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 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 – Credibility
Everyone says you have to have a blog, but I didn't want to have a blog without value. When I started creating unusual large format 3D-printed sculptures, though, I wanted to not only document my journey in this rapidly developing field, I wanted to establish that what I am doing is valid and valuable. Almost three years later, I've amassed a collection of stories about the thrills, frustrations and new developments at the intersection of art and technology. A strong companion to images of my 3D-printed artwork shown on my Web site, the blog shares what it takes to create in these early days of 3D printing.
Thanks to Kevin Caron!
#2 – Important Marketing Activities
My blog is one of my most important marketing activities. I currently have 443 subscribers and my open rate is around 38%. I augment the blog's reach by sharing on Facebook and sharing with relevant groups on LinkedIn. My business heavily depends on referrals. I can't possibly meet all of my referral sources regularly and so I must be able to scale my marketing and relationship development. My blog allows me to remain visible even when I'm not present, and it provides an opportunity for prospects and referral sources to understand how I think, what I think about, and how I communicate. I like to think that my blog also conveys my off-the-wall personality. The blog also fills my passion for education. It is an important creative outlet for me. I can't tell you if I've secured business because of my blog, but I do know that it is accomplishing the goal of visibility due to the feedback I receive. The frustrating part of the feedback is that people email me privately instead of responding to the blog directly, which is a missed opportunity to build SEO rank!
Thanks to Michael Blake, Arpeggio Advisors!
#3 – 8 Rules
I don't think we are doing anything revolutionary, but we believe all businesses should follow the following 8 rules that we have for our blog: (1) Answer the questions your customers ask. (2) Answer the questions your customers should be asking. (3) Be helpful. (4) Solve problems. (5) Be as informative, engaging and entertaining as possible. (6) Be the best answer. (7) Make sure you know who your customer is and do not stray from your core message to that customer. (8) Don't sell anything. In our case, we are the advocate of the small business owner who rents commercial space. Landlords, real estate lawyers and real estate brokers simply don't blog and even if they did they don't want to give up any secrets of the trade. Tenants only negotiate leases about every 5 years and landlords do this every day.
Thanks to Jeff Howell, Lease Ref!
#4 – Greatest Traffic Drivers
Before launching my own business, I didn't understand why most company websites had blogs. They didn't fit the traditional blog mentality that I had come to know over the years. However, since launching my own business, I have a whole new perspective on company blogs. In fact, it's one of the greatest traffic drivers for my e-commerce business. I primarily use my blog to interview loyal fans, friends and family members about why they love our company, including memories and interactions that they've had with our brand. This method has delivered three great benefits: (1) each blog post drives traffic to the website when individuals click to read the engaging story (2) each post helps to boost our SEO as search engines reward websites that continually publish new content (3) each blog post allows current and potential customers to connect with our business on a very personal, human level and form a deeper, positive affinity toward our brand.
Thanks to Marisa Meddin, The Dessert Place!
#5 – Paves the Way for Ideal Clients
Blogging can do so much for your business. The key is being consistent and strategic. Blogging paves the way for your ideal clients to find you, get to know you, and can boost your website visibility. Not only will blogging provide content for you to share but it can be repurposed like in eBooks, videos, or handouts. I think about blogging as the foundation in your business that will enable you to be found and be seen as the expert in your field.
Thanks to Ellie Heintze, Simplify Your Practice!
#6 – 3 Reasons
I use my blog for three primary purposes: First, I use it to further educate and resource past clients since I mostly work on them in project format, and not long-term or retainer. It helps maintain my relationship with them, even at a distance, so that when they are ready for another project, I am top of mind. Additionally, it allows me to tell them all the things I want to them to know, but over time. Second, I use it to educate and resource those who cannot afford my services. I love working with small businesses, and while even volunteer-run organizations have been able to hire me, I know there will always be a segment who cannot pay. Therefore, this allows me to still provide value to them in my own way. Third, I use it to attract new business. I am only eight months into my business, and having a blog, rather than simply a client list on my site, allows them to see my expertise in action. Whether I sought them out, or they found me, It builds my legitimacy and showcases my capabilities.
Thanks to Kristi Porter, Signify!
#7 – Highlight the Expertise of Other Experts in the Small Business Community
We use our blog as a way to highlight the expertise of other experts in the small business community. They share blog posts they have written featuring advice or tips that are interesting and relevant to our readers. We've had hundreds of guest bloggers write with us and it has transformed our blog into a community hub with resources for small businesses.
Thanks to Deborah Sweeney, MyCorporation.com!
#8 – SEO & Thought Leadership
My firm uses blogging for SEO and thought leadership. (1) SEO – Blogging is one of the best ways to optimize your website for search engines. Regular blogging means fresh, updated content on your site, which Google likes. A lot. Second, you can blog about things using keywords that you want to be found for.
(2) Thought Leadership – A blog is a way to establish yourself and your company as a thought leader and authority in your industry. Blogging can (and should) be a part of your social media and email marketing strategy. Provide links to your blog on your social media platforms and send out links to your latest blogs to your email list.
Thanks to Marilyn Heywood Paige, Fig Advertising!
#9 – Crux of Inbound Strategy & Mouth of Online Institution
At present, our blog is the only area of our website that is actively maintained and refreshed with new, attractive content. Since it is the only active section of our website, our blog is the crux of our inbound strategy and the proverbial “mouth” of our institution online. A great deal of strategic thinking goes into the content we create that is intended specifically for our unique audience comprised of business owners and entrepreneurs. We use our blog to speak directly to them on issues and concerns directly relevant to their lives and businesses. Without our blog, our site would be dormant and distant in search engine results. With our blog, we remain relevant and on point keeping an assertive dialogue alive with our audience.
Thanks to Angela Zade, Evus Technologies!
#10 – Marketing Gravity
Blogging is an essential portion of what I call Marketing Gravity. Marketing Gravity is a systematic process with 25 activities meant to create noise in the market so that you can differentiate from the competition. My blog helps to make me a thought leader to small businesses by providing articulate, provocative information readers can instantly use.
Thanks to Dr. Drew Stevens, Stevens Consulting Group!
#11 – Educational Tool
I utilize my blogging platform to provide an educational tool to my clients and other consumers. I also utilize it to create content to share on social media as well as topics to discuss on my radio show. It also gives me something to direct listeners to from my radio show so they can stay with me throughout the week. I try to do both broad topics for real estate and also local topics to expose my name to a large audience but also cater to my target market. It has also been a way for me to connect and collaborate with other local businesses as I am able to offer them a platform to be mentioned on.
Thanks to Kevin Lawton, Coldwell Banker Schiavone & Associates!
#12 – Collaborate
Blogging is a huge part of our business model. Whilst it is extremely beneficial in boosting our search engine ranking and driving more traffic to our website, we reap the most rewards when we use our blog to collaborate. In the ‘Stories that Inspire' section of our blog we interview other entrepreneurs and online influencers to learn their best advice and share their stories with our readers. This not only inspires our readers but gives us extra exposure as the influencer will usually share the story with their followers.
Thanks to Dominique Varendorff, My Entrepreneur Life!
#13 – SEO & Personal Statement
A psychologist first, my passion for marketing ranks a close second. Having been busy developing integrated content for my brand new website (currently being migrated), I have been a little lax on my blog however I am currently working on posts to get more frequent content. (its also been on hold given the development and migration). heres the purpose of the blog: Outside of SEO, a primary purpose . . . my blog is a personal statement. It is inspired primarily by my work but also by my life’s experiences. As a literary form it is a medium in which to provide a meaningful expression to my thoughts and words. As such you may find my latest rant, stream of thought or provoking expression of passion on anything that is of interest to me—whether it be about the latest topic in the sex and relationship world or even on the impact of technology on our psyche!
Thanks to Dr. Barbara Winter!
#14 – Connect with My Following
I use my blog to connect with my following. They are located all over the world, making it difficult to connect face-to-face. While tools like Skype, Zoom, and FaceTime are helpful, sometimes the time difference makes connecting challenging. My blog allows me to share with them my story and journey, provides helpful information and tips, and gives them the opportunity to register for the empowerment seminars/webinars I host. It provides a platform for us to interact and engage with each other. My blog is a powerful tool that helps me to personalize my business with my following and allows us to participate in one another's lives, regardless of the miles that span between us.
Thanks to Debbie Cromack, Emerge Empowerment, LLC!
#15 – Behind-the-scenes
The online world is a double-edged sword. Digitally speaking, we're so extraordinarily connected. But as individuals, we need physical connection with the world around us. Which is why the online realm can be a very isolating place and it's not uncommon to feel serious disconnect from the physical world. Through my experience, I've found more and more people are craving this connection and are seeking to connect with brands and businesses on a personal level. Blogging and social media has provided us a unique opportunity to peel back the sterile business image and give customers an insight into the behind-the-scenes of what we do. A blog can act as this connecting bridge between business and customer. It's an opportunity to share your story and to relate. We often think so much about strategies to leverage blogging to please the google search robots, but we forget the humans we are actually trying to connect with. We're emotional beings and from time to time, it certainly doesn't hurt to remind your customers of this – that behind the brand are other human beings looking to connect.
Thanks to Nora Abbas, Cali White!
#16 – Educate Consumers
I sell meditation audios and use my blog primarily to educate consumers of the benefits of various types of meditation, this keeps them motivated into sticking with their daily practice and encourages them to try new programs they may not understand. An example of this would be with the 7 chakras article below, many people don't know which Chakra to focus on so we provide a handy guide to let them pick the correct program.
Thanks to Katherine Schneider, Kalkuna Island!