Despite everything I've written about blogging for business (content marketing) over the last few years, people still ask me everyday this one simple question: "But is it really worth it Marcus?"
As you might imagine, I always chuckle a little bit when hearing these words, but my response generally sounds like this:
Blogging, when done the right way, will change your business. It will change your life. It will change everything.
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The problem is, these words don't mean anything until a company actually dives in and truly embraces the power of content.
But for those willing to do what the other 99% will not, here is a list of 50 blogging benefits (and observations) that are available to businesses willing to be the digital thought leaders in their industry and put in the necessary work. Will it be easy? No, most likely not, but the possibilities are truly unbelievable, as I can personally attest to each of the following.
50 Blogging Benefits that Will Change Your Business Forever
1. The more pages (blog articles) your website has, the more time consumers will spend on your site. The more time they spend on your site, the further they move down the sales funnel. Like the quote says: “If you hang around the barber shop long enough, you’re going to get your hair cut.”
2. You’ll see that “viral posts” are often grossly overrated, and your actual goal is attaining customers and achieving ROI, not silly metrics that last a few days and then fade off into the social media sunset.
3. People will view you as the expert voice of your industry—the go to place of information, teaching, and enlightenment.
5 years ago, most businesses had never heard of the phrase "content marketing." Today, the people at the Content Marketing Institute have become the trusted voice and source of the entire industry, all because they were relentless in their blogging/content efforts.
4. You’ll quickly find out blogging isn’t the science so many make it out to be. When it comes down to it, consumers have questions and a great blog answers them. It really is that simple.
5. You’ll see just how much consumers appreciate honesty and transparency—especially considering your competitors choose the “Ostrich Marketing” (aka head-in-sand) approach.
6. You’ll quickly find that some social media “experts” have no idea what they’re talking about and “the rules” can vary drastically depending on the industry, niche, company, etc.
7. You’ll realize that many readers don’t understand silly acronyms and industry jargon—a product of the curse of knowledge and a problem of bloggers and businesses everywhere.
8. You’ll start online relationships that turn into true offline friendships.
9. You’ll show consumers you actually care about them. Why? Because most businesses in your industry aren’t even blogging and taking the time to be great teachers. In the world of business, the best educators get the reward.
Most businesses in the waterproofing industry have never even considered blogging...which is just another reason why Matt Stock and the rest of the gang at US Waterproofing (Chicago) are leaders in their field.
10. You’ll quickly hear your competitors and others in your field complaining about your motives, tactics, etc.—a natural byproduct of questioning the status quo and becoming a thought leader in any field.
11. You'll find those in sales become much better at their job when they blog. Don’t believe me? Write about a subject for the next hour and then go explain that subject to a friend or client and see just how easily the words and thoughts flow.
12. You’ll ask yourself, “Why in the world did we wait so long to embrace blogging?? Geez that was dumb!” (You may not ask yourself this, but I’ve asked myself this question about 15,864 times over the last 3 years.)
What has blogging done for my swimming pool company? You can see here for yourself.
13. Your website will get more traffic through SEO. (Good traffic leads to good leads which then leads to even better sales.)
14. Your website will get more traffic through social sharing.
You never know when you're going to find "magic in the social media bottle" as this article found for me at the beginning of this year.
15. As more members of your team buy into the “culture" of being teachers and thought-leaders, a feeling of unity and togetherness will grow within the ranks of the organization.
16. You’ll be drawn to the other leaders and thinkers in your industry, and your mind will be expanded and quickened due to their profound influence (Thanks Jay Baer, Joe Pulizzi, and Michael Stelzner)
17.You’ll get a chance to tell your CEO and management team, “Ha! I told you this stuff would work if we just stuck with it and chose greatness!!” (and then you’ll get a raise for your efforts. ;-))
18. Once you overcome your fears of blogging, you’ll also gain the strength to do more video-based marketing as well.
One of the best video blogs for any blue collar business in the world, Mid Atlantic concrete understands the power of video marketing.
19. Instead of being a part of the problem, you’ll now be a part of the solution.
20. Other companies in your industry will come to you for advice and knowledge.
21. Because of tracking, you’ll be able to see which companies and competitors are scouring your website.
22. You’ll be a positive voice of change when things aren’t what they should be in your industry.
23. You’ll be giving your sales department more ammo to use throughout the sales process.
Having easily one of the best blogs in the appliance and lighting industry, Yale Appliance of Boston leverages the knowledge of their employees to produce content and ultimately affect the sales process.
24. Your emails will now get better because they’ll include all that content you’re producing.
25. Other business ventures and opportunities will arise as your popularity, brand, and influence grow.
26. You’ll attract better, more qualified employees as they’ll see you as a “forward thinking” and “social” organization.
27. By blogging, you’ll have a better feel than ever as to what your customers do and do not care about. In other words, as you study your analytics, social shares, and comment section—you’ll see what folks are drawn to as well as the topics that don’t seem to have as much impact.
28. Speaking of blog comments, if there is any place that will give you a feel for your readers it’s a blog’s comment section. As you have discussions with them there (and on other platforms), you’ll be more and more in tune with their needs.
29. By writing blog articles, you’ll naturally have more value to share on your other social platforms, like Twitter and Facebook for example.
Want to see a Facebook page done right? Social Media Examiner mixes blogs, questions, polls, etc. in a very effective manner.
30. Writing inspires more writing. Teaching inspires better teaching. Listening inspires even better listening. This is the essence of a blog.
31. Your inbound links will grow…and grow…and grow. Even crazier, you won’t have to pay some black-hat company to grow your links for you—something that will end up biting you in the digital butt later on. (See Google Panda, Penguin, and any other animal they come up with in the future.)
32. As you give valuable information, you’ll naturally grow your company’s list. And as you grow the list, you’ll have a much better email marketing campaign along with countless other list-marketing opportunities.
33. The more blog articles you write, the more opportunities you’ll have to repackage that same content and turn it into an eBook, white-paper, etc.
34. You will be more prepared and able to beat the competition head to head. Why? Because you give value and you’re the better teacher. That’s why.
Ever heard of the "Geek Squad"? Chances are, you have. And despite the fact that this company does tech service as a business, they still produces TONS of video content for consumers. Why? Because they GET IT.
35. As your business benefits with more traffic, leads, and sales, you’ll now have more time to spend with those that truly matter in your life. The power of financial peace for a business owner can make all the difference in the world as to whether or not your kids know your name.
37. You’ll develop your niche or “shtick” with each and every post, which ultimately leads to greater focus, clarity, and company vision.
38. Your prospects will become more and more qualified, which means better sales appointments, which also means much better customers to work with (and less of the ones that make your life miserable.)
39. You’ll likely learn to love writing, even though you never saw yourself as a “writer” before.
40. As others see you and your company as thought leaders, you’ll start to get more invites to events, conferences, etc. so as to share your unique story with the world.
The greatest example I've ever seen of how blogging can affect one's brand, Gary Vaynerchuk went from blogging about wine to social media celebrity.
41. You’ll start to depend less on Pay Per Click and other outbound marketing techniques because your inbound marketing will become the core of the company’s lead generation campaign.
42. You’ll learn what numbers really matter in your business and what numbers, especially the social media ones, don’t mean squat.
43. You’ll start to see the platform that will best serve you and your business. In some cases, it may be just blogging. In others, it may be video (YouTube), or visual (Pinterest), or social (Facebook, Twitter).
44. More and more people will ask you for guest posting opportunities—either on your site or theirs. And as you guest post on other sites, you’ll be exposed to new audiences, opportunities, and attain more inbound links along the way.
45.You’ll learn very quickly what subjects you’re most passionate about (and could discuss forever) and also those subjects within your business that clearly do not make you jump out of the bed in the morning.
46. As you have a culture of blogging with your employees, you’ll find certain introverts you never knew were “social” are actually your greatest teachers, thinkers, and passionate brand advocates. (More on this one in the future, as I’ve been seeing it tons lately with clients.)
Although you can't see it from this photo, Block Imaging's blog is a classic example of what can happen if you allow your employees--in all phases of the business--to be content producers.
47. You’ll get the incredible opportunity to live the “Digital Law of the Harvest”---sow the field, plant the seed, water the crop, protect the garden, watch it grow…..and reap the harvest for your faithful efforts.
48.You’ll learn that your definition of “sexy content” is not shared by others. In fact, you’ll find that “sexy content” is anything that helps anyone who has any type of problem at all.
49. You’ll meet people (readers) and have experiences you never dreamed possible previously—all because of the doors that were opened through the power of blogging and content marketing.
50. People around the world will thank you for caring, teaching, and helping. As you give value and work to solve problems, no matter the niche or field, you’ll be blessing the lives of others. Ultimately, is there any greater benefit than this?
Despite the fact that I've mentioned so many blogging benefits here, there are still plenty I've yet to mention...which is why it's now your turn. Tell me, what would you add to the list? Also, of the benefits mentioned above, which have impacted you and your business the most?