You have probably heard again and again how important it is for your business to have a blogThis term originated as shortened version of “web log” and has come to be known as a regularly updated web-page, often containing news, opinion and personal stories.. These days, it doesn’t matter whether you run an automotive shop, sell software or bake cookies, according to the vast majority of marketing experts – you ought to be writing and posting about it.
Having worked with business of all sizes here at Online Image, we agree. But we’ve learned that blogging consistently is very difficult for most businesses to put into practice. The question, then, is how to make it work. The good news is that if you know why you should be blogging, you will automatically have the secret to doing it successfully.
The simple answer? You should blog to share your ideas and expertise about your company and your industry. We’ll start by letting you in on why so many blogs fail. Then, we’ll show how keeping the focus on ideas and expertise is the path to business blogging success.
Why So Many Blogs Fail
The reasons for business blogging failure are simple – it usually starts because any business gets paid more in the short term for working with clients than for time spent blogging. You get busy, commitment slips, and a few weeks go by without a fresh post. Then you get back on track, but it’s hard to think of new blog topics. Perhaps another month goes by, and you notice that no one seems to be reading the old posts. You’re not seeing any return on those early efforts. Eventually, you find that you haven’t updated your blogin several months and you consider deleting it entirely.
Why Blogging Should be about Ideas and Expertise
Fortunately, there’s another way. And it works. Imagine an auto shop owner who is trying to grow her small business and get more customers. She has a lot of experience working with older cars and trucks and doesn’t want to compete with dealerships, so her best ROI is from servicing those vehicles. She’s also active in the local business community, and keeps hearing about the importance of blogging. If she were to go about blogging in the standard way, thinking “I just have to post something so the search engines will send customers to me,” chances are good that she will fall into the all-too-familiar pattern of business blogging failure.
However, if she thinks of her blog as a way to share useful information, imagine what would happen. Later that week, a customer might ask her how often he should check his tire pressure on a 2002 SUV. Immediately, she realizes that she has a blog topic! Another time, when she’s driving down the freeway, she sees a billboard advertising the new emergency room in the hospital. That evolves into more ideas – tips for avoiding emergency situations with your aging vehicle, and information about how skipping some car repairs could land you in the emergency room.
A few months into her efforts, she is likely to see success for her business as a whole. This eventually creeps into how she thinks about everything, and soon she has dozens of blog topics to choose from. Here’s why it works:
- The mechanic is excited about sharing her expertise, so people learn about the blog.
- The blog answers customers’ real questions, so they trust the mechanic and return to her when they have more questions.
- Customers mention the blog, so the mechanic can see that it isn’t a waste of time.
- Since the blog is about real people, readers are excited to leave comments and that means they automatically have a connection with the brand.
- Word-of-mouth advertising takes off, making other advertising efforts much more effective.
- The mechanic’s focus on finding answers to customer questions and useful information for them means she’s getting better at customer engagement, so she’s retaining more customers.
- Search engines take notice of the mechanic’s blog and her website, so more potential customers find the site.
- These new customers can quickly see whether this mechanic can do what they need, so they either call for an appointment right away or move on and save her time.
For our hypothetical blogging mechanic, we started off with the assumption that she knew a lot about computers and had some writing proficiency. However, we know many business owners who don’t have that expertise. If you would like help getting started on your own blog, we can help you turn the business expertise you already have into a powerful marketing and customer retention tool. We’re happy to get you started on the path to business blogging success.