Biting the Blogging Bullet

This morning, we offer yet another insightful blog from the  indefatigable Cassandra Boehlke, this time explaining why blogging is good for you. Yes. YOU. Take it away Cassie:

Howdy, folks! It’s a beautiful day in our corner of the digital neighborhood and it got us thinking of you, our friends. We are friends, right? Cool. Friends are honest with each other so we’ve decided that it’s time to tell you something we’ve been noticing. Ready? You know that face you made – or perhaps still make – when you were floundering in a sea of social media and digital marketing stuff that you didn’t understand? You’d been hearing that it was important for your business to “have a presence”online but didn’t know what the heck you were doing and didn’t have time to figure it all out. You just wanted to focus on making your business more awesome. This was that face:

It’s the same face your potential customers make when they are trying to find information Grumpy Manabout you on the web but:

  • They can’t find anything
  • They can only find your social media pages, which they can’t access without logging into an account for said social media site(s) that they may not even have
  • While they were able to find your website, they only found generalized – or worse: outdated – information about your company, such as your mission statement, a summary of your products and services, etc.

“I’m not a mind reader,”you are probably muttering. “What are they looking for?”

They’re looking for what we already know – definitive proof that you genuinely care about meeting their needs. We’re going to let you in on a secret about how you genuinely can.

Create and maintain a blog.

Before you make that face at us, take a breath. When done right, blogging is not only beneficial, but even fun! Here’s what you need to know:

  • Blogs are meant to be an informative, yet engaging, extension of your existing brand…no need to reinvent your wheel.
  • Blogs are great for improving your website’s SEO. The more webpages your website (your blog is usually a part of your website) publishes to the web, the more your website is indexed by search engines. In short, the more stuff you put on the web, the higher your website is likely to rank in search results for people who are searching for your products and services. (Pro Tip: Search engines favor websites that are frequently updated as well, so your website will also fare better in search engine results pages because each blog post that you make is an update to your website.)
  • Blogging gives you an opportunity to pay it forward to potential customers by providing them with tips and helpful information related to your industry. Like social media, a blog shouldn’t be used to peddle your wares constantly. When we say that these tools should be used to engage people, we mean that you should think of it like a conversation. No one wants to listen to someone talk about themselves non-stop. It’s critical to remember when you’re doing any digital marketing that the people you’re trying to build relationships with can end the conversation with one click of a mouse. They don’t even have to come up with an excuse to walk away, and most of the time, they won’t bother to tell you why they are doing it. In short, remember that it’s about what’s in it for them, not you, and you’ll do just fine!
  • If you decide to blog, allow people to leave comments. If you disable this feature that people commonly expect, it appears as if you don’t want to hear from them, or worse, as if you’re hiding something that you’re afraid a commenter would uncover. We also advise our clients not to require comments to be approved by the blog’s administrator before they go live on the web. We know that you’re very busy and if comments aren’t approved within minutes, it will kill the conversation. While it may be tempting to require commenters to fill out a CAPTCHA form before the comment goes live, we also advise against this, as they are sometimes difficult to read and frustrating for users. Remember, you’re trying to create an environment that is conducive to conversation, not discourage people from jumping in at all.

There you have it folks! Blogs are good. Blogs are fun. Tell us your stories and ask any questions you have. We’re always down for a good conversation!

Darlene McCarty Cohn

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