Should You Start a Blog for Your Business?
Perhaps you’ve been thinking about starting a blog for your business. You’ve seen other people do it but you’re not sure if it will work for your specific business.
Will spending extra hours a week updating a blog help your business? Online marketing expert Neil Patel thinks it will. In his QuickSprout infographic about the influence of blogging on a business, he explains that
- 60% of consumers feel more positive about a brand after reading its blog
- 70% of consumers learn about a brand through their blog rather than ads
- 31.1% of consumers who use the internet consider a brand’s blog to be the second largest influential factor when it comes to making a purchase
What this means is that consumers are making decisions about buying based on what they read online. This is probably the reason why more brands are using blogs as a core part of their business strategy today than ten years ago.
In this article I will show you how starting a blog has help three brands in different niches. The reason I picked brands in different niches is because I want to show you that starting a blog for your business will give you returns no matter what industry you are in.
Buffer is a social media post scheduling app company founded by Joel Gascoigne and Leo Widrich. Other than having a great product that people can’t stop talking about, Buffer also has some of the most popular blogs around.
That’s right. Buffer has more than one blog. There’s Buffer Social, Buffer’s social media marketing blog, Buffer Open, Buffer’s blog where the Buffer team talk about the startup journey and two other blogs, Buffer Overflow and Buffer Happiness.
Buffer Social and Buffer Open are Buffer’s more popular blogs. I’m going to show you what makes these two Buffer blogs so popular and how you can use the same methods to make your business blog popular.
Buffer social is the blog where you can find content like
What makes the Buffer Social blog so popular is because all their posts are created to provide step by step or actionable materials that their readers can use right away. They use their posts to answer some of the most burning questions that their readers have about social media marketing.
Providing content that’s actionable and problem-solving are some of the key ingredients that make content great, according to the Kissmetrics Blog.
This means that if you want people to read your business blog, you need to make sure that
1. You know the questions that your readers are asking
2. You provide specific, step-by-step methods on how to solve their problems
The most unique part of the Buffer Open blog is that it’s focused on things that most companies feel uncomfortable talking about in public. These include things such as employee salaries, work life balance and personal growth.
Being so transparent can be very uncomfortable, but also very rewarding. Brene Brown, in her TED talk about vulnerability (seen by over 19 million people) explained that being vulnerable is the key to connection. Telling people things that you feel uncomfortable talking makes people trust you more.
One of Buffer’s most popular posts is the one where they talk about how much every single person is getting and how the salary is being calculated. This single post has over 370 comments, 2,500 shares on Facebook and over 1,000 shares on LinkedIn.
By choosing to be vulnerable, Buffer has become a brand that people trust and want to buy from. When starting a blog for your business, try to show the human side of your business. Showing a bit of yourself and what your team is like can go a long way in terms of branding and growth.
#2: Richard Branson’s Virgin Blog
One of the most popular (and also my personal favourite) business blogs by an airline CEO must be Richard Branson’s blog. Richard Branson has a reputation for encouraging fun and inspiration at the workplace.
You can see this spilled all over the posts that he makes on his Virgin blog. From his blog, I can tell that he cares a lot about preserving beautiful places such as the Australian great barrier reef.
Richard Branson uses a simple, conversational tone in all his writing. It makes it easy to feel like he’s talking right at you. He also shows pictures of himself in casual and doing things that he enjoys, like this trick he likes to play on his Necker Island visitors:
Richard Branson uses his blog to talk about things that he cares about, whether it related to Virgin or not. He talks about what he learned being a grandad, necker island going solar and why laughter is the best medicine, among other things he cares about.
In this way, he’s allowed his readers to better create an image of what he’s really like.
You can use your business blog to help your customers get a better picture of what you’re really like and what you value in life. These help your readers feel a connection with you and your brand, creating trust that can lead to a life-long relationship.
Whenever you can, use words that are easy to understand. This way you will be able to keep your reader’s attention longer and gain a loyal fan while you’re at it.
#3: William Au’s Trend Following Malaysia
My friend William Au runs Trend Following Malaysia. He’s a position stock trader who actively updates his blog with useful information that traders can use to make good decisions on their investments.Instead of giving vague advice on what to do, William gets very specific and explains his analysis on charts in detail. This information can be worth thousands of dollars.
William could have easily charged a lot of money for people to see this but instead he’s giving it away on his blog for free. By doing this, he’s able to show his readers that he knows what he’s talking about.
Giving away valuable information for free helps you build authority in your niche. It also makes people trust that your subscription or paid content will be even more valuable than what you’re giving away on your blog.
Don’t believe that giving away things will make you less valuable. The marketing guru Seth Godin gives away most of his best work for free and it has only made more people want to buy his books and see him in real life.
Starting a blog for your business can be a huge time investment. There no guarantee of a quick return on investment. However, as these brands have proven, you have a lot to gain from providing valuable information to your readers on a constant basis.
Creating a relationship with your readers can lead to an increase in customer retention and will probably be more affordable than paying for ads. There are many ways to make your blog popular. It’s up to you to try them out and see what works best for you.