blog. Seeing how effective our blog could be, we got more serious about using it as a marketing tool. We have fined tuned our strategy over the years but in essence it is to post regularly and to give just enough practical advice that prospective clients find valuable but not so much that we’re giving away our products. We now depend upon our blog as a key driver of our SEO, a critical platform to demonstrate our value and as an outlet to help journalist and prospective clients find and engage us.
Thanks to Brian Sheley, Cascade Asia Advisors!
16) Legitimize My Brand
Right now, I am writing you from a small cafe inside the walls of Emperor Diocletian's former palace in Split, Croatia. I am a midlife blogger who decided to utilize my interest and experience in business, culture and travel to create a LifeReimagined by inspiring others to pursue their own happiness in life – from the inside out. My intent was to emerge as a new millennium thought leader and blogging has definitely helped get me there. By regularly promoting my mantra of “Living Happy – Inside Out” through blogs, I am now a regularly sought after radio/podcast guest and a public speaker. More than anything, blogs have helped establish and legitimize my brand.
Thanks to Maura Sweeney, “Living Happy – Inside Out”!
Business Blog: Huffington Post
17) Different Reasons
I use my blog for a number of different reasons for my business, yes it helps drive traffic via SEO and search engine's, but it also helps establish me as someone who knows a little something about wine and the wine business in general. We find that about a quarter of the people who land on our home page, click on our blog link, as opposed to any of the product pages that are more easily accessible. Better yet still, the conversion rate of the people who venture onto our blog, is higher than those who do not. I don't know for sure if that means we're doing a great job with the blog, there's something to be said for the fact that it not only drives more people to our website, but it also helps convert a higher percentage of those who show up.
Thanks to Mark Aselstine, Uncorked Ventures!
18) Thought You Might Like This Tool
Our blog is less of a selling tool and more of a “hey, we thought you might like this” tool. We post a lot of reviews of cool new gadgets as well as thoughts about what is happening inside the tech industry. We know that a lot of different kinds of people read our blog, from freelancers to long time established business owners, so it wouldn't make sense to include information catered to just one segment of our audience. Also, the new people we reach with our posts may not immediately realize they can use our services. But after getting to know us through the blog, many end up contacting us for consultations.
Thanks to Aryana Jaleh, Eboxlab
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19) Advocate for my Clients
One way I use my blog is to advocate for my immigration clients. Last year one blog I wrote was read by a Miami Herald reporter who did an article on my pro bono case. Interest skyrocketed. The NY Times, CNN, CBS and other outlets interviewed my client and me. I firmly believe I won my case because of the publicity. (Unfortunately, being legally correct is not always enough.). I also use my blog to show other sides of me-as a mother and as an educated advocate for a variety of issues. I want people to know me as a person and what I'm passionate about. In January I wrote a blog about my recent excommunication for performing a gay marriage. I'm going to write one soon about how a white woman was caught on tape resisting arrest but was treated with kid gloves.
Thanks to Elizabeth Ricci, Esq., “Immigration Law Expert”!
Example Post: Mario Hernandez: A Forgotten Immigrant Veteran!
20) Story of 2 People Building a Business
I maintain an active blog for my business that I love and that does exceptionally well in readership. I own a bakery with my mom and I've blogged since the very day we decided to go into business. It is never about necessarily about what we make…or some plea to come in and see us for a daily special. It is the story of two people trying to build a business in our world. It isn't terribly uncommon to have people drive for several hours to meet me only because of the blog. I've had a lot of people ask me to make it into a book…and it is without question, the best way for new customers to understand what we are all about.
Thanks to Rebecca Miller, Peggy Jean's Pies, LLC
Example Post: On Your 1st Birthday…