Digital Marketing Essentials: Why Your Business Needs a Blog
Written by Kyle McCarthy
In the digital marketing world, blogging is like flossing your teeth: everyone knows they should be doing it, and everyone tells themselves they’re going to get around to it, but few people do it — and even fewer people do it consistently.
Often, when you’re checking out a local or niche business online, you’ll click on the blog tab and find two or three perfunctory articles, with the last update posted months or years ago. This begs the question: Why would you keep a blog tab on your website and have no content behind it? Doing so simply broadcasts to people that following through on something you started isn’t a strength for your company. So, if you’re not going to blog right, you might as well not blog at all.
The Benefits of Consistent, Thoughtful Blogging
If you’re looking for an organic and relatively easy way to grow your business, you need to make content marketing, and blogging in particular, a priority.
Consider the following statistics about blogging:
- Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links. (Inbound links are links from another website to yours; inbound links mean more traffic and higher rankings in search engines.)
- 92% of companies who blog multiple times per month have acquired a customer from their blog.
- Once you publish 21 to 54 blog posts, blog traffic generation increases by up to 30%
- Small businesses that blog get 126% more lead growth than small businesses that don’t.
The advantages of consistent and thoughtful blogging include:
- Blogging is one of the best ways to attract, nurture, and convert interested prospects into clients.
- There’s a good chance that your team already has everything you need for a good blog: knowledge of your subject matter, passion for your products or services and related topics, and communication skills.
- A blog fosters a community around your brand and your products or services.
- You can blog from just about anywhere as long as you can connect to the internet.
- Blogging provides substantial benefits for your website’s performance in search engine rankings.
- Your blog builds credibility and trust around your brand and team while positioning you as a thought leader in your industry.
Notice, however, that all those advantages come with a caveat: they depend on blogging thoughtfully and consistently. Achieving thoughtfulness and consistency with your blog aren’t necessarily difficult, but they do require a bit of effort beyond just churning out half-baked content stuffed with search keywords.
Defining Consistency and Thoughtfulness
Creating a blog that yields real returns requires a substantial time commitment and can take a lot of practice to get right. We’ve established that two key elements for a successful blog marketing strategy are consistency and thoughtfulness, but what do those qualities mean? Here, we’ll define them.
- Consistency: If your blog isn’t producing fresh content on a regular basis, then it won’t gain traction — either with readers or search engines. As a general rule, if you can’t blog at least twice a month, then you’re not setting blogging as a priority. More is better, but blogging twice a month should prove worthwhile if you plan each post carefully and write compelling content. Anything less than twice a month, though, and you probably shouldn’t bother.And when we say twice per month, we mean twice every month, not twice a month on average. Don’t let your blog lie fallow for four months, then bash out eight posts in a week and expect to get the same results as consistent posting.
- Thoughtfulness: It’s fine to use matters that are on your mind as inspiration for blog posts — if they coincide with reader interest. Ultimately, the topics that your potential customers want to know about should dictate the content direction for your blog.Figuring out what these topics are requires reflection, imagination, and research. You can draw from a combination of thorough keyword research, memories of recent interactions with customers, your awareness of issues affecting your community, and a bit of your own intuition when coming up with topics. Try not to repeat yourself or blog about the exact same topics all your competitors are writing about. And make sure your topics have some meat to them; if you find you can’t muster at least 600 words on a blog topic, you probably need to expand the article’s focus or scrap it and find something else to write about.Finally, make sure you’re writing in a way that’s accessible to your audience. Be conversational. Use contractions and write almost exclusively in active voice. In general, write the way you’d speak to a potential customer or client if you had them one-on-one in a room. Drawing the reader in with accessible, compelling language can mean the difference between content that gets read in full and a blog that drives readers away before paragraph two.
Ultimately, you need to remain passionate about your blog and be realistic with your expectations. Even if you produce a steady stream of quality content, it will take a few months for your blog to build up readership and begin generating traffic. Sticking with a blog strategy through the early months of all work and no reward is the difference between businesses that get real customers and revenue from blog marketing and those that only dream about it.
Blogging Case Study: North Carolina Law Firm Increases Website Traffic by 1,700% Through Twice-Monthly Blogging
As an example of the power of blogging, consider a small personal injury and family law firm that joined LaFleur as a client in the summer of 2016. This law firm, which consisted of a father-and-son team of attorneys plus a small support staff, wanted to connect with more potential clients and grow their online presence, but they didn’t have the marketing budget to compete with the major firms that dominate traditional advertising channels in their urban market.
To help this firm grow their web presence and generate more leads on a limited budget, we knew blog marketing would be key. We set up a strategy to publish two blogs per month on their behalf; although we took care of writing the blogs, the attorneys from this firm always stayed involved in the blog ideation and editing processes, giving detailed feedback and making edits where necessary.
At the time the firm joined our roster of clients, their website saw about 60 to 70 visitors per month on average. At the time of this writing in February 2019, less than three years after the firm signed on as a client with LaFleur, their average monthly website traffic according to Ahrefs is about 1,200 visitors per month. That’s more than an 18-fold increase in web traffic in under three years, achieved almost solely through publishing high-quality, informative blog articles twice a month. Among the pages on the firm’s website that attract the most organic traffic through search engines, the top 15 pages consist of their homepage and 14 blog articles.
As you can see from the below graph of the law firm’s traffic, blogging took time to yield returns, and the progress tends to occur in fits and starts that sometimes get temporarily obscured by seasonal dips in traffic. But the trend line for this graph is impossible to ignore, and the law firm continues to reap the rewards of their commitment to blogging through increased web traffic and more leads each month.
Still, for many growing businesses with small teams, creating two carefully-researched and skillfully-written blog articles per month is a tall order, and that’s understandable. If you’re too busy to keep up with writing, editing, and posting multiple blog posts each week, you can contact LaFleur. We’ll talk about how we can lighten your load and help you create and maintain the kind of blog that will attract new customers, enhance your reputation, and grow your brand sustainably.
Contact LaFleur Today to Get Better Results From Your Business Blog
If you’re considering starting a blog for your business, or if you already have a blog but are finding it difficult to maintain quality and consistency, LaFleur is here to help. Our content team of skilled and experienced writers has helped dozens of businesses nationwide increase their web presence and sales.
To learn more about how we can help with blogging and other content marketing strategies, please call us today at 888-222-1512 or complete the brief form on this page. We’d love to learn about your business’ unique needs and help you develop and execute proven, data-driven digital marketing strategies to address them.
Liubarets, T. (n.d.). Top blogging statistics: 45 reasons to blog. Yahoo! Small Business. Retrieved from https://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/advisor/top-blogging-statistics-45-reasons-blog-180101993.html