Almost every business has a blog these days. Marketing websites rave about how important it is to consistently engage your readers through blogging. There’s no doubt that blogs provide value and should be a priority for most businesses, especially internet-based businesses. However, it’s not necessary for EVERY business to have its own blog right away. In this article, I’ll attempt to answer the question many business owners have asked: “Do I need to have a blog?”
Where Did the Term ‘blog’ Come From?
It’s generally recognized that the first blog was created in 1994, though it wasn’t called a “blog” at that time. Many of the early bloggers started their blog as a personal creative outlet or online journal. Not as a way to make money or a career. In 1997, the term “weblog” was coined, and in 1999 it was truncated to the term ‘blog’. Then Blogger released the first popular free blog creation service.
The early 2000s were a period of rapid growth in blogging. In 2003, WordPress was released and many bloggers switched over from other web platforms. If you’re interested in learning more about the History of WordPress, the most popular web platform in the world, check my article here.
Fast forward 25 years later and blogs have become a common part of our culture. Many people read blogs on a daily basis. There are blogs on nearly every topic of interest – the news, politics, business, sports, entertainment, art, and more.
But do you need one for YOUR business?
Why You Should Have a Blog
Blogs Provide SEO Value
There’s no question that Google loves fresh, original content. Blogs provide your website with an easy way to create new content on a frequent basis. Every time you create a new blog post on your site, you’re creating another page that will be indexed by Google. This means one more opportunity to show up in Google and drive free traffic.
Blogs Drive Traffic to Your Site
When blog posts are written on popular topics, they can drive a lot of traffic back to your website. The additional traffic, even to a single page, can improve your overall search engine rankings and help more people find you online.
For example, a local San Diego hair salon owner had one of her staff members write a blog post on “The Difference Between Ombre and Balayage.” Since this was a popular topic at the time, the post quickly found itself at the top of the search results. As a result, that SINGLE BLOG POST brought massive amounts of traffic to the site. The hair salon’s website moved from the third page to the first page of the Google search results.
Blogs Position You as an Expert
Blogs provide an easy platform where you can share your expertise and provide immense value for your audience. If your website visitors are wondering if you actually know what you’re talking about, all they have to do is visit your blog to find multiple posts on the topic in question.
With all these great reasons to have a blog on your site, why would you possibly not want one? Believe it or not, blogging isn’t necessary for everyone. The truth is, there ARE reasons why it isn’t necessarily a good idea to start a blog for your business right now.
When You Should NOT Have a Blog
You’re just getting started with your website.
Many small businesses are owned and operated by a single person, or a small team. In those situations, the owners and staff are often overloaded with work and can’t take on the task of blogging. Creating a high-quality blog with well-written posts, the kind that will attract your ideal client, takes time. And you and your current team may not have the time to take on the task.
Ideally, this would mean that you would hire someone specifically for the task of writing. Unfortunately, this may require a budget that you just don’t have.
While a blog is important, so is maintaining your online reputation. You don’t want to waste time, or your staff’s time, creating poor quality content. Not to mention that a blog with low-quality articles can turn away just as many potential customers as well written articles can bring to your door.
If you’ve just launched your website for the first time, then you may want to just focus on completing that and come back later to implement a blog for your business.
You’re a Local Business and Your Audience is in a Small Radius Around You
While blogs aren’t always a bad strategy for a small local business, they aren’t always the most effective strategy. For example, a local pizza parlor could have a blog on their site where they talk about events happening in the area to drive local traffic to their site and, ideally, encourage more online orders. Yes, it could work. But is it the BEST strategy for reaching customers in a very small radius around your business?
Again, blogging can work for a local business, but it may be difficult to get your blog content in front of your very niche local audience…at least without a significant investment in advertising. Whether it’s worth trying is something you need to decide before you begin the blog.
Final Thoughts on Blogging
Blogging is a great strategy for many businesses. It can drive free traffic, improve SEO, and bring in new potential customers to your business. It also helps you build a relationship with your audience.
However, keep in mind that just because it’s a great strategy, it may not be right for your business right now. Before you begin your blog, make sure you have the resources in place to produce high-quality content that you want to represent your business online. And once you start, you just might find blogging addictive!
If you’re just getting started with building a website, go here to learn about the next Website Creation Workshop.