The Blogosphere is here and it is not going anywhere. It’s not just for people talking about what they're eating for lunch or the next celebrity tabloid. Blogging is big business for entrepreneurs and business owners. CEO Blog Nation recently launched a directory of business blogs 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) For Fun & Business
I use my blog for fun… and to help with my business. I'm a Younique presenter (think a more modern version of Mary Kay or Avon) and I like to mention a thing or two about it in my blog. Sometimes I will write about the mascara or the network marketing industry in general. I don't want it to be all business all the time, because that won't appeal to most people.
Example Post: http://www.mascaramavenandmore.com/why-the-avon-lady-doesnt-make-me-think-grandma-anymore/
Thanks to Christina Nicholson, ChristinasMascara.com!
2) Crucial Information
Our SaleHoo blog covers sales tips, business and marketing advice, product suggestions, industry news, company news and more. In other words, the blog covers everything e-commerce professionals need to be successful. By providing crucial information presented in an interesting way and by promoting this information in our social media and emails, we drive prospective and current customers to our website. For prospective clients, our blog keeps SaleHoo top-of-mind, thereby increasing the likelihood they'll make a purchase. For current clients, our blog delivers essential information they need to be successful, and it demonstrates our commitment to their continued success in e-commerce.
Thanks to Simon Slade, SaleHoo!
3) Showcase Recent Work
As for many photographers and agencies, we use our blog to showcase our recent work. These also tend to be our more popular posts. They help new customers understand the style of photos they can expect in a given city, and help them make decisions about which of our talented photographers to choose.
Thanks to Jade Maitre, TripShooter
4) Communicate Transparency
We primarily use our blog to communicate transparency; who we are, what we do and our values. We update customers on behind the scenes activities from the challenges of starting up the brand, our photoshoots and lingerie development. We discuss the direction of the brand and products and in line with our brand values we post bra fit articles to raise awareness and educate in the importance of bra fit.
We also use the blog to gain crucial customer feedback through polls and we announce our latest competitions and offers.
Example Post: https://bosomgalore.com/misinformation-about-dd/
Thanks to Katy Payne, Bosom Galore!
5) Communication & Providing Information
We publish on our blog at Front Desk about 2-3 times a week. For us, our blog serves two main purposes: communicating with our existing customers about new features and company information and providing general business information that’s helpful for small business owners. We find that the blogs that share general information tend to be our most trafficked — for instance this post about how to incentivize staff performance is our best performing post to date. While it’s easy to think of a blog as a place to communicate with your existing customer base, you should really consider it as a marketing tool and a place where you can showcase your expertise in relevant subject matters. Also, if you’re hiring a lot of people like we’ve recently been doing, it’s a great way for potential employees to understand how you communicate and what’s important to your company.
Thanks to Michelle Riggen-Ransom, Front Desk!
6) Providing Value and Building Trust
While driving a lot of traffic to our website is one of the primary benefits of a blog, great articles on our blog also provide huge amounts of value to our readers and make them trust us more. For us, these articles tend to be very comprehensive, well-researched, and clearly written
Example Post: http://paleomagazine.com/ultimate-guide-ketogenic-diet
Thanks to Louise Hendon are the founders of Paleo Living Magazine!
7) Talk About Options & How to Grow Small Businesses
A blog is not only an opportunity to give general information about your company, but it also gives your company a voice about topics related to your industry niche. As an alternative small business financing company, Shield Funding uses its blog not only to talk about our various loan opportunities, but also about how to grow or expand small businesses in general. This allows us to expand our reach in terms of readership, and allows us to strengthen our presence as industry influencers. If you grow enough of a readership with your business blog, people may even reach out to you for interviews, quotes or speaking engagements. This will generate even more traffic to your site and work as free PR opportunities for your company, which is awesome.
Example Post: https://shieldfunding.com/2015/05/5-habits-of-happy-business-owners/
Thanks to Sam Baitz, Shield Funding
8) Press Hits & Successes
In the business of marketing and PR, companies are qualified in part by the work they're doing for their current clients. With that in mind, my company blog is a channel to share client press hits and successes on a regular basis. It's a great communication tool for prospective clients researching our company, as well as a nice way to celebrate our clients' accomplishments more personally.
Example Blog Post: http://ofdconsulting.com/blog/2015/05/wedding-pr-catersource/
Thanks to Meghan Ely, Owner, OFD Consulting!
9) Educate People
As the leader of a swimming pool franchise, safety is as important as business. That is why Probity Pools uses its blog to educate people about pools. Blogs include tips on swimming safety, hurricane preparedness, and even feedback from customers on changes they may have made to their pools that helped them save energy. It helps the community we serve, and also enhances our brand. Those in the business world, as well as those looking for pool service know exactly what Probity Pools stands for. Our blogs also include other topics, however safety is now, and will always be, part of our ongoing dialogue.
Thanks to Kevin Baron, Probity Pools!
10) Show our Expertise
When our team is networking with a brand that could be a potential client, our goal is show our expertise within the industry using numerous sales materials from case studies to testimonials. It's part of our “show, don't tell” strategy. Our business blog does just that by spotlighting our team's insights on trending topics within the industry. It then opens the door for conversation with prospects. In addition to that, it allows us to follow up on conversations with targeted materials related to the conversation. “Did you say you are having a hard time dealing with a social media crisis? Here's our blog post on our best practices for your approach to that situation. Let's now discuss how to implement that plan with you.”
Thanks to David Hernandez, lotus823!
11) Explain our Views
One of the key ways we use our blog is to explain our views and culture in more detail to prospective clients. When they have a question, we can refer them to specific blog posts as shorthand, rather than explaining them in extensive detail. In many ways, our blog serves as an FAQ for our business. Additionally, of course, it also helps with driving traffic to our site for specific search terms, and we can guide prospects to our site by linking our blog posts in social media posts, so it's a great lead generator—but more than anything, it's about helping us position our business and show what sets us apart.
Thanks to Kathryn Hawkins, Eucalypt Media!
12) Example of Our Services
Our blog serves as an example of our services in a way that organically attracts businesses looking for a marketing solution. It's a part of our overall inbound marketing strategy that connects with potential customers on their terms. For business owners searching for marketing tips and how-to articles, our blog provides useful information that may turn a lead into a conversion.
Thanks to Shalyn Dever, Chatter Buzz Media!
13) Personalized Element
Every business has customers and if you're lucky, each has a raving story to share about their experience. At ScanMyPhotos.com, the Ecommerce photo digitization service, we have a team of expert copywriters who reach out and ask customers to share their emotional, personal stories about why they digitized their decades of analog snapshots. These stories are shaped into personal interviews, where they share their favorite pictures and narrate the memorable, nostalgic stories behind their favorites. This creates a personalize element to the ScanMyPhotos.com blog which is then shared by them and others, to further engage and also promote our company and their experiences.
Thanks to Mitch Goldstone, ScanMyPhotos.com!
14) Interesting Stories
The GOcase blog is rarely self-promotional. They will occasionally announce a big sale or a giveaway, but – for the most part – the blog is focused on highlighting interesting stories for people interesting in GoPros, headphones, and iPads. The purpose of the blog is to provide people with content that they want to read about
Thanks to Eli Blatt, GOcase!
15) Grow Our Business
16) Brand Promotion
My blog, DigThisDesign.net is an international design blog about ALL things design. Besides promoting my brands my blog makes me money as an advertising platform. DigThisDesign also offers opportunities at events that we cover as press and we cover many different events do to the diverse design topics we write about. I would say my blog has been a pleasant surprise. Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would become so successful for me. I truly thought of it as a promotional platform when I set out to do it. The twist and turns of life are amazing!
Thanks to Patricia Davis Brown, DigThisDesign.net!
17) Content Marketing
Attentiv uses our blog for content marketing purposes. Our blog is a venue we use for getting across our story and our viewpoints on anything related to organizational decision-making. Whether we're telling our founding story or sharing tips on writing meeting minutes, we write relevant content for our users and viewers. In this way, we're able to create something valuable for viewers while generating some traffic to our site. For example, we wrote a piece explaining how frequent and wasteful meetings can be for an organization, giving some insight to a major corporate problem. Additionally, we make an effort to engage with our users through comment sections, letting them know we're listening to their ideas and experiences.
Example Post: http://attentiv.com/front-page-of-reddit/
Thanks to Adib Choudhury, Attentiv!
18) Traffic & Showcasing Expertise
We blog 5 days a week at Three Girls Media. Our purpose is two-fold. Of course, it's well know that blogging consistently, down to the same days of week and same time of day, is great for search engine optimization (SEO) and driving new traffic to your website. In addition, our blog is a way to showcase our expertise and educate our client base on topics that are relevant to them such as social media and public relations.
Thanks to Erika Taylor Montgomery, Three Girls Media!
19) Answer Questions
When I get a question from someone via email and the answer would be of value to more than just the person I am responding to, I will craft an email that discusses the topic and answers the question. This way, I save phone time while providing value to the person who is making the inquiry. I also make myself free for a follow up call, but at that point, the person has more information and we can streamline the conversation. From a content marketing standpoint, it helps to create relevant content because if one person is asking the question there are several more who may not be asking directly but need the info and may be searching for it online.
Thanks to Anthony Kirlew, AKA Internet Marketing!
20) Teaching Tool
At Brolik, We use our agency blog as a teaching tool for clients and for building the personal brands of our team members. We have an all-hands-on-deck approach where each team member cycles through developing and pitching a topic and we help engineer the blog article and provide coaching along the way. This approach has led to stronger domain authority and we've seen blog traffic grow over 500% since 2012. While this traffic didn't turn into revenue overnight, we're now seeing an influx of quality leads coming from organic search and these leads are turning into some of our best clients. A positive ROI from blogging takes time and discipline but it's well worth it!
Thanks to Jason Brewer, Brolik!
21) Get In Front of Objections & Concerns
I use my blog to directly dispel rumors or address objections we hear from our sales team. These are elicited by having routine conversations with the sales staff regarding their most common objections or challenges. If the clients we're talking to are concerned, we can safely assume that those same prospects visiting the site are concerned, and therefore pro-actively answer a question before it's asked. On a more reactive plane, we also blog about public concerns or industry issues that we learn about through social media networks (Twitter, mostly). If we have a prepared stance on it, often our blog will be in reference to an opinion voiced publicly. If we don't have a prepared stance, we will compose a “Top x” reason sort of list and address the topic that way.
Thanks to Ben Hoehn, Predpol!
22) Be Found Online
icorp is an IT Services company with 28 years in the Market. We use a blog simply because it is an effective way of getting found online by our target market. We cater to a very specific segment which is CIO´s in large enterprises. By sharing relevant information about our industry and services, it has become easier for new prospects to become familiarized with what we do and engage in conversation with us. A key aspect of that is to have the content on the blog written by the very same employees that perform the services our clients need. This is a challenge since they are not professional content creators; but this way we also make them feel like they are contributing more to the company and raising their profile while doing so. Therefore, our blog is an integral piece of both our internal and external marketing processes.
Thanks to Rodrigo Vázquez Mellado, icorp!
23) Marketing Communications
To Solve Problems for your readers: People are looking for answers when they search on the internet. Make sure that your blog posts and content can solve some of their questions. The more industry-related questions your blog can answer, the more popular it is going to become. To get your readers to act: Passive readers may not transform into returning visitors. So trust your readers' intelligence and activate your readers by asking them questions through your blog posts – both rhetorical questions and questions that they can respond to via comments. Relevant CTAs help too. To advocate for your industry: Don't just use your blog to advertise your company and its products or services. Instead act as an advocate for your industry and its many stakeholders. Educate readers about industry trends, topics, and solutions to challenges. Before your know it, your readers will turn into advocates for your company!
Thanks to Edwin Miller, 9Lenses!
24) Grow a Targeted Audience
Kaleidico has been using its blog to grow our business since I founded the company in 2005. Blogging gives us a highly effective and economical way to grow a targeted audience, which in our case is business and marketing executives. We do this by creating content for CMOs and marketing directors. We help them to think deeper about marketing trends, how to position their marketing strategies to leverage early trends, and support them in making business cases for new initiatives. We then have the opportunity share this content to grow our audience and ultimately our business opportunities within that audience. The real secret benefit to blogging and generating business opportunities in this way is that when new prospects inquire they’re already singing your tune, making closing deals a lot easier and faster.
Thanks to Bill Rice, Kaleidico!
25) Connect with Influencers
We use our blog as a way to connect with influencers. For example, a recent post I wrote featured over 120 traffic generation case studies around the web. After writing this post, I reached out to all of the influencers who had been included, informing them. As a result, many of them shared the post, and this generated hundreds of social shares and visitors to the blog, which of course resulted in an increase in sign ups. The main takeaways here are: (1) Don't have a stale blog that isn't interesting to anyone but yourself. (2) Include influencers in everything you write and let them know about it. (3) Write awesome stuff. We also use our blog as a way to inform our customers about upcoming features and releases, which I'm happy to talk more about if you'd prefer that angle.
Thanks to David Schneider, NinjaOutreach!
26) Content from Students
Both of our blogs are actually populated with content written by our students. One of the blogs is focused on our graduates which not only helps bring in more students, but allows us to spotlight our graduates' journeys beyond the classroom and the successes they've experienced. Our other blog is written by students who are currently enrolled and is both fun for them to write and helps manage the expectations of those who might be looking to enroll.
Thanks to Betsy Idilbi, Tech Talent South!
27) Promote My Company
I'm a small business owner and I use blogger.com to promote my company. I believe that the way I do it would be interesting for you. Instead of mere advertising and cross-over hash tagging, I transmit a diary of a non-physical entity, so to speak. In other words, I tune to her frequency in my mind, then write down whatever she says and post it on my blog. The process is similar to writing a fiction story, only in this case I have no clue what she is about to say. Her name is Mira, she is 12 years old and she is a ballerina. She also has a dream-friend called Lova. The blog is linked to my website, so it is technically marketing.
Thanks to Mira Lova Ballet!
28) Educate Our Fan Base & Generate Traffic
We provide the market with luxurious ties at an affordable price, all while helping gentlemen dress better. Hence, each of our ties comes with a card with recommendations for matching suits and shirts. In conjunction with our philosophy of helping gentlemen dress better, we run a men's style blog with over 100 articles related to formal wear fashion. This helps to educate our user base further and assists in generating traffic as we become thought leaders in formal wear and especially neckties. This building of trust overtime results in repeat traffic, and as an e-commerce business, you want to continually get in front of an audience that enjoys and trusts your content.
Thanks to Rishi Chullani, The Dark Knot!
29) Educational Resource
We use our blog on several business levels at AuthorityLabs. First and foremost it is an educational resource for customers and members of the digital marketing community. The content for our blog is written to keep people up to date on innovations and best practices for search, social, and content marketing. By writing on these topics we also continue to contribute expert knowledge to the wider community that uses the services our business provides, and build our authority in the press and public. Finally, by keeping our content in the blog focused on industry related topics, we are continually adding material that helps us rank for important search terms that drive new business to our site.
Thanks to Chase Granberry, AuthorityLabs!
30) Attract New Business
Our blog is a huge tool that we leverage to attract new business. Since we are a digital marketing agency, we create content (both for ourselves and our clients) that not only helps us excel within search engines and attract new opportunities, but is helpful and engaging as well. That's the essence of inbound marketing and it is how we've managed to excel in such a competitive industry.
Example Post: http://www.thedsmgroup.com/marketing-calendar-2015/
Thanks to Darren Magarro, The DSM Group!