Guest post by Will Stevens
If you work in the world of social media, it is pretty easy to convince yourself everyone on the planet is constantly sat at their keyboards spouting forth content on to the web through the medium of a blog. And it’s true, there are a huge number of blogs out there – Tumblr alone has 50 million registered users.
But registering a blog and being a dedicated blogger are two very different things. In fact, stats suggest 95 per cent of blogs have been abandoned. That means only five per cent of people stick at it. Suddenly, the blogosphere seems a lot smaller.
Then there’s the issue of quality. How many blogs out there are really worth reading? Even if your interests are incredibly diverse, you’re not really going to be a regular reader of more than a handful of blogs.
There are two lessons to be learned from this state of affairs – the first is that blogging takes dedication, the second is that it takes expertise. If you’re a business owner these are two things which you will already have in abundance.
By using your expert knowledge, contacts and commitment you can engage with people who are also interested in your niche, whether it’s sports equipment or domain names, leading to a huge variety of benefits.
You don’t have to be Ernest Hemingway to write a blog, although you do need a solid grasp of spelling punctuation and grammar. Remember, your blog will be part of your online brand presence so any mistakes will reflect poorly on your company.
But that doesn’t mean you should give up on the idea of blogging just because you don’t feel comfortable doing it personally. You can get someone to ghost write entries for you, ensuring you get your message across in the way you intended. Or you can spread the work around. Even small firms employ experts in many different fields – if you get everyone to write what they know then your blog will have even wider appeal.
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Of course, you may not see the point in having a blog and if that’s the case you’re being very short sighted. Although creating a great blog isn’t easy, doing so brings benefits which are tough to replicate in other ways.
Not only will your blog drive traffic, and hence potential customers, to your site, it will also offer search engine optimisation benefits – again boosting the number of potential customers who will find you. So if you are a business and you don’t blog you need to ask why.
And if you can’t come up with a very good answer to that question, you need to take the plunge.
Here are five benefits of a good blog
1 – Improved search engine rankings
If your blog is on topic and updated regularly, then this will mean Google is more likely to rank your site highly. Search engines are looking for good quality content which is updated regularly and what better way to do this than through a blog? On top of that, excellent content will also attract links, another thing search engines look for.
2 – You can learn more about what your customers are really interested in
By creating a blog, you can access a whole new range of data that will help you work out what makes visitors tick. Monitor your most successful posts using metrics such as page views and social shares to get a good understanding of the subject people want to see on your site. Not only can you use this information to guide future blog posts but you can also use it to make sure future promotions and offers are focused on the areas which customers are most interested in.
3 – You’ll be forced to learn more about your industry
Even the most knowledgeable of experts should be aware there are gaps in their understanding which need filling, and blogging is a great way to do so. Why? Because you’ll want to find new topics to write about. By reading around a subject, even one you’re already familiar with, you’re bound to gain new insights. Other people’s experiences will feed into your own and allow you to develop a new understanding of the issues which affect your niche. Once that happens, you’ve got a new blog post and a better understanding of things.
4 – You’ll become a better writer
Writers write and the more you do it, the better you’ll get. Not only will your blogs improve with time, but you’ll also see improvements in other areas. Presentations, pitches and any other form of written communication you can think of will improve as you grow as a blogger. However, you need to be self-critical if you’re going to make the most of your new found skill. No one is perfect, but by being aware of your shortcomings you can work at improving them.
5 – You’ll enjoy it
If you’re doing it right, blogging should be a pleasure, not a chore. Yes, they’ll be days when you don’t feel like touching a keyboard and it’s important that you don’t let them pile up into weeks. It may be tempting to give up if you’re not getting hundreds of comments on each post, but the business benefits of blogging are a long-term thing. In the short term, you should concentrate on enjoying yourself. The rest will come with time.
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Written by dedicated blogger Will Stevens, a writer at domain name registrar 123-reg.co.uk.