When you’re spending the bulk of your day trying to put out fires, finding the time to actually sit down and generate content for a blog usually doesn’t rank at the top of your priority list. This is especially true when you’re a small business owner.
With limited time and resources, you must decide if the potential upside of having a blog outweighs the calories you’ll burn managing and maintaining it on a weekly basis. So will it be worth the effort?
Here are 10 benefits of having a small business blog:
1. Drive eyeballs to your site
Creating relevant, value-added content on a weekly basis helps drive your search engine ranking which means your site is more likely to be seen by potential customers.
With each new post, you are creating your very own catalog of information that will continue to drive traffic to your website for as long as you manage and maintain the blog (think compounding interest on a savings account).
2. Engage your audience
Outside of social media, there are few areas on most small business websites where customers can share their opinions, leave comments, and start a dialogue around a particular topic.
When done right, a blog gives people the chance to be part of the discussion and that helps create customer engagement.
3. Gather real-time feedback
Blog comments can provide immediate insights into what your readers are thinking—information you can use to generate ideas for future posts or help to improve your products and services.
4. Position yourself as a subject matter expert
By generating new content specific to your unique industry and/or business area, you’re helping to build your credibility with potential customers.
However, that also means you’re going to have to spend quite a bit of time thinking about your content strategy and what you want to be “known” for.
5. Test new ideas
Having a direct connection to your customer base gives you a powerful platform for holding informal, impromptu focus groups.
You can use your blog to share new ideas and gather feedback from your customers before you actually go to market, helping you to avoid unforeseen and potentially costly hiccups.
6. Develop a virtual library of helpful content
Your blog can serve as an easily searchable, handy dandy resource guide for current and potential customers.
By providing useful information, you increase the likelihood that people will visit your site and share your content with their social networks.
7. Increase social sharing
Generating new content each week gives you something of your own to share with your social networks, providing yet another channel for you to engage with your audience and amplify your message.
8. Keep your website looking minty fresh
The bulk of your website content doesn’t change much, if at all, on a regular basis. Each new blog post you create helps to give the appearance that your website is alive and kicking which is always a good thing.
9. Generate leads
Each and every time someone visits your blog, you have a chance to encourage them to sign up for an enewsletter, download an ebook, schedule a consultation, etc. which increases the likelihood you’ll make a sale.
10. Create your own buzzworthy buzz
Media coverage is often very hard to come by. Instead of sitting around waiting for your phone to ring, you can use your blog as a platform for celebrating your success stories and showcasing new products and services.
There’s no doubt managing and maintaining a small business blog can be time consuming and, at times, a little stressful. However, once you’re firing on all cylinders the positives can definitely outweigh the negatives.
If you think you have what it takes and you’re willing to carve out the time every week to generate new and interesting content, give it a try.
Many new bloggers discover they actually enjoy it. And for those who don’t, there are still all those fires to put out…
Thinking about starting a business blog?
Grab a copy of my latest ebook Blogging for Badass Small Businesses
By: Shawn Graham
[Image: Flickr user Steve Snodgrass]