To answer your question, the first thing we should do is look at why blogging is such a big deal right now. Here’s some brief history of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Once upon a time, in a faraway land where the internet was just beginning to catch on, the first search engines were born. They were a way for people to find information in the world-wide connections of server computers without knowing the exact address for the information.
These were simple, proto search engines bearing much similarity to the search function on your computer. (And if you’ve used the search function on your computer in hopes of finding a file you misplaced you know that this can get you a lot of superfluous data.)
Soon, smart, savvy marketers learned that they could easily trick these search engines into thinking their website was the most suited for many types of searches – even when they were not. They made big money on banner ads and other ways.
But it made people unhappy because that wasn’t the website they were looking for. So the search engines were designed to be smarter and smarter and smarter, until now.
Now search engines are complicated creatures that thrive on three main ideas: (Okay I’m simplifying here but these are big ones)
- Is the content new/relevant but on a good, old, reliable website?
- Does it actually answer the problem/query?
- Are humans liking and talking about this content?
The more these three factors are true, the higher a search engine will rank it as a viable search result – and the more often your ideal people will see it.
Blogs are an easy way of keeping a website old and steady while providing a regular stream of new/current content. (Factor One)
Blogs often explore various nuances of questions that your clients would ask and therefore more often directly relate to a particular search query, especially if you’re making a lot of them. (Factor Two)
Blogs can be posted and shared and liked on social media, they can be linked to on other websites and forums. The more blogs, the more humans are liking and talking about your website. (Factor Three)
Do you HAVE to write a blog?
Nope. You don’t have to network, cold call, send warm letters, stamp postcards, encourage referrals or write ezines either. However, if you’re serious about building a digital presence for your business, this is likely a part of your marketing pie that will never go away.
Outside of the SEO reasons for blogging, it’s also useful in your other marketing. You can re-use it in ezines, social media and even in networking situations. “I’ve been wondering about alternative music options for my hipster wedding” suddenly becomes a bigger sales opportunity when you can offer to email them a link to a blog you wrote three months ago about that very subject.
Having a regularly updated blog makes it easier for you to guest blog on other sites. You’re already comfortable with writing and others can see what your style of writing is by visiting your website.
It’s also an important place to practice developing your message and your voice for all your marketing.
Now, some people hate writing, and I get that. For them I often recommend MP3 (audio-only) podcasts or simple smartphone-recorded videos that you can then pay a virtual assistant to transcribe for SEO purposes.
Final bonus of blogging is you get to show the world YOU ARE A GURU in your field!
Where do blogs rank in your marketing priorities?
That depends on what works best for you. If you’re heavy referrals and in person networking, and you don’t see a need to grow your clientele, this won’t be very important. However, if you’re already doing some networking and mailers and you’re ready to expand your audience digitally while augmenting your other marketing then it’s time to really get serious about blogging.
A word of caution…
Blogging is not an overnight success. Blogging is crockpot-cooking. Do not expect to write one or ten blogs and then throw it all in the trash when you don’t get any sales out of it. This is a persistent-consistency marketing project.
The results and the versatility of use, from blogging long term, however, can make it very worth while!