When embarking upon a content marketing campaign, blogging is probably one of the most important elements to success. Unique blog content can help drive website traffic from search engines, can easily be distributed in an email and, of course, is only a click away from being shared via popular social media outlets.
It's no wonder many online marketers choose blogging as a core component of any content marketing strategy. For many small businesses though, blogging can be very time consuming and let's face it, not all small business owners are great writers. It may be easier to employ other lead generation strategies such as hiring a search engine marketing specialist, or conducting email marketing. You can even outsource the actual blog writing.
Nobody Knows Your Business Like You
Passion for your industry, attention to the smallest details on how you want your customers served, and experience in your niche is what makes you a successful entrepreneur. How can you outsource those things to someone that's not even remotely interested in your particular business?
The challenge we face as business owners is that it's difficult for anyone, but us, to convey our intimate knowledge about our industry; to create a source of information that is of value to current customers, potential customers, partners and the industry as a whole.
Because of this, outsourcing your blog writing efforts may not deliver the best bang for the buck and you could be missing out on the greatest benefits of both on and offline marketing.
Blogging is Not Just About Online Marketing
When faced with the myriad of hats we business owners are required to wear and all the duties that end up falling on our shoulders, the last thing we want to think about is writing a blog post for our website. It's easy to look at blogging as an unimportant chore that isn't going to change our lives and believing it as simply adding content to a website to get a few extra hits, would make you severely mistaken.
Often overlooked are the real world benefits that blogging can bring to both you personally and your business. Properly leveraging your blogging efforts can provide you with a foundation to establish credibility, produce ancillary products and services, and ultimately generate more business for your organization.
Here are 3 Ways Blogging Can Deliver Real World Benefits
There's no doubt that blogging can make you more credible in the real world. Talk is cheap, but putting something in writing takes a little effort and puts you on record. If the world was a trusting place, our word would be enough, but reality says that agreements need to be written to hold up to the legal test.
Blogging forces you to share your thoughts on record and serves as a reference source for future needs. If it hasn't been written, it probably doesn't exist. The fact that it's written serves as a source of information and adds a significant amount of credibility to what you have to say. Once it's shared via email or social media or linked from other websites, you inherit instant credibility, even if what you wrote is inaccurate.
2) Speaking Engagements
Prior to starting a regular blogging routine, I had done very little public speaking. There were a couple of reasons for this: a) I didn't particularly want to look a fool for not being very good at it and b) there weren't many opportunities calling my name.
After starting my professional blog, opportunities started to materialize. Because of the perceived credibility my blog exhibited, people wanted me to speak at various events and has led to many interview opportunities.
Those opportunities still didn't solve the problem of not being very good at public speaking, but it helped me get better.
Simply due to the fact that people asked me to speak gave me more confidence to actually speak. In addition, the content in my blog provided me with reference material which gave me even more confidence because by knowing the material, I was less likely to run into a disaster situation in front of an audience.
Whether a paid speaking engagement or not, every time you speak in front of an audience, you have the opportunity to brand yourself, your product/service and your company.
Writing a book was never something I thought was possible for me to accomplish in life. I thought authors must have special powers to write books -- being able to concentrate for long periods of time, extreme creativity and the uncanny trait to remain patient long enough to crank out enough words to fill a book.
The reality though is that book writing isn't hard. Well it is, but blogging helped make it much easier to accomplish. Because I stuck to a schedule of writing a new blog post every week, my writing skills were getting better, but more importantly, I was starting to write faster. Plus, I now had a library of content already written that could be repurposed for a book.
Combining content from my blog and new original content from experience as a small business owner, I authored The Banner Brand: Small Business Success Comes from a Banner Brand - Build it on a Budget.
This provided a physical product, related to my area of expertise that could serve as a revenue stream, but it did more than just that. It provided additional credibility to my blog, made me more attractive for those seeking public speakers or interview worthy guests and opened the door to additional marketing opportunities for my organization.
None of these possibilities would have presented themselves if I wasn't personally invested in blogging. Wanting to get a return on my investment was a major factor, but knowing that there are real world benefits to blogging online, now arms you with the information needed to begin exploring blogging as a critical marketing tool for your business.
If you're looking for a cost effective way to brand yourself, your product and your company on a budget, blogging may provide you the right avenue.
|About the author
Mark Cenicola is the president and CEO of BannerView.com, developers of BannerOS, the software that helps companies turn their websites into powerful business tools. Mark is also the author of the book "The Banner Brand – Small Business Success Comes from a Banner Brand – Build it on a Budget." Read Mark's full biography. You can find him tweeting on Twitter and starring in videos for the company's YouTube channel.
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