Online marketing can be a daunting experience for a small business owner. Perhaps your business has nothing whatsoever to do with computers or the Internet, but now you’re expected to maintain multiple social media profiles, optimize your website for the search engines, and start a blog (at least)? You’re new to all of this, and it’s hard to know where to start.
You might be wondering why, exactly, your small business needs all of that. The reality is that if you really want to expand your small business, you need to leverage the power of the Internet. You might be thinking, “Okay, I understand why I need a website and a Facebook page, but why do I need a blog?” That’s a very good question. So, do you really need a blog?
What are the Benefits?
There are real benefits to keeping a blog for any business. That is, however, assuming that your blog contains well-written, valuable content and is updated on a regular basis. If you can manage that, your business’s website will get a nice boost in search engine optimization. A good blog signals to Google that your website is relevant to your niche and that it contains worthwhile content, and so Google will recommend your website by giving it a higher search ranking. A higher ranking will mean more traffic to your website. Once those visitors read your blog and see that you’re very knowledgeable about your industry, they’ll want to hire you and that will mean more customers.
What are the Downsides?
Blogs can be great, yes, but almost nothing in life comes without at least one potential downside. In order to keep your blog up to a high enough standard that it will benefit your business, it will require a lot of time and effort. You’re already spending enough time and effort to actually run your business, and hiring someone to do it will be a bigger expense. The biggest potential problem, however, is that a bad blog can actually hurt your business. If your blog entries are poorly-written with grammatical mistakes, for example, people will doubt your competence or professionalism. If you provide mediocre content, it will make your entire business seem mediocre, too – not exactly what you’re going for.
Will It Work for You?
The benefits of a blog can be summed up like this: Better SEO = Better Ranking = More Traffic = More Customers. But does it really work that well for everyone? It is difficult (but not at all impossible) for a small business to achieve a high search ranking on anything but localized searches. If you’re going to put in the effort it requires to earn a top spot, you need to be sure it’s worth it. Depending on your business, more traditional forms of marketing might give you a bigger return on your investment. And if you’re working on bolstering your business through social media marketing, it might not make sense for you to split your efforts further and try to create a blog at the same time.
What’s the Verdict?
Your small business can benefit from a blog – theoretically. Whether or not you presently have the time and resources to make a blog work for you is another story. If you can’t devote the time or can’t afford to hire someone to maintain a great blog, then your small business is better off without one.