I had a meeting with a new prospective client yesterday. His goals were to try to get up to speed with the new technology that is available to him online and how to maximize his usage of these tools to increase his business. As part of our conversation, I brought up the idea of starting a business blog. I could see the fear in his eyes – it’s the same with all non-bloggers when you bring up the idea of blogging. I think the fears are pretty common:
- Fear that you won’t have the time
- Fear of not knowing where to begin
- Fear of not knowing what to blog about
- Fear of negative comments and criticism
- Fear of looking and feeling stupid
- Fear of no one reading your blog
While these fears are real and valid, the reasons FOR blogging are overwhelming. According to Hubspot, businesses that blog increase their site visits by as much as 55%. As well, a blog can increase your SEO, which will help you to be found in a search, engage new customers, highlight your expertise, encourage conversions and increase your revenue. Phew. That was a mouthful.
When I started to explain to my client the benefits of blogging, he kept coming back to one point. How will I have time to do all the research needed to write blogs? It was then that I realized his true fear and how this particular fear was unfounded if he remembered this: Blogging is not journalism or science. Blogs are not the boring research articles our forefathers wrote. In the B2C world, customers reading blogs today don’t care (much) about statistics, research and data.
Blogs started as online diaries but they soon grew to become as a part of our lexicon as online and e-mail. This unique form of social media represents an increasingly important information source in this web-centric world and can be a very valuable marketing tool. When beginning a business blog, it’s critical to remember that your audience is your perspective customer or client. Write posts at a level they understand, on topics they want to read about. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes, answer questions, read other blogs in your industry and speak to your audience, not at them.
A business blog doesn’t need to be long, most people value quality over quantity. They don’t need to include lists of statistics (that they likely won’t read, anyway). They just need to be written in an honest and open voice that will increase your visibility and establish your credibility. It’s perhaps the best marketing tool out there right now.
When you let your fears of business blogging consume you, you are missing out on the opportunity to engage with your audience, share information about your products, improve customer relations and you are leaving the window open or your competitors. So put your fears away and let your blogging voice shine. There are people waiting to hear what you have to say. Now go… get over yourself and blog!