What is blogging to me? Well, as a freelance writer, it’s planting seeds for the future.
I’m a ‘one-man band,’ as they say; I work alone. And, so, I usually spend my days juggling several ‘plates’ hoping not to drop one. What, there’s writing, quoting, invoicing — better not forget about the coffee. And, while in a state of perpetual motion, I’m often guilty of committing one of the worst sins someone in business can make.
I forget about marketing.
My primary marketing activity is blogging. And, yes, recently, my blog has come to resemble the withered pot plant sitting on my porch that I forget to water.
I’m busy. Some tasks, like blogging and watering plants, are hard to find time for. I’m a one-man band, remember!
Here’s the thing, though: If I don’t water my plant, what’s the point of having it in the first place? Who wants a potted twig to look at? And, if I forget to blog, it will cease being useful; my phone will eventually stop ringing.
Of course, when I’m busy, I don’t want my phone to ring so much. However, business is a fickle game; customers can come and go. And, before I know it, I don't have enough work to do, and I wish I'd been kinder to my blog.
“So, why is blogging so important?” you say. Well, I thought you’d ask that, so here are three damn good reasons.Do you like this post? If so, please share.Click To Tweet
1: Search engines
Search engines, like Google, work out how valuable your website is (and whether they should send traffic your way) based mainly on two factors: incoming links from quality websites and fresh content.
Now, trying to get quality links is difficult (I don’t even try, and any links to my website have come naturally); creating fresh content, though, isn’t so tough.
These days, as you will know, consumers jump on Google when researching products and services. So, if you write regular articles (blog posts) that answer your potential customers’ questions, guess where they are likely to end up? That’s right: on your website. I liken blogging to fishing: the more hooks you cast into the sea, the more fish you are likely to catch.
So, in a nutshell, blogging can drive traffic to your website.
2: Faster and less costly conversions
In days gone by, customers needed salespeople to help them understand the features and benefits of products and services. Well, unfortunately for those in the sales profession, this doesn't happen so much anymore.
As explained in point number one, these days, consumer learn about products and services themselves by reading articles or watching videos online. Consequently, by the time they approach your business, potential customers are farther along the sales cycle as they might have been otherwise — they have already educated themselves, and you didn't have to pay a salesperson for that to happen.
3: Support your brand
How would you describe your business’ brand? Is it laid back, serious, boundary-pushing or conservative? Apart from educating your customers, a blog also allows you to express who you are — what your brand is all about.
No time to blog?
At the beginning of this post, I lamented about being time poor. And, I’m not alone; most of my customers have the same problem. Which, of course, is why they hire a writer like me to help them out.
Will I lose my personality if I get a blogger to write for me?
It’s true that, if you’re not careful, your blog can end up generic and ‘vanilla’— production-line mush that could belong to any one of your competitors. If you do hire a blog writer, don't wash your hands of your blog and expect — as if by magic — that it will be great. You need to have some level of involvement.
So, what does this involvement entail? Here’s how my successful blogging customers work with me:
- They provide a brief: This includes word count, topic, the tone of voice and target customers.
- They contribute: This can be in the form of supplying bullet points for what needs to be included, talking to me or providing links to relevant websites.
- They support their blog: This can be in the form of promoting blog posts on social media and in their newsletters.
Yes, like a pot plant, your blog needs some TLC for it to flourish. And, if you give it the attention it needs, you will enjoy a steady stream of customer inquiries.