To blog or not to blog?
It depends on what you aim to achieve, but if creating a great digital experience for your audience is important to you and your business, then blog! Even better, Google and the other search engines will reward you with a better ranking if you regularly create and post content that is to the point, useful, informative and relevant for their users.
With Sweet Orange, I’ve been a tad busy creating content for other websites and publications, and taking care of clients’ blogs and news pages is a big part of that. I am lucky to work with some amazing business owners and decision makers in businesses who recognise the value in this. They talk to me, I take notes, write their story, and they use it where they see fit. Then they get the rewards (increased web traffic, new clients, more enquiries and sales).
Yes, I am well aware of the fact that I have totally neglected my own digital platform – the one you are now on. Up until now, there was no blog on this website. It is now 2019 and the time has come for me to stop talking about it and actually doing it. Not just for others, but also for you!
Welcome to the first ever Sweet Orange blog post, and what better topic to choose than…
The Top 10 Reasons Why You Need to Blog!
Who wants to be on the first page of Google? That’s right – everyone. Fact is, there are simply no guarantees with search engines, unless you pay for it. Per click. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise as they are basically full of sh*t. Facebook ads and a well-managed and perfectly targeted Google Adwords campaigns can certainly be worth the investment, but I’m sure we all agree that organic search results are the purest gold. The easiest way to achieve it, you guessed it, is by publishing relevant content.
2. Your Voice
As a specialist in your chosen field, you know your stuff. You have experience, passion, and a massive amount of knowledge about what it is you do. When you talk to a customer or prospect, you happily share that knowledge. It is a major part of your sales pitch, and by sharing your knowledge you gain people’s trust. If you’re good at what you do, people will pick up on it straight away. You become an authority. Doesn’t it make sense to also do this on your digital platforms? Of course it does. Tell your story and spread it far and wide. That’s what makes you an industry leader.
3. Help others
Why do people Google stuff? Because they want their questions answered. For most people in business, their “Why” is to help people. With your products or services, you offer a solution that fulfils peoples’ needs. If doing this also gives you a roof over your head and a retirement fund, then you’re doing it right. By sharing your stories, you give people something valuable. Not only do you help them find the answers they need in a friendly, converstational way, it’s also quite likely you’ll welcome them as new customers.
4. Brand Awareness
Another reason why blogging should be part of your marketing strategy is that it is a relatively easy and cost-effective way to build your brand. While you provide relevant and useful content to your target audience, communicate and tell your story, you get found online. Customer engagement is a massively important aspect of online marketing. A well-written and regularly updated blog gives you another opportunity to connect with existing and potential customers in a conversational way. They will recognise you, revisit you, and ultimately reward you with their business.
5. Social Sharing
Do you have a Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, Instagram feed? Even if you are not overly active on social media, the rest of the world is. Images, videos, and stories make your business relatable, and if they are useful, informative, thought-provoking and easy to read – people will share them. That opens up new doors for your business, as more people will become aware of who you are and what you do. The reach you potentially get by regularly posting quality content is hugely valuable, and the impact of it is hard to beat.
6. Save Time
Do you often get asked the same questions about your products and/or services? Instead of answering these questions individually in phone calls, emails, or via Messenger or other apps, you can simply refer people to the blog on your website. If they find an in-depth article with pictures, infographics, and videos there, they will certainly appreciate it and find it helpful. It gives them exactly what they need, while saving you time and energy. Do make sure to include a link or at least your contact details so people can get in touch if they want to find out more.
7. Build your database
When linking your blog posts to your newsletters, or inviting people to sign up to your database in your blog article so they can receive more stuff and info that they care about, you effortlessly build your network, and your brand at the same time. Blog articles are perfect for sharing in your email marketing and newsletters. All you need is a catchy intro, and a link to your website. It opens the door for a conversation, while giving your audience so much more than a simple option to ‘buy now’.
8. Be Alive and Kicking
A fresh dose of content published regularly on your website, shared on your social feeds and in your email marketing, shows that your business is alive and active. It reassures your audience that you are ready to offer ideas, and that you have the solutions they want and need. Although publishing a new article each week is the perfect scenario, one or two great stories a month is acceptable. The trick is not to let it slide, as so many businesses do. Make it a vital part of your marketing strategy, and schedule it into your week. Trust me, it will pay off!
9. Sell and Promote
As with an advertorial, at least 80 per cent of the content of your blog article should be aimed at informing and educating the reader. This is not about the hard sell. In saying that, a blog is still a valuable sales tool. In your articles, you can explain what you have to offer, introduce a promotion, and persuade people to make a purchase. It’s a much more subtle way to do it, but it is effective all the same.
10. Into the Deep
While FAQ pages on websites have their purpose, a solid blog post (ideally of 1000+ words) will give you the opportunity to go deep into a topic, and explain exactly how your product or service works, and why it is what someone needs. You can inform and educate your readers, with all the above benefits as a result. While doing so, you’ll introduce an existing and new audience to your products and solutions, and don’t forget to add a call to action so people can book, buy, or contact you.
A Little Extra for You
This Sweet Orange blog post is just over 1400 words long, and it’s jam-packed with relevant keywords and phrases. The average content length for Page 1 results on Google is around 1,900 words. Really! That’s a good bit longer than the 500-word blog posts most writers and webmasters think is ideal. That’s why I say that 1000+ words should be your goal if you’re putting together content ideas and an article structure for your blog and other written digital content. It may seem a little text heavy, but sometimes more is more. Just don’t waffle on to get the word count up. Keep it relevant and to the point.
As an indication of time. This blog post took me about 4 hours to research, write, edit, post, and share. Some stories take much longer to create. More about that here… I hope you’ve found it helpful, and feel free to send me your thoughts and ideas. Constructive criticism and feedback from my readers is always welcome.
Have a happy day!
~ by Martine Pierhagen, content creator and founder of Sweet Orange Ltd
If you know you need to blog and post fresh content regularly but you don’t know where to start or how to do it. Or if you simply do not have the time… think about outsourcing it to an expert content creator such as Martine. She’d love to take care of it for you, and she’ll make sure your content is unique, fresh, shareable and easy to read. Call 021 492040 or email Sweet Orange today for an obligation free chat.