32 unbeatable ways blogging ads value to your marketing strategy
Jan. 29, 2016
One of my former clients was in the business of building author platforms through blogging. This was a person who understood how blogging adds value, I thought. I was thrilled to have signed a contract with someone who got it. Until our next call.
Client: Are there any questions I can answer for you?
Me: Yes! I’m curious about the audience for the blog posts. What’s your target readership?
Client: Well, our goal is to develop a platform to publish the book.
Me: Right, I understand that, but it would help me to know which sectors these posts are intended to cater to.
Client: Anyone interested in obesity—everyone, really—will read the book.
Me: Um, OK. What about the editorial strategy? Is there an editorial calendar I should be aware of–?
Client: Look, it’s just a blog! It’s not that complicated!
I’m still indignant over that conversation. Just a blog! “Just a blog” doesn’t do squat. It doesn’t develop an audience and it certainly doesn’t inspire reader loyalty. It doesn’t support products. It doesn’t encourage people to sign up for email lists. It doesn’t get readers excited.
For businesses, there’s no value in “just blogging,” which is why I’m such a proponent of content strategy. Put strategy behind your blog and you can conquer the Internet! Look at Into The Gloss, a beauty blog that cultivated a cult following large enough and loyal enough to launch an industry-changing product line. Look at Rhea Drummond, now a best-selling cookbook author and Food Network star. Look at Brain Chancery or A Beautiful Mess or Design*Sponge.
Every single example—and thousands more, besides—have launched businesses supported by their blogs. They never would be here, doing what they’re doing in 2016, if they hadn’t started there, with a blog.
32 ways blogs add value to your business
Let’s strike the phrase “it’s just a blog” from our vocabulary! Blogs mean money, and your bottom line matters. Here’s exactly how your business blog can add bucks to your budget by creating incredible, incomparable, unbeatable value:
- Give you a space to develop your voice as both a writer and a business owner
- Let you demonstrate the subject matter expertise that is the basis for your products and services
- Show customers what to expect before they open their wallets
- Give loyal readers something valuable they can share with friends, introducing your business to new audiences
- Educate customers on why they need what you sell
- Remind your past clients that you’re still alive and kicking, and doing awesome things they should probably invest in
- Gives potential customers insight into the value you provide
- Allows you to tell personal stories, which brings a human dimension to your online business
- Let you ask for a sale by proving the worth of your products rather than making a cold pitch
- Court loyal readers who aren’t ready to buy just yet, but want to in the future
- Offer an information-driven way to get your branding in front of thousands of eyes
- Build community by allowing you to interact with your audience in the comments
- Let you reach new leads via social media shares that push informative value rather than sales pitches
- Keep your site updated, which is a boon for Google’s search algorithms
- Act as a portfolio when you’re seeking to guest post on or contribute to other blogs or content-driven websites
- Show proof of concept for new product ideas thanks to on- and off-site engagement with posts
- Blog readership statistics allow you to make the case for affiliates, sponsors, and partnerships
- Let you hone your messaging by evaluating what resonates most with your audience
- Qualify leads by compelling potential customers to sign up for your email list
- Build your keyword authority by adding quality content on the keywords that most directly relate to your products and services
- Allow you to test-drive content that could later be turned into a product
- Give you a forum for asking for audience input, whether it’s for product creation, beta testing, future services, new blog post ideas, or something else entirely
- Let you demonstrate your passion for a particular area, cause, or problem, which makes you more relateable
- Bring boring topics to life with anecdotes, visuals, user-generated content, and more
- Provide you with the opportunity to show off your approach to customer service by how you handle questions, comments, and criticism
- Enable you to demonstrate what kind of business you’re running and what you value most through the stories you tell, the words you choose, and the way you address industry problems
- Give you a megaphone to talk directly to your target customer without pushing them to buy something from you immediately
- Allow you to get a sense of your customers’ biggest pain points through post topic experimentation and engaging with readers in the comments
- Let you introduce new products to a friendly, welcoming crowd who already like what you do
- Pull back the curtain on a complicated process, allowing your readers to understand how you do what you do and why it’s worth what you charge for it
- Give you the opportunity to help your readers prepare for purchasing your products by helping them analyze their needs and ask important questions
- Let you control the perception potential clients, who are in the research stage of the buying process, have of you
Start here to build a blog that adds value to your business
Blogging just to blog is fine, but not when you’re running a business that means business. If you want customers and sales and growth, you need strategy—content strategy. Here’s where to start: