by Meghan Bliss | Featured Contributor
Blogging. Just another buzzword, or legitimate way to promote your small business? Because it’s so easy to start a blog, the Internet is saturated with advice. Some of it is legitimate, and some? Not so much.
But wait. Don’t discount the value of blogs quite yet.
Starting your own blog, when done wisely, can be one of the most effective ways to boost your small business. Here are a few reasons why:
#1 – It positions you as an expert in your field
Successful bloggers are successful because they know what they’re talking about. They’re persistent, of course, but they have valuable information to offer their readers, who keep coming back for more. Whether you work in finance, graphic design, the wedding industry, or anything in between, you have information to offer about your field. Blogging consistently is a great way to position yourself as an expert in your field and gain trust with your potential customers.
#2 – It connects you with colleagues and potential customers
Speaking of gaining trust… Blogging gives you an opportunity to connect with more people ever. It can add new depth to your networking efforts by putting you in touch with others in your field, as well as people who need what you offer. The only downside? You can’t just publish a post and call it a day. You’ll also need to use social media to promote your post (while continuing to share others’ work, too). With plenty of scheduling programs available, promoting your blog or business via social media is simpler than ever. (Here’s how I schedule mine to free up extra writing time.)
#3 – It helps you build your email list
To boost your sales, build your email list. People who are genuinely interested in your ideas, products, or services will be more than happy to subscribe to your email list. An email list gives you a direct connection to the people who are most interested in what you offer. So when you’re running a promotion, selling a new product, or looking for new clients, you can start with your list and be sure you’re speaking right to the people who want to hear from you.
#4 – It’s a great way to get eyes on your products or services
Even if you don’t plan to monetize your blog (i.e. through affiliate marketing, advertising, sponsored posts, or anything similar), a single post can still bring more eyes to your website — and ultimately your products. If you design wedding invitations, for example, you could write a post about the top ten wedding destinations in the South. When you share that post on all of your social media platforms, interested brides will click on it. That will take them straight your website, where they’ll see the design services you provide. Though not everyone will buy, you will get more eyes on your services. And maybe a few happy customers.
#5 – It keeps your creative juices flowing
If you’re feeling stuck in your business for any reason, blogging could be the creative refresher you need to get out of your rut. Not only will it boost your exposure and potentially increase your sales, it could also force you to think outside the box about what you do. Consistently writing about your industry will require a little bit of continuing education, especially if you run out of article ideas. In addition to writing about your business or industry, reading about it is a great way to stay inspired and refreshed, too.
As if that wasn’t enough, blogging also gives you more content to share, which can really increase your exposure on the Internet. Of course, sharing quality content is key. The more quality content you have to contribute, the more your colleagues and potential customers will take you seriously.
The best part is that starting a blog isn’t difficult at all. I use Bluehost for all three of mine, and I couldn’t be happier. Trust me, if I can do it, you can, too. In fact, when done correctly, all it takes is a couple of hours and you’re good to go. Then you can have fun with it, sit back, and watch your reach expand more than ever.
Meghan Bliss is the owner and head writer at TheLadyinRead.com, a blog for women who read, write, and want to be read.
After almost four years in finance, Meghan quit her job to write full time. She spends her days blogging, writing novels, and trying to stay off of Pinterest. She also copyedits books, newsletters, manuals, and basically anything else you throw at her — including subtitles and restaurant menus. Her first novel will be released this year.
When she’s not writing or editing, you can find her reading, clumsily practicing the ukulele, or watching old sitcoms and superhero movies with her husband, cat, and baby-to-be.
And, as always, trying to find the perfect shade of red lipstick.