Is it Worth it? (The 4 ‘Ifs’ Behind your Blog’s Success)October 26, 2018
If you search ‘Does Your Business Need a Blog’ in google, it would take over sixty years to go through the 2,270,000,000 results. Of course, that’s if you spent a less than a second on each result. Now, if you search the title of this blog, it would only take around two and a half months – give or take.
The point I’m trying to make is that there are a lot of opinions out there regarding the efficacy of blogging for business both in favor and not. However, since you’re reading THIS blog, my assumption is that you’re more likely to listen to the favorable opinions.
The internet is full of abandoned business blogs – once consistent contributions that just as soon as they begin getting traffic and response start to diminish in quality and frequency until the contributions stop all together. Some studies suggest that your average blog is most likely to be abandoned before the first month. How tragic.
If you’re wondering if a blog will add value as a component of your marketing strategy, the overwhelming consensus is frustratingly, ‘It Depends’. My own experience with blogging, coupled with the opinions and research of seasoned marketers have helped me compile the following list of ‘Ifs’ that stand in front of you and a successful blog.
You should start a blog IF…
You Make it a Pillar of Your Marketing Strategy
Like email, social media, and advertisement your blog is an active marketing tool with a well-defined strategy of its own. That strategy should include defining the audience (the readers of your blog), budgeting, creating a content plan, and identifying what metrics will be used to measure success.
Will Blunt, Marketing professional and contributor to the HubSpot company blog wrote in his article How to Create a Successful Blog Strategy: A Step-by-Step Guide:
“It isn’t enough to simply have a blog — businesses need to spend time creating a blogging strategy that allows for high quality content creation so you can, slowly, build a reputation for thought leadership that will pay off big time in the long term.”
An important component of that strategy should also be to figure out how to synchronize your marketing efforts so that they can effectively tie in and reference each other. Share your blog on social media, include similar content between your email marketing campaigns and your blog content, and incentivize blog participation through advertisement.
In other words, blog strategy should not operate in silo from your other marketing efforts
“The blog and social channels do more than co-exist, they feed off and from each other. Hot topics being discussed on social can be expanded on in articles on the blog. Similarly, blog content can be broken down into bite-sized pieces to socialise[sic] on differing channels” (flockler.com,8 reasons why you still need a blog)
You focus on helping a specific group address a specific problem
As important as it is to define your audience, it is also important to address and discuss the problems they are trying to solve. How can the content and information in your blog make the readers life easier? If you want organic traffic, you’re blog content should answer important questions. At the same time, existing blog subscribers should be kept engaged with relevant content.
Citrix Systems, a leading multinational virtualization SaaS provider invests a considerable amount of time and energy into their blog – and it shows. The Citrix blog not only serves as excellent marketing material for their prospective clients (it shows that they know their stuff!), but also provides insightful studies, industry news, and actionable advice for their existing clients and those involved in the industry.
You do it better than your competitors
Marketing is about communicating your product, solution, and service to as many potential customers as possible better and hopefully quicker than anyone else. People need to visit your blog and continue to return to your blog.
There was a time where tricks could get you to the top of a search result. Google is smarter now, and it is becoming harder and harder to outsmart their algorithms. In the end, there is no faking the real deal. Blogs that are pushed to the top of the search results are longer, contain more content, and are written in better detail than the ones below them. And with data suggesting that the first result gets 10x more clicks than the third result, if you’re not first, you’re LAST!
It is not good enough to produce a creative blog that provides meaningful and actionable content. Your blog needs more content, with higher quality, delivered more frequently than any of your competitors.
You involve the community
Social media is so successful because people enjoy sharing their opinions with others. A blog is still very much cut from the same fabric as the social network. Gina Bianchini, founder of Mighty Networks and contributor to Medium favors what she calls a ‘Deep Interest Network’, that rather than talking at someone, includes a community.
If you have an idea, unique take on the world, or desire to start your own business, your 2017 “blog” needs to be mobile, social, and valuable from Day One. It’s no longer about lecturing at your audience, it’s about hosting a party where people want to meet each other — not just listen to you.
To create an engaging blog, encourage engagement from your audience through polls, comments, and open discussions.
Blogs are over used and overhyped. Blogs can be a complete waste of time, to be sure! There are far more abandoned blogs than there are active ones. However, they are still far from being obsolete. If you commit the time and energy and take it as serious as other marketing avenues it will be successful – just give it time!