By Eoin O'Hara
Running a new and growing business is a busy job, and actions often count more than words. But marketing your product or service is a vital part of business success. We explain why blogging is key to getting the word out about your business.
Here are just a few business benefits of blogging that should give you the inspirational push to get started.
It will improve your search engine optimisation
There’s a little myth doing the rounds at the moment that the silver bullet of poor search engine placements is regular blogging… Sadly this is not the case. Yes, blogging can provide a significant boost to your rankings, but it is only one in an extensive parade of elements that contribute to how search engines position you in search results.
Having said that, blogging is certainly one of the best things you can do to improve your SEO. Search engines are crazy about fresh, new, well written, well linked and well tagged content, so having a steady stream being published on your site (even if it's only once a week) will help to upgrade your site's relevance and improve its SEO.
(As you would imagine, it can take a little while for the effects of this to be seen. But stick with it and eventually the search engines will catch up!)
It will help you keep up to date with the latest developments in your industry
Although we all strive to keep on top of any major/interesting news or developments that might have an impact on our industry or our customers, finding the time to really digest and reflect on this information can be a challenge.
By incorporating blogging into your work day, you are giving yourself an opportunity to take some meaningful time out, and explore the goings-on in your marketplace. Better still, this allows you to really get to grips with it in an engaging way, by forming and expressing your opinions through your blog posts.
Hopefully this will become a contributing factor to how you run your business and, over time, train you to be more progressive, imaginative and critical of your own performance.
It will improve your professional credibility
If you are engaged with and interested in what you are writing about, a blog should help to boost your standing in the industry.
Show that your business is actively participating in the dialogue surrounding its industry, and the contemporary issues that affect it. This is important no matter what size your business is, but especially if you own a small business or a startup, because you probably have limited resources with which to establish your credibility. A blog can be one of the easiest ways of saying to a customer 'We are here; we are making a contribution; we are dedicated to the things that are important to you'.
It will build a new community
A big mistake many people make is that they create an informative, engaging, interesting, thought-provoking post, upload it to their blog and then forget all about it… This might help your SEO but, aside from that, you may as well have screwed it up and tossed it in the bin.
One of the great things about a blog is that it can be used as a kind of ‘social media capital’, which can help to build a relevant community around your business, giving you access to a wide range of interested parties. Share your blog on Facebook, tweet about it on Twitter, pin it to Pinterest, post it on LinkedIn, do your very best to spark up a bit of engagement with it, and contribute to any discussions that might ensue. It can also be part of business development and a way of getting back in touch with contacts.
Progress might be slow but over time you will begin to see a community forming around your social media activity.
The blogs we love: there are a few companies based at Workspace whose blogs we can't stop reading.
Whether it's a recipe for a rainbow cake or a photo of a tasteful (?) pair of shorts made from canvas coffee bean sacks, the Pact Coffee blog is bright, cheerful and fun.
We love the blog from storage-in-a-box company LOVESPACE (who live at Kennington Park), mainly because it's so pretty!
Love reading high-brow fashion editorial and gazing at moody shots of parkas? Toast, based at Screenworks, have an intelligent and beautiful blog called Toasttravels.
Need to brush up on your knowledge of African politics? Africa Integrity, based at Clerkenwell Studios, post regular, accessible and sometimes provocative commentary on their blog Africa Integrity Insights.
A great lesson in modern design and combining business insight with posts about new products, the Mint Digital blog is a favourite in our bookmarks folder.
Eoin O'Hara is a business developer and lead content writer at Startacus.net. Follow them on Twitter.