There are various reasons why you should set up a blog, maybe you have thoughts in your head that you just want to share with the world, maybe you are the public relations officer for a group and you want to disseminate information, maybe you are a story teller or an amateur reporter who wants to comment on topics relevant to the world today. These are all valid reasons for setting up a blog but the no 1 reason people should set up blogs in the business community is to help them generate revenue, be it directly through advertising products on the blog itself or by indirectly advertising their own products or services through friendly advice. For example this blog, I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t admit that this blog was set up to help me promote my business.
So how can blogs help you earn money?
A regularly updated, well constructed blog will be monitored by Google and other search engines, therefore every blog entry you write has the opportunity to capture more visitors to your site. It is therefore important that the title of your blog and the content in the first paragraph and throughout the entry targets the keyphrase that you know users are searching for. For example this particular blog entry is called “Why should I set up a blog?” If we look at the Google Keyword tool, 18,100 people each month search for “set up a blog” which is contained within the title of this blog. This means that if someone types in “Set up a blog” into google it could potentially match this page. Of course other factors such as page popularity, region etc. come into play but the potential is there.
The great thing about blogs is that you can endlessly post pages to your site, unlike on your business website, which displays your products and services. There’s no way that you can cover every topic that someone might type in to search for your products and services on your business website, it would just get too messy and customers would not enjoy the experience. Your company site is about converting traffic into business. Your blog on the other hand and delve down into very specific issues and can have a personal touch. People reading blogs are looking for the solution to a problem or a author’s opinion on something so when you are constructing your blog think firstly, what would a user search for and then solve or comment on that problem. You should look at the Google Keyword tool to help you make that judgement. Once you have your topic and the correct keywords write your blog naturally and just make sure you mention your key phrase once or twice throughout. Your new blog entry then essentially becomes a lead for your business.
What you are trying to achieve is to get new visitors to your site based on long tail key phrases. These are key phrases that consist of several words that further qualify a key phrase e.g. “Cars in Waterford” could be a considered a relatively generic search term, whereas “Honda Civic Cars Waterford” is much more specific or long tail. Long tail phrases may get you less traffic on their own but combined over time they will lead to significant, and more importantly, more focused traffic to your site. In other words, if a potential lead is typing in a very specific search phrase and their search turns up your site, they are likely to have found what they are looking for. It’s about casting your fishing net further, wider and more accurately than your company website ever can.
Here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia regarding long tail keywords:
” These phrases individually are unlikely to account for a great deal of searches, but when taken as a whole, can provide significant traffic. The long-tail is unlikely ever to exceed searches for a brand name if the brand name is reasonably well established, but the volume of converting traffic these terms can generate by nature of their specificity and relevance is worth investigating.”
“Comprehensive long-tail keyword research can be a highly effective strategy, since people making long-tail searches are arguably further along in the buying cycle, so conversion rates can be higher. Recent long-tail keyword research has found that long-tail searches often exhibit a higher conversion rate by up to 200% compared to short-tail keywords, and can be extremely profitable for search engine marketers in terms of a lower cost per action and higher return on investment.”
If a blog entry is good it may be linked to or tracked by the blog community or commented on which is the ideal situation (this means it is being read). Sometimes you will hit the jackpot and get tonnes of visits, other times you will see nothing but tumbleweed blow across the screen. Over time if you consistently blog, it will average out as more visits to your site each month so once you start blogging, make sure you keep blogging!!!
How do I set up a blog?
There are a number of ways of doing this. You can host the blog on your own server or you can use an online blog service. WordPress is probably the best known blog software in the world and you have both options here. You can set up a blog on their server and you might get a domain such as yourbusiness.wordpress.com or you can download wordpress from wordpress.org and install it on your own server (you might need a web developer/designer to help you with this). There are other online blog solutions such as blogger and livejournal. One advantage of using a hosted service is that you get a free link back to your main domain which will help your SEO.
So that’s pretty much it really, set up that business blog and start telling your customers what they want to hear through sensible advice and providing potential solutions to problems they might have. Oh and at the bottom of each blog entry you could also end with a gentle ad for your business.
E.g. for more information on setting up blogs or if you need a blog set up and managed for you please contact firstname.lastname@example.org