So it’s been more than a year since I started writing articles and blogs on my website and for other local and international publications. I have always been a marketing person…not so much a writer per se, but I have grown accustomed to creating content for a number of businesses over the years.
I am not gonna lie; trying to generate a blog every month initially and then every 10 days ( my new target) was hard at first. It was no easy feat trying to come up with new and fresh story ideas every 10 days.
But I assure you if you want to grow your business, don’t believe that there are only a few ways to do so. Of course, I believe in the traditional door to door sales; selling to clients one on one. This still holds great value! However, in order to see growth quickly and in a substantial way you must adopt multiple strategies simultaneously that will allow you to grow your brand in front of a massive audience; and one of the best ways to do so is through blogging.
Now before I ramble on with the benefits of blogging for me, especially in the last 12 months, I want to give those of you who have never blogged before some insight into how you can find, research and be inspired to write blogs on a regular basis. Firstly, you need to understand your customers. Learn what it is that they want and need from the products and services that you provide. If you are a make up artist for instance, you can easily write an article about the common challenges that make up help solve for women such as hiding blemishes or down playing certain facial features.
For me I do two major things to keep the ideas flowing. One was setting up google alerts. This is a feature Google provides where you sign up to get information, articles and news around particular topics. You receive these updates via email. Such content is current and can inspire you not only to write about topics of interest to you but it will also provide you with new sources from which to get information. The second way I stay inspired is through subscriptions to blogs and personalities who I enjoy. I follow fellow entrepreneurs and marketing experts and subscribe to their blogs. I feel this is one of the best ways for me to keep my competitive edge and ensure the content I create is relevant to my industry.
Here are the top benefits I've gotten since introducing my blog in June 2016:
1. Greater brand awareness - As the person behind and to some extent the face of my company, blogging has allowed me to show a personal side to my business. Customers are more intimately aware of both my employees and me through the online content I create. I have noticed, the online storytelling that takes place works much better than the use of traditional media or outbound marketing techniques only. Of course, building this connection helps build trust which ultimately translates into increased sales.
2. Establishing our brand as an industry expert - I use my blogs to tell stories, show off my knowledge and expertise, to add value and help my clients. Over time, you can become a “go to” resource for valuable, informative content. Since starting my blog, I have been asked more and more about my opinion and advice on how I would approach business issues. Remember, markets are competitive and if you want to compete with the big companies; letting people see you as an industry expert will certainly help you gain credibility and new clients.
3. Developing relationships with clients are made easier - My blogs have opened opportunities for me to connect with visitors online. Readers posts their comments and this has made it very easy for me to speak to and engage with my clients. I have slowly built a rapport with my audience and what is even more fantastic is that it has given me valuable insight into what my customers are looking for in terms of products and services.
4. Boost Search engine optimisation - One of the things I do occasionally is google my business name. Whenever I do so, I realise that my blogs are being featured on more and more websites. By blogging consistently, you give Google and other search engines new content to index thereby increasing your visibility.
In the era of content marketing, where content is king, blogging is guaranteed to increase visibility. Blogging just makes sense to do, because with minimal cost you get to foster relationships with customers and is an opportunity no small business should really pass up.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Debbie-Ann Jollie is a marketing communications executive with more than 10 years experience creating marketing strategies and promotional campaigns for a diverse array of corporate clients and first time entrepreneurs.