Everywhere you turn these days someone is shouting, “Your business needs a blog!” and, while it might seem like a good idea, you know deep down inside there must be something they’re not telling you. Well, you’re right. There is. It’s always a good idea to have a blog to help promote your business. But there are times when you really shouldn’t.
Why Your Business Should Have A Blog
A blog allows you to show off your expertise: It’s like a virtual sales person. So, imagine a customer walks into your shop and they have dozens of questions about your product or service. Your expert, highly-trained sales person could answer all of those questions, making it easier for that customer to decide to spend money with you. Having a blog allows you to answer all those same questions in much greater detail than you can with a simple website.
A blog allows you to reach a larger audience: With a simple website you may have five or six pages of content, which means your website will appear under five or six different keywords, or maybe a dozen at most, on the search engine indexes. But with a blog, each of your blog posts has it’s own URL and typically focuses on one keyword. The more blog posts you have the more index appearances, which means that much more exposure for your business.
All of those index appearances are especially helpful if you operate a local business, even more so if you have a lot of local competition. When someone searches for a plumber, Google automatically lists the local plumbers at the top of the index. When someone searches for information on a lawn care problem, Google automatically lists the local landscaping companies at the top of the index.
With a blog you have much more flexibility with regard to what type of content you can publish. If you have a great How-To video you’d like to share, or a new menu for your restaurant, or some before-and-after pictures, it’s easy enough to just upload them to your blog and publish. You can publish this new content as often as you like and you don’t need an experienced web designer to mess around in your code.
This flexibility means a blog also encourages reader engagement, much more so than a simple website, because your content is always fresh and exciting. Your visitors can leave comments and questions, which gives you another opportunity to show off your expertise. And readers who enjoy your content and leave comments are also more likely to share your blog with their friends in the social networks.
Why Your Business Shouldn’t Have A Blog
Now, on the other hand, a blog is a lot more work than most people imagine. Someone has to create all of that content. Someone has to do the research to find out what searchers are looking for. Someone has to monitor and answer the questions in the comments, and someone has to participate in all of that social sharing.
If you’re planning to use a blog to promote your business then your blog will be a tool, much like your sales people or support staff. You don’t send a sales person out into your shop without proper training, and you don’t just set up a blog and start blogging about whatever comes to mind. It takes careful planning and research, and continuous, regular updating.
Your business should have a blog because it will help increase your visibility with the search engines, thereby increasing your traffic and sales. But you shouldn’t have a blog just because you think it’s the “Thing To Do.” If you don’t understand how to set it up or how to maintain it, then a blog will just be a drain on your resources.