By Laura Christianson
Thinking about blogging this year?
Websites that include a blog integrated into the site (NOT hosted separately on Blogspot or some other blog hosting service) typically have 434% more indexed pages.
Blog Posts Are Doorways to Your Business
Think of each blog post as a doorway to your business. Let’s say you’re an author. Your website includes the following pages:
That gives prospective book buyers six virtual doorways to walk through so they can get to know you.
Add a blog page to your site. You now have seven doorways.
Now imagine opening the door labeled “Blog” and stepping into a mile-long hallway with doors of all shapes and sizes lining both sides of the hall. Those doors represent each blog post you publish. Some of your posts are lengthy. Others are short. Some of your articles are how-tos. Others are inspirational. Still others are analytical.
If you publish a blog post once a week this year, you’ll give your audience 52 more doors to walk through. So, instead of having six doors, you now have 6 (pages) + 1 (blog directory page) + 52 blog posts = 59 ways for people to find you and meet you.
Blog twice a week and the number of doorways increases to 111.
Label Your Doorways
If I walk through your “Blog” doorway and meander down the long hall, I’ll likely open a few doors and peek in because I’m a curious, snoopy person. But I’d be more likely to open a door if it has a sign on it telling me what’s inside. After all, I don’t want to accidentally walk in on someone who’s using the men’s restroom!
Before publishing your post, fill in the form fields on the SEO plugin (located directly below the post’s text editor) with the following:
- Keyword-rich post title (60 characters)
- Short description that includes an inviting call-to-action (160 characters)
- A few keywords related to your topic
You can also edit the Permalink for your post, to make it more searchable.
When you teach the search engines how to index your article appropriately, people searching for information related to your topic will be more likely to find your blog post. And when they find it, they may comment on it or link to it. Websites that include an active blog typically receive 97% more inbound links.
Blogging Builds Trust
Perhaps the best reason to blog is that blog posts help build trust.
Sixty-one percent of U.S. consumers have made a purchase based on a blog post.
Sixty percent of consumers feel more positive about a brand after reading their blog.
Recently, I met with a business professional who is spending $500 a month on yellow pages advertising. $500 a month! That figure does not include the other marketing this person does.
When was the last time you put your trust in a local business after stumbling across their ad in the phone book? Do you even know where all those phone books that mysteriously appear on your front porch are? (I know where mine are. I just dumped four of them into the recycling bin.)
I can’t remember the last time I used the phone book. When I need to find something, I might search the Internet phone book, but more likely I’ll google it.
And then I’ll visit the company’s website. I’ll read customer testimonials and reviews.
And I’ll look for their blog. I’ll read a few posts. If I like what I see, I’ll subscribe to their blog.
If I really like what I see, I’ll fill out the contact form. Or pick up the phone and call them.
Business professionals often tell me, “I’m busy running my business. I don’t have time to blog. And I don’t like to write.”
I reply, “Remember that $500 a month you’re spending on yellow pages advertising? For $500, you can hire a skilled freelance writer who will capture your voice and write interesting informational articles for your blog on your behalf.”
Instead of forking out $6,000 per year on a phone book ad that might be seen by a dozen people, why not invest that $6,000 in hiring someone to help you produce content that hundreds (or even thousands) of people are likely to find, read, and use?
Does This Method Work?
Yes. But only if you do it strategically and consistently over time.
I know someone who launched a blog and proudly published her first blog post. She checked her statistics every day for two weeks and was disappointed that only 22 people had visited her blog.
“I thought my blog was supposed to help people find me and buy my stuff. Why isn’t that happening?”
My acquaintance mistakenly assumed that the very presence of her blog would result in throngs of people instantly discovering her and eagerly purchasing her wares.
If her name had been “Michelle Obama” or “Sandra Bullock,” that may well have happened.
But for “Jane Doe,” one blog post added to her seven page website = eight doorways for people to find her.
One blog post from Jane or John Doe does not build instant trust with the buying public.
How many times have you been window shopping, walked into a store you’ve never set foot in before, and made a purchase? Sometimes perhaps, on impulse. But you’re more likely to browse around, think about it, and return another time to make your purchase.
The same principle applies to business blogging. You show up for work. You put yourself out there day after day, week after week, year after year. You work hard to produce content your readers will find helpful.
Eventually, you’ll start getting emails and phone calls and customers who say:
“I love your blog and site, and appreciate the amazing variety of information you provide.”
That’s an unedited quote from an email I received. I get comments like that from my blog’s readers every week.
Do all of them become Blogging Bistro clients?
No. Most of them don’t.
But they tell their friends and business associates about us. And some of those people become clients.
One of our new clients met me a year ago at a conference. She contacted me out of the blue and said, “I want to hire you to build a new website and blog for my business.”
Somewhat taken aback, I replied, “But, how do you know you want to work with my company? I haven’t even given you an estimate yet!”
“I know because I’ve been lurking on your blog for a year,” she replied. “I never a comment, but I read every post. I trust you. I’m sold.”
That’s the power of blogging.
What about you?
Has blogging opened doors for others to “discover” you?
If you’re thinking about starting to blog, what are your biggest questions and concerns?
Please leave a comment, and we’ll make every effort to address your questions in upcoming articles.
Here are some ready-made tweets so you can instantly share what you just learned:
Publish a blog post once a week; give your readers 52 “doorways” they can walk thru to meet you [Click to tweet]
Why spend $500/month on phone book ads no one sees when you can blog? [Click to tweet]
Blogs build trust. 60% of consumers feel more positive about a brand after reading their blog. [Click to tweet]
Websites that include a blog typically have 434% more indexed pages [infographic] [Click to tweet]
Websites that include an active blog typically receive 97% more inbound links [infographic] [Click to tweet]
Image credits from Fotolia.com:
Doors © RTimages; We are open sign © Luis Santos; phone book © pixelrobot