Blogging. It’s important, perhaps critical, for small businesses and startups for several reasons.
Blogging is good for search engine optimization (SEO). If you set up your blog correctly, each time post, you add a new page to your website. New, fresh content is key to Google search algorithms.
Blogging improves site traffic. SEO Inc. reported in August 2012 that it increased its traffic by 60% in three months through blogging alone. The more often people visit or interact with your site, the better for Google’s search algorithm.
Blogging increases leads. A recent HubSpot study of more than 7,000 businesses concluded that companies that increase blogging from 3-5X/month to 6-8X/month almost double their leads.
Blogging personalizes your business and establishes credibility. Blogging is a great way to connect with your market, educate people about your industry and remind people that you are the right person or company for the task, product or service.
Blogging provides a forum for instant feedback from current and potential customers. You can get an immediate (and gut reaction) response regarding new ideas and suggested improvements to your products and services.
So, why aren’t you blogging – and blogging consistently?
Two of the biggest blogging hurdles are:
1. Writing. Writing is hard, and it’s not for everyone.
2. Time. Even if you are a good writer, it takes hours (and can sometimes take days) to complete a post.
Most likely, you don’t have the time (or skill) to consistently write blog posts. You are probably finessing your product or service, meeting with customers, interfacing with investors, negotiating with suppliers, putting out fires or trying to start them.
So, if you don’t have time and you don’t have the skill, why not outsource?
At work, you hire accountants to help with taxes and lawyers to help with contracts. At home, you hire a lawn service to mow your yard and a cleaning lady to help with vacuuming. Sure you could do all of these things, but someone else is either is better at it or has the time to focus on it.
Why can’t the same be true for blogging?
Sure, in an ideal world, business owners should write their own blog posts. You should also get 60 minutes of exercise every day, give at least 10 percent of your money to help the children, eat more bran, mow your lawn AND scrub your toilets…you get the picture.
Look, I am a journalist by trade. I get why some “purists” believe all blogs must be written by the blog owner. But why can’t they get help? Why can’t they rely on those that have the skill AND the time to help craft posts? I am not suggesting that you hire a ghost writer (i.e., someone pretending to be you) or hire someone to crank out meaningless words or irrelevant content. What I am suggesting is more like-here is a draft of a post. Go finesse, edit, reword, and make it your own.
There are plenty of good freelance writers that will research your niche, understand your market, get to know your customers, learn about industry trends, provide a fresh perspective – AND best of all, help create new, fresh, well-written, SEO-friendly content for your blog.
As a business owner, you should most certainly be involved with your blog. You should help develop its purpose and strategy, brainstorm editorial ideas, monitor its performance, and reply to customer/reader comments. You should also read (and if necessary, edit and tweak) everything that will be posted to your blog BEFORE it’s posted.
But you do not need to spend precious time struggling to write drafts of blog posts. So, go get yourself some writing help and reap the benefits of improved SEO, increased traffic and more qualified leads.
I’d love to hear from small businesses that have outsourced their blog writing. Are you using a writing service or partnering with an individual? Is it successful?
P.S. From Catherine: If you like the content we post here on Business Unplugged ™ we syndicate it.
Scott Yates is CEO and Co-Founder of BlogMutt, a crowdsourced blog writing service. Scott was an award-winning journalist, author and writing instructor in New York and Colorado before venturing into the world of start-ups. After founding two successful internet companies, Scott founded BlogMutt with his technical Co-Founder, Wade Green.