When I talk about blogging I’m not referring to telling stories about your kids or debriefing your day. I’ll leave that special attention-seeking ridiculousness to fame-seeking lifestyle bloggers. Some of you might be thinking: “Wait, there’s more to blogging?” Yes. Yes there is. Before you zone out on me, check out this infographic:
That’s pretty impressive. Who doesn’t want 67% more leads for their business? I could imagine you’re still skeptical. How could an activity like blogging produce results like that? Let’s find out…
Imagine a huge concert hall with the capacity to seat thousands but only five doors. Is it easy to get thousands of people in and out of the 5 single doors of that concert hall? If you answered YES you must be some type of amazing nuclear physicist who can displace and transport matter. If you answered NO we are on the same page and not on the cast of Star Trek. Let’s keep going.
Your website is like a huge concert hall. It has the ability to welcome thousands upon thousands of visitors to view multiple shows all at the same time. If you only have five doors for entry, you’re limiting the ways for those thousands of visitors to enter — and you’re only showing five concerts a night. People may very well find you, but their visits will be over a long period of time because you can only connect with the ones who want to watch the five shows you’re offering.
Now consider that you have hundreds of doors, hundreds of pages, all talking about different things that people need to know while or before buying your product. You have now engineered a way to connect with people throughout the buying cycle and welcome them into your site through hundreds of doors to view hundreds of shows all at once.
If you don’t like that long winded example of why blogging is good just ask yourself, what’s better, five pieces of candy or 500 pieces of candy? I guess that depends if you’re on a diet. Five steaks or 500 steaks? Vegetarian? Five vegetarian friends or 500 vegetarian friends? We all like friends…not to eat, but to, you know, be friends with. Cannibalism is frowned upon in all 50 states. I rest my case. Pro of blogging: it’s a good way to get more people to come to your site.
Most of your website content is focused on the end the buying cycle. You’re pitching your company as a solution to a problem and allowing people to make a buying decision against your competitors. That’s fine, but not everyone in your target market knows they have a problem, or what the solution could be. As they go through the buying cycle, they think about your product or service using different terms, asking different questions as their knowledge increases.
When you blog, you can specifically address those questions in your blog posts, allowing you to meet people throughout the buying cycle and start a relationship with them earlier in their decision-making process. So when they’re ready to make a decision, they’re more likely to come to you for the solution.
People don’t really want to talk to a salesperson right away. They don’t like to be sold to. And what about the people searching for your product or service outside of business hours? How are they going to find you if you’re not around?
Think about how much car buying has changed in the past 10 years. Back in the day you had to physically go to the car lot to see available vehicles and then talk to a sales person to get the details. Now, nearly every car dealership allows you to go online and compare cars for sale, view interior and exterior photos, and read prices and specifications – all without ever leaving your couch.
At this point in my life I don’t have time to drag my kids through the car lot. This leaves me with two options: paying for a sitter or taking off work. Both of these cost me money, and I’m trying to save money so I can buy a car. I do, however, have time to look at cars online after I put the kids to bed.
The way those cars are added to a website – it’s the same way your blog posts are added to your website. And your posts allow people to learn about your product or service at their leisure and at their own pace.
The technical component allowing people to find you throughout their buying journey is SEO – search engine optimization. Blogging allows you to optimize your website for more terms, addressing more potential ways a client might search for your product or service, so you’ll show up more often in search results for more search terms.
When you’re blogging over a specific subject matter and your blog is connected with your website it helps Google associate you with the product or service you provide. And as you release content regularly, Google’s algorithm recognizes that cadence and in turn, adjusts the frequency with which it goes out to your website and indexes your pages. The more often it indexes your pages, the more pages you have in the search engine to be found.
Most types of online marketing stop generating traffic to your site when you stop doing the activity. For example, if you send an email, make a social media post or pay for an ad inviting people back to your site they only generate visitors to your site for a limited period of time. Using those digital marketing strategies alone you’re on a continual hunt for traffic. There’s no farming.
Now, I’m not saying that blogging isn’t a continual grind. I’ll get into that in a second with the okay and the ugly. But after you put in the effort to publish your blog posts – it’s farming. Each piece of content published on your website has the potential to bring in traffic. Not just the day you publish it, but every day it’s online. Naturally, some topics will gain more visitors than others, so it is important to optimize your content for your business’s audience.
I’ve studied different websites: some where blogs are produced regularly and those have blogs for a period of time and then stop. Remember, each piece of content on your website is a door.
And here’s the thing – even if you stop creating more doors, the ones you have don’t shut – they continue to invite traffic in.
Sites I’ve observed with regularly published blog content continue to see an increase in the amount of traffic to their site every month. And the sites that stopped blogging experienced increased traffic while they blogged, but when they stopped it plateaued. They didn’t lose the volume of visitors generated through each blog post immediately like you would if you were running ads.
Now, over time some of your blog posts will become outdated and stop generating as much traffic. This is simply because content no longer reflects the times, and people are looking for something more recent. Even an old blog post can contribute though – it can maintain traffic for a very long period of time, even years. I have blog posts from 2013 that are still generating thousands of visitors a month to my site. Nonetheless, those posts’ traffic volumes are slowly decreasing as they age, which is why I have to continually publish new content…like this post!
Blogging has an amplified effect on the traffic to your website. Research shows that website traffic increases up to 30% after publishing just 21-54 blog posts. The more articles you post the faster your website traffic will increase.
An aggressive blogging campaign releases 15 or more articles a month. That sounds great, but not all of us have that kind of time. Looking at the statistics from earlier, if you only publish a blog post every other month it will take you almost 6 years to increase your website traffic 30%. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t really seem worth the effort to me. I’d just pay for some online ads and move on.
I advise people starting with around four blog posts a month as a minimum. If you can’t manage 4, at least make sure you pair your efforts with other online advertising types to supplement your traffic until you reach a more substantial flow of organic website visitors (people who naturally find you through search engines by searching for things related to what you do).
Now is when I’m going to banish the rainbows and unicorns from the idea of blogging. Writing compelling blog content takes time. Heck, I’ve been stabbing away at this long-winded work of culinary confection since yesterday, and I’m not even half done! Depending upon the length of the article and your comfort level with writing, it may take a few hours to write each of your posts. I average about 2-3 hours for a post like this, which is a little over 1,800 words.
Let’s do some math. If you’re a first time blogger, you’re gonna be a bit slower. I’m gonna be realistic and say it will take you six hours to write a blog post.
…not to completely deter you from blogging to promote your business online. It is awesome and it really does work. The fact that you are still reading this article illustrates the magic of blogging to the extreme. I believe in it so wholeheartedly, I dedicate over a thousand man-hours to it a year. Why? Because I can see the results of blogging every single month as leads from all over the US come in from my website. Now I will reiterate: it takes time and you need to know that going into it. Right now, I’m on my 4th blog post of the day… I am currently in need of a nap and perhaps a Coke-a-Cola. But alas I am not a quitter, so I shall trudge on… wait… I’m actually done with this post. Okay, enough of this depressing, scary stuff. Are you ready to start your blog!?!
Monica is the creative force and founder of MayeCreate. She has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with an emphasis in Economics, Education and Plant Science from the University of Missouri. Monica possesses a rare combination of design savvy and technological know-how. Her clients know this quite well. Her passion for making friends and helping businesses grow gives her the skills she needs to make sure that each client, or friend, gets the attention and service he or she deserves.
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