- Written by Don Lutkus
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“Should we do a blog?” It’s a great question clients often ask when starting a new website project. Perhaps they’ve read that a blog is necessary for successfully promoting a business online. Sometimes their competitor has a blog and they want to keep up.
My answer: “Yes, but...”
First and foremost, a blog can attract visitors to your website. A blog tells search engines that your website is fresh and evolving. Each time a search engine visits your site, it sees something new. (Search engines really like “new.”) Your blog article, along with its distinct URL is added to the search engine’s index, making it ready to be discovered in search results. People search, they click, and they find themselves on your website, reading an article that interests them. And when you’ve got them – you can sell to them.
In addition to being what I call “flypaper”, a blog is the perfect tool for demonstrating your expertise. Thoughtfully written articles build your brand and position you, and your business as an expert in the field/category. Remember my golden rule of blogging: Successful blogs don’t sell, they inform.
Also, your blog can be the hub of your social media strategy. Each time you publish a new article let the world know about it on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc.. You start the ball rolling, then visitors use the share buttons in the article to spread the word even further. Before you know it, the article is trending on Twitter and featured on CNN and in The New York Times. (Hey, you’re allowed to dream.)
A website blog requires a longterm commitment and an investment in time/money. If you want a blog, you need to work hard to get it going – and keep it going.
Start with an “idea list”. A simple list, kept in an accessible place such as the Notes app on your phone. When a blog idea hits you, jot it down. You’ll find that this simple technique will save you a lot of time – and stress – when it comes time to write an article.
Speaking of writing, you should always have a few articles in the pipeline. This rule is a hedge against those times when you’re overwhelmed with other vital tasks. (Or you’ve decided that it’s time to take that bucket list holiday to the Great Barrier Reef.)
Also, who will write your blog? You, a staff member, or a freelance writer? What about proofreading? There are many things to consider. The bottom line: Your blog is a marketing program. And like all other marketing programs, it’s initially a lot of work, but once it’s running it becomes easier.
And, like your other marketing programs, from time to time, you need to take a step back and examine your blog. Is it meeting expectations? Is it building traffic to your site? Which articles get the most traffic? The goal is to optimize and streamline your efforts. All these questions will be answered through the analytics tool you’re using. Choose a tool well at the onset – but that’s another blog post that I have on my idea list.
Is adding a blog to your swanky new website right for your business? If you’re not heading for the hills after reading this article, I’d say yes. Let’s talk!