The Power of the Blog: how to use a blog to grow your business online
It’s a story as old as time. Well, as old as the first recognised ‘web log’ which was around 1994. Still, it’s an old story and one that’s definitely not finished yet.
To understand how powerful a blog can be and how to fully leverage your blog for your content and growth strategy, we first need to take a look at how the humble blog has developed through the years:
1994: The world’s first blog was created by Justin Hall on Links.net (although it was more of a ‘personal homepage’ than a blog)
1997: The term “weblog” was presented to us by Jorn Barger
1999: Peter Morholz was the cool kid that shortened “weblog” to “blog”, obvs.
1999: The blogging platform ‘Blogger’ was created by Evan Williams and Meg Hourihan
2003: AdSense was launched, along with WordPress and TypePad
2011: Google changed its algorithm, punishing blogs they deemed too “thin” in content
Of course, the blogging super-fans among you will notice that we’ve skipped over quite a few key dates for the history of blogs, and Google’s algorithms have certainly changed a LOT since 2011, but hopefully from this timeline, you get the gist, which is;
1. Blogs have been around for a really long time, so they must be pretty useful
2. For over a decade now Google has been taking note of them, meaning they must be a pretty big deal
Why is having a blog important?
1. Driving traffic to your website
Having a blog allows you, not your website developer, you yourself, to publish a new page on your website whenever you want, or whenever you have enough time to write one, (queue experienced blog writers to the rescue). And with each post of a new blog, is a new opportunity for Google to index that content and make it searchable by potential customers in organic search results.
Creating content that answers common questions searched for by your audience means that your blog post is more likely to show up in front of more people. For help finding out what topics and keywords your audience is searching for, there are two fantastic free online tools you can use; AnswerThePublic and Ubersuggest.
As well as looking at what your audience is searching for, type these queries back into a search engine yourself to look at what your competitors are blogging about. To really stand out, look for gaps in content, is there anything they are not saying that you could? Is there anything more relevant you could write about?
2. Link building
A large amount of your site’s visibility on search engines relies on three factors that the SEO experts refer to as E.A.T. which stands for Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness. Building links to your site help with A – your site’s authority.
The more authority a site has, the higher it will rank in search results. Part of what Google looks at when evaluating your authority is how many links from other sites are directed to yours. An important point here is it’s not just about the number of links you can get from other sites, the sites that link to yours also need to have good authority, or at the very least, not be deemed as low-quality sites.
So where does a blog come into all of this?
A good blog article that contains fresh, value-rich, content is perfect for other non-competitive companies in adjacent industries can link to and in return, you can link back to theirs. This swapping of links between two sites and sharing of content with audiences can be a great way to help build your site authority. In today’s digital marketing world, the most successful companies and teams are those that are willing to collaborate with others and link building is no exception to that.
Of course, the cherry on the top is if you can get a super-authority site to link to your blog. This is where investment in PR and quality surveys can help, but that’s a story for another guide.
Not everyone who comes to your site is going to be ready to buy what you are offering. Some people need a little longer to warm up. Blogs are the perfect way to keep these potential customers engaged with your brand and by giving them valuable content about a subject that is clearly of interest to them.
And it’s not just the potential customers that blogs can help keep engaged, blogs are a great way for your existing customers to keep engaged too. Making sure you create fresh, new, and consistently high-quality articles will help you keep your potential, new, and existing customers all engaged with your brand for the long term.
4. Become the go-to leader in your industry
A blog can help differentiate you from your competitors in a big way. A blog can help you define yourself as the go-to leader in your industry. This means you’ll be the go-to company for everything related to your product or service. Why is this important? Firstly, it’s a fantastic way to build long-term trust with an audience and it will also create some significant support for your brand awareness too.
But here’s the catch. Your content has to be good. I mean, really, really good.
And by good, really what we’re saying is it needs to be valuable. It needs to be content that will truly add value to your target audience. It’s not enough to post a quickly thrown-together blog once a month with a pretty picture. A consistent and well thought out content strategy is what you’ll need to become a leader in your field.
5. Testing content
If you’re in the process of creating or updating your site’s blog, perhaps you are also starting to think about how paid content promotion across social might help drive some growth too. Well, this is another great bonus of having a blog. By having a blog, you can test out what type of content is going down best with your audience. To use this testing strategy with maximum effect, make sure your blog has the ability for users to ‘like’ or click ‘found helpful’. Speaking of which, did you find this article helpful? Go on, give it a thumbs up below…