It’s okay to not have a blog.
But the benefits of having a blog — a good one — are so dramatic that I can’t imagine why any small business owner would prioritize other social efforts above it.
Here are four reasons that small businesses should be blogging.
Blogs Show Your Human Side
You know those business websites that brag about how the company is the world’s top provider of turnkey solutions to all of your needs and the only source you’ll ever need for widget sales and repair?
No one believes that stuff.
It’s hyperbole. And when people come visit your website, they’re looking for answers, not corporate cheerleading.
I love this old quote from Jeremiah Owyang that still rings true today.
A blog, on the other hand, is how small businesses can show their human side. A blog lets you speak with your customers instead of speaking at them. It’s where you can provide real help and answers. It’s where you can show your company’s personality, where you can be human, be real, and be believable.
Blogs Show Your Expertise & Establish Trust
A good blog helps your small business become an authority in your industry, or maybe in your hometown. It lets you skip the hyperbole and really show that you know your stuff.
Whether you’re selling widgets or offering a service, you have to be willing to give away your knowledge. I can’t begin to tell you how many small business owners have contacted me looking for SEO help after reading this blog. I give away my knowledge, and it attracts interested prospects.
When you use a blog to share your expertise and become a trusted authority, it can also attract press attention, and that often leads not only to a huge rush of traffic to your blog, but it also brings high-quality links that help with your SEO efforts. Speaking of which….
Blogs are Powerful SEO Weapons
Search engines love a good blog. (I’m defining “good” as a blog where quality articles are published on a consistent basis.) There are countless studies that have shown the benefits of blogging; I’ll use two that come from Hubspot, a company with thousands of small businesses using its platform for their online presence.
Small businesses with active blogs get about seven times more organic search traffic. They also get about 55 percent more visitors, and that article also mentions 97 percent more links for companies that blog.
Need SEO help? Build a great blog on your company’s website (not on Blogger or WordPress.com). And that leads right into the last point….
You Own Your Company Blog
Facebook and Twitter are great, and a lot of small business owners are using them creatively to reach customers. But Facebook and Twitter could disappear in a few years, just like MySpace has since it was the hot social site five years ago.
You own your blog. No one can take it away from you. The content you create on your blog will serve you forever. Great articles will continue to bring traffic for years after they’re published.
One of the smartest things you can do is own your digital assets, and having your own blog lets you do exactly that.
It’s okay to not have a blog. Maybe you don’t have time right now … that’s okay. But don’t make excuses forever.
(Stock image via Shutterstock.com. Used under license.)