Are you ready for some jaw-dropping statistics about what a blog can do for your business?
These are according to the research firm Marketing Charts:
- B2B companies with blogs generate an average of 67% more customer leads per month than non-blogging businesses.
- The more frequently you add posts to your blog, the better for your business. Ninety-two percent of bloggers posting multiple times a day report acquiring customers through their blog.
- When businesses ranked the importance of the inbound marketing tools they use, 25% rated their company blog as critical to business success. Thirty-four percent considered it important. Twenty-two percent described it as useful. That’s a total of 81% that believe it helps their businesses.
A blog requires discipline. Set a goal for a number of posts per week, and publish them at a consistent time. When you create a loyal blog following, they’ll start to look forward to hearing from you.
Driving traffic to your blog means getting your content and mechanics right.
One of the most magnetic types of writing is storytelling. Tell a great story, and you can capture attention, entertain, enlighten and persuade quicker than you can say “pay-per-click campaign.”
Stories are memorable and sharable. Tell stories about unique ways people have used your products, people who’ve successfully dealt with challenges by using your services and anything else that relates to the use of your product in the real world.
Treat blog posts like conversations, not lectures. Start your discussions with a comment, position or question, and then ask your readers what they think. Monitor the conversations. Answer, clarify and ask for more feedback.
Concentrating on one topic at a time also improves attention, retention and trust. One way to determine where to go with your blog conversations is to ask yourself “What would I want to learn next?”
Start by structuring your blog with the goal of maximizing traffic:
- Use the principles of SEO to draw search engine attention.
- Set up blog posts so they are reader-friendly, even scannable. Use tools like sub-titles, bullet points and lists.
- Categorize content using tags that let readers to find what they are looking for quickly and easily.
- Use pictures and graphics.
If you have a web host, your blog site will automatically appear in search results on the major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. You can also give your blog visibility on blog directories.
A blog directory (also called a “website” or a “link” directory) links your blog site to other websites and puts it into categories that make it searchable by directory visitors. It’s not a search engine, so it’s not keyword searchable like Google or Bing.
Most companies don’t know what blog directories are, let alone use them. Get a leg up on your competition, and reach the general public through open (free) directories like Bloglines, Dmoz, Jayde and Technorati.
In addition to driving business to you, a blog can make you and an influencer and an expert. A blog has no out of pocket costs. You pay for it with your time. Becoming an online authority means writing a lot and sharing it all for free.
Let us know what you think. Do you have a blog? Is it bringing business to your door? Is there another marketing tool that works better for you? We really want to know. Our other blog readers do, too.