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Small businesses might rightly ask themselves: “Should my website still have a blog in 2020?”

It’s a fair question. Not only are small businesses strapped for time, but social media makes it easy for them to convey their messages and connect with their audiences.

So is blogging still worth it?

Seeing as you are reading this blog post, I can possibly end my argument right here. Blogging still works because people still read them (in fact just this morning I had an enquiry from someone who enjoyed my blog comparing Fathom Analytics vs Google Analytics!). But there are many more benefits to blogging beyond the obvious fact.

Blogging as part of your marketing strategy

Caught in the blogging act (or possibly buying something from Furbellow & Co)

Your blog can really fuel the rest of your marketing efforts, by giving you lots of content to share with your audience in other places.

By promoting your blog on your social media, you not only have a reason to send people to your website, but it also encourages discussion in your community.

A pro tip is to make sure you mention people that you talk about in your blog on your social media. For example, when I wrote about the New Adventures conference earlier in the year, I mentioned several of the speakers and organisers in the blog. So when I posted about the event on social media, I tagged those I mentioned. Not only did it mean they could see what nice things I said about them, but very often they also shared my post with their audiences.

And it doesn’t stop with social media. If you have email subscribers, it is great to be able to send them useful free content rather than just sales messages all the time.

Blogging for SEO

When it comes to search engine optimisation (SEO), the power of regularly updating content on your website cannot be underestimated.

Search engines love sites that keep giving visitors something new and valuable, which is why adding a blog feed to your homepage can really boost your search performance.

Google also likes bigger sites that are full of useful information. So each time you create a new blog post, the addition of a new page is seen as a positive for SEO.

And of course, blogging gives you lots of opportunities to include your keywords by choosing topics which your target audience will search for and want to read about.

Show off your expertise

Your blog is a great place to go into a level of detail that social media posts don’t naturally lend themselves to.

The longer form allows you to tell a more cohesive story and put your points across in a more thoughtful way. You also have more control to include mixed media such as images and video as well as easily linking to related content.

A well-written blog post also gives you the chance to really demonstrate your expertise and share your knowledge.

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What to write about?

Making a content plan will help you focus and write with purpose. Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

It is important to have some sort of strategy when it comes to blog writing. Your content needs to complement your other marketing activities and not operate in isolation.

For this reason, it is advisable to plan out content, often around themes such as your values, passions, audience interests and product areas. For example, if you are a wedding photographer, you could create content around wedding planning, nice venues in your area and photography tips.

In my case, I want to help people get the most from their website so I mostly share website advice for small businesses as well as my wider thoughts on web design.

Planning your content means that you are doing some of the hard work upfront, so that when the time comes to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), you are ready to write.

Commitment issues

If you believe in the power of blogging, you need to commit to posting regularly. It can take a while before you see the results of your blogging efforts, but it is important you stick with it.

Sporadic and irregular blogging is not a very good look, and if someone visits your blog post and sees you’ve not posted for months, they might even assume you’re no longer in business.

You need to be realistic about the time it will take to blog on a regular basis, and if necessary, you might want to enlist the help of a professional copywriter to help you with your blogging or do it for you.

Since starting to blog twice a month in earnest since last April, I have seen traffic to my website increase by over 100%. If you rely on people visiting your site to buy from you, you can no longer delay starting your blog!

If you’d like me to look at your website and make recommendations for improvements – which quite possibly may include suggesting you start a blog! – take a look at my website review service.

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