With creativity rising and customers’ attention being captured by anything new and shiny, blogs are the new website. Why is this you ask? I’m glad you did, because the answer can be found in this article!

Let’s start at the beginning. Most people visit a business’s website to get some form of value, whether that be contact info, product pricing, news or events, or other general types of content. When most websites feature the same generic value, how does a business compete with its competitors to capture the attention of its target audience?

This is where a blog comes in. I’m sure most people view a blog as a forum-like webpage where an individual shares their long – and often drawn out – opinions on a particular subject, and people then respond to that article with discussion. That is still valid today, and in fact, a lot of influential people in the world have blogs where they share their knowledge with online viewers. Take Michael Hyatt, for instance.

What’s different about blogs today, however, is the fact that businesses have seen the advantages of utilizing this tool and are working to generate and engage an audience like the “professional bloggers” have steadily acquired throughout the years.

Enter the headline of this article. There are SO many reasons a blog would benefit your business, but I’ve narrowed it down to 5 enticing pieces of blogging pie. It you’re a picky eater, blogging may not be your style or in your capacity, but if you give the blogging world a chance and open your palate to the possibilities of what growing an audience like this can do for your business, I promise you won’t regret it.

1: Blogs provide new and interesting content for your customers.

As previously stated, companies have to compete to provide their customers with new and intriguing content to keep them interested. If a customer becomes interested in your blog and begins to follow it regularly, you’ve gained an instant long-term customer! They view your blog posts as free value, even if you only see them as words on a screen! Might I also add, these posts are not limited to words. Photos, videos, and links are great ways to gain followers’ interest and ensure that they come back for more from your blog!

2: They drive social media & emails to your website.

Social media and email marketing campaigns are great ways to market any website. Including links to your blog posts on social media, e-blasts, and e-newsletters spreads the word about your blog and entices your followers to then visit your website. Conversion from “follower” to “customer” is one step closer when the viewer visits your website. The key to keeping them there is interesting content like a blog. And that’s how blogging benefits come full circle!

3: Google (and other search engines) LOVE them.

When Google views your website pages, it looks for new content it can read. Once your website is reviewed, Google ranks and places it in search engine results that fit the content’s description. Google will not go back to your website unless it detects NEW content. This is why a blog is so important. The more new and interesting information (i.e. text, images, links, etc.) you have on your website (related to your business and/or industry, of course), the more times Google will review your website and rank (to a more specific degree) your webpages for their search results.

4: The only cost is your time. (If you already have a website)

If you already have a website, all you have to do is add a blogging page to your website and begin posting! This blogging page should be included in your web hosting package, essentially making running a blog free to you. The only cost is your time! (Which as a small business owner, I know is hard to come by. I have tips to help with that! *See contact information below.)

If you do not already have a website and would like to have a blog, there are free online blog platforms, such as wordpress.com, that have easy-to-use templates available to set up your website and blog in no time. Using this program is free unless you want to use your own domain name (you should definitely want to!). In that case, you can have a search engine optimized blog for as little as $120 per year!

5: This is the place to put those keywords your web developer keeps talking about.

Blogs are a great way to not only make sure Google sees your website (Reason #3), but also to make sure Google sees those ever-important keywords that every web developer and consultant tells you are important. Using keywords specific to your type of business in your blog posts is a great way to make sure your business’s website show up in searches. The key to great keywords is using words in your blog that people would type into Google’s search engine to find you!

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