Back in 2005 Business Week did an article that made the cover of the magazine on how and why blogs will change your business. Today, in 2012, blogging has almost become a necessity for your business and brand. As of July 2011 there were an estimated 164M blogs in existence. In a recent study of Fortune 500 Companies, 139 (28%) have public facing corporate blogs, which is up 5% from 2011.
According to eMarketer, at the end of 2011, there were over 123M people in the U.S. who read blogs every day and that figure is estimated to go up to 134M by the end of 2012 and reach 150M by 2014. This is nothing to turn your nose up at.
But blogging can be time consuming, tedious, and a lot of work. So should you have a blog? I have three rules for companies or brands who want to blog:
- You must love to write
- You must be passionate about a topic
- You must have the time to be consistent in your post frequency
If you don’t have those three elements then blogging isn’t for you. Or maybe you need to outsource it. Frequency can be weekly, but anything less than that and it won’t garner much in the way of web traffic, sales, or readers. So unless you are blogging for writing practice or for personal reasons, then a minimum of once per week is a necessity.
Blogging also garners you a lot more than just web traffic. It also let’s you reach more people. There are lots of blogs out there that tout why you should have a corporate blog. Here are my top 7 reasons on why your business needs a blog:
- SEO (search engine optimization)
Perhaps the biggest reason for your company to have a blog is to have dynamic content. Most companies have static websites with the occasional quarterly promotion. That’s not enough to build web traffic or optimize your website for search engines.
A blog is a great way to introduce or promote new products and services. It’s also a great way to get feedback about your products and services which is invaluable to your ongoing business development.
Blog comments are a great way to engage directly with your consumer or prospect. And a great way to find out what’s on their mind and what they want or expect from your brand now and in the long run.
- Develop Trust
A blog gives your company a personality. It allows you to develop a persona that can build trust among your audience which will inspire word-of-mouth referrals and generate sales in the long run.
A blog is a great way to not only spread awareness about your products and services, but also about your mission and vision of the company. Your philosophy and values can be carried out in your blog easily. It allows you to target issues or topics with your key audience — and you can do it more than once, on more than one page.
- Building Community
Blogs create communities centered around like-minded individuals. This generates more referrals and more word-of-mouth for your brand and your products/services. And as I tell nonprofit clients, you can have the best idea or best cause in the world, but without a community, it’s worthless. (tweet this quote)
- Generate Sales
If all goes well and you’ve done your homework and have blogged consistently about a topic for a period of time then hopefully, new opportunities or sales will be generated.
Do you have a company blog – why or why not?