Not so long ago, it seemed like blogging was dead. After all, blogging started as a way for people who didn’t have a forum anywhere else to set up a rudimentary website and share their thoughts. Often, these blogs could be set up for free through services like Blogger. These types of blogs still exist but blogging, in general, has grown far beyond the literary rantings of frustrated intellectuals.
How important is blogging, really? Well, chances are that you read a blog regularly, even if you don’t know it; Data shows that 77% of Internet users read blogs. For example, many cooking recipe sites, financial advice sites, and similar venues are all built on the blogging format. This is true whether the site is run by an individual or a business.
Note the business connection. As I’ve said before, blogging isn’t dead. And this is even more true for business blogging. If nothing else, blogs are increasingly a type of business, in that authors monetize their blogs and businesses monetize their blog as a form of content marketing. For these reasons and others, blogging isn’t dead.
With that in mind, let’s look at the huge benefits that business blogging has, whether you are still on the sidelines or are questioning how much of a positive impact it can have on your business.
Further Reading: 7 Proven Methods How to Monetize a Blog in 2022
What is a Business Blog?
Simply put, a business blog is a section on a corporate website that has articles on it. These articles are generally related to the business’ core industry, corporate news, and other related topics. As a rule, the articles are informal and written to be relatively easy to read even by non-experts. For that reason, business blogs are a relatively friendly place for interested parties to “hang out.”
Let’s break this down a bit.
Business blogging is a relatively informal forum. That means that companies won’t put white papers on their blog, because these are typically too in-depth for the blog format. Plus, white papers are great lead magnets in their own right. With that said, a blog article might “advertise” the white paper by giving a teaser of sorts about the contents.
Most often, business blogs have industry-related articles. For instance, a construction company might talk about what kind of cement to use for which applications. Or, a fashion company might write about how to find the perfect pair of pants for your body type. These articles can help customers select the right product or explain the use of a new release.
Business blogging will sometimes broadcast corporate news but it’s usually less formal than a press release. That’s because the blog post is only intended to “live” on the business’ website, rather than being broadcast to print media or online news sites. In addition, a news blog post will seek to make a more personal connection with readers in ways that news organizations don’t. Plus, it’s a “first-person” rather than a “second-person” approach. In turn, this significantly changes how the story is written.
Finally, business blogging creates a place for people to discuss industry-related topics. For instance, the comment section can allow for staff and other readers to answer questions that people have. Or, they can provide an article that can be linked to on other forums. We’ll talk about how these different business blog attributes are beneficial in the next section.
Further Reading: The Top 24 Business Blogging Statistics for 2022
What are the Benefits of Business Blogging?
So, why is business blogging so important? Blogging requires resources, such as writers and illustrators. To obtain the content, companies must buy content or create it in-house. In addition, we can argue that there’s lots of industry-specific information out there, even without business blogs.
However, this contention simply isn’t true. Most blogs about technical topics are run by a business on some level. That this is true can be seen by a quick Google search about your favorite business-related topic. Look at the marketing industry: my blog can be considered a personal blog because I’m advertising my services by providing this content. In addition, other major marketing blogs are run by competing marketers or by companies that sell marketing tools. You’ll see that this is especially true in the B2B sector.
Of course, there’s a lot more to unpack about the benefits of business blogging than just putting information out there. After all, in many cases, there are other ways to learn about technical topics, such as third-party websites and books. In addition, business blogging has several different benefits that we need to talk about.
1. Builds Website Traffic Outside of Product and Service Pages Using SEO
Here’s the thing. If you have an eCommerce site, there’s little question that the main reason people will go to your website is to buy products. And for services, people want to know what you have to offer. Any well-crafted corporate website will have thorough descriptions of their products and services, and how to purchase them. This can involve a shopping section of the site, a payment portal, a “where to buy” page, or contact information. Each page should be optimized for search engines using relevant keywords.
If people aren’t interested in your branded products and services, though, they might not go straight to your website. Or, they’ll bump into your website by finding your product type online. The second route usually happens because they are curious or looking for specific solutions to your problems. For instance, searching for “traditional Japanese snacks” might turn up a soy-free teriyaki sauce manufacturer, a brand of mochi, and a new edamame brand that most westerners haven’t heard of. In this example, the brand discovery happens as a result of related, unbranded searches.
Business blogging is very helpful with this secondhand discovery. In our example above, there’s a good chance that the food companies built “traditional Japanese snacks” or a related keyword into a blog article. The keyword here isn’t natural for the product pages themselves: they’ll use the terms “soy-free,” “mochi,” or “edamame” instead. But by talking about the traditional nature of these snacks, they can optimize for additional keywords.
Here’s another way that our theoretical Japanese food company can use business blogging and SEO to reel in readers: recipes. In particular, most of these traditional snacks or ingredients can be integrated into other recipes. Or, they might serve as the perfect accompaniment to something else, thereby completing the meal. Think yakitori sticks with teriyaki sauce and edamame, perhaps with classic boiled rice. If the company gives “use cases” for their food line, then they can include keywords related to the recipes that wouldn’t be relevant otherwise (outside ingredients, for instance). Over time, this drives traffic.
Further Reading: 19 Quickest Ways How to Get 60.2% More Traffic to Your Blog
2. Provides Repurpose-able Content for Email Marketing and Social Media
Another way that business blogging can benefit your bottom line is its potential role in content marketing. Strictly speaking, your business blog is itself content marketing, because you’re providing information with the intent to attract customers. Even a corporate announcement blog post can serve a content marketing purpose because a company’s customers want to know if there’s a new product being released. Or, a change in company leadership might generate interest in your products and services.
However, this isn’t the only content-related reason why business blogging is important. One of the best methods of content distribution is through social media. In turn, amplifying your business blog content through social media helps reap the benefits of content marketing. For example, you might Tweet a link to your latest blog post. A lot of companies do that, and it helps to increase traffic to the new post. Similarly, you can use Facebook, Instagram, and even LinkedIn to draw attention to your posts using links, pictures, or both.
Secondly, you can repurpose blog content for email marketing. There are a few ways to do this, such as by sending out a newsletter with previews of all the weekly blog posts. By distributing a “digest,” you entice people to visit your website and read the entire blog post there. Hopefully, you’ll see some readers consume additional content while there, or better, inquire about products and services.
3. Aids in Lead Generation and Increases Conversion
Of course, business blogging does more than just drive traffic and improve content marketing. Your business blog can also help with lead generation and customer acquisition through lead magnets visible with blog posts.
How does this work, exactly? There’s more than one way to accomplish this, but an easy method is to give a small summary of the lead magnet in a blog post. For instance, I might talk about “blogging basics” and market a lead magnet with a title like “your complete guide to blogging.” In return for the complete guide, I can ask for your contact information. Alternately, I might write a teaser and encourage people to get the complete guide. In other words, I give out less information than the previous blog post version.
Similarly, business blogging increases your conversion rate. When people are confident that your product is the right one to solve their problem, they are more likely to buy. And one of the best ways to convince someone that your product will solve their problem is with a blog post! You can leverage this technique in many different ways, depending on the product and service you offer. For instance, a “use case” post can help people see the potential of what you are offering.
4. Attracts Backlinks Which Further Expose Your Content to Other Websites and Increased SEO
One of the best ways to get more traffic is through backlinks. A backlink is the web version of a “citation” in academic papers or written articles. For instance, I might create a backlink in my blog post to an article about internet marketing. Business blogging encourages other website owners to create backlinks, which in turn drives traffic.
However, there’s more to backlinks than simply increasing traffic. Part of your search engine rankings is a metric called “domain authority.” In a nutshell, domain authority is an expression of the extent to which your site is considered an authority on a certain topic. When the search engines see you have a high domain authority, they’ll automatically rank your page higher than a competitor with content that seems just as relevant. This is why, for example, you’ll see an article by Business Insider or a blog article posted on LinkedIn when you look up a huge variety of business topics.
The other major benefit of backlinks is that they invite other people’s audiences onto your site. In many situations, people who are reading an article will want to also read the source material. To do this, they’ll click through those backlinks. Once someone comes to your site through the backlink, there’s a chance to convert them into customers-or further increase your SEO when they read more articles, and increase your average time on site. In other words, business blogging improves your SEO in many different ways.
5. Provides Objective and Resourceful Value to Customers and Helps Prospects Find You
As marketers, we love to crow about how awesome a product is. But the truth is, in many cases the product is only awesome for the right customer. Even commodities brands have some level of a buyer persona: the consumer who needs to stretch their dollar won’t buy the most expensive brand of bar soap. However, within certain parameters, it’s easy to sell your products to the right people with business blogging.
Let’s take cars as an example. A single person is unlikely to buy a minivan, while a soccer mom likely wants something roomy to tote children and gear. However, soccer moms might need more than extra room. If she lives on the side of a mountain, then all-wheel drive might be a great feature. Or, she might focus on gas mileage as a bonus. If the car company talks about large vehicle options, they can help mom decide if she wants the minivan or a full-size SUV. By the time she goes to the dealer, she’ll know what she wants. No matter which model she chooses, you win the sale.
Similarly, business blogging can help buyers find you. In our soccer mom example, let’s say she searches for “SUV good gas mileage.” Chances are that she’ll find the typical auto-review sites. But if she finds a car company site that compares fuel-efficient offerings that include an SUV, there’s a good chance she’ll read it. In the meantime, she might find that the perfect model wasn’t one the review sites were touting. Rather, it was a different brand altogether.
6. Builds Trust with the Public
Finally, business blogging builds trust with consumers. It’s one thing to say that your products are awesome, and another to express why that’s the case. Or for that matter, to give an honest assessment of which of your products might be the best for certain people, even if it isn’t the most profitable for you. Selling a given product to everyone has its place, such as during a launch. But not all products can be marketed that way, and it isn’t always appropriate to do so.
Similarly, blogging lets you build trust by showing that your brand is an expert in its field. Look at construction companies in B2B and skincare in B2C. For construction companies, it’s important that customers know that they make quality products that meet the best of modern standards. In skincare, customers want to know that an ingredient is science-based, rather than the latest fad. Both companies can build trust by helping people see the value of their products.
Blogging has come a long way. What was once a niche pastime that mostly shared common interests has now become a powerful tool for sales and marketing. For that reason, if your brand doesn’t have a blog yet, you should be asking why. By avoiding this powerful medium, your site has far fewer ways to attract customer eyeballs and increase public goodwill.
Hero Photo by Carrie Allen on Unsplash