Why blog? It’s a question I hear all of the time. As someone who, for the last few decades has done a lot of writing – first as a journalist and then as a public relations professional – the answer comes easy. Businesses blog because it lends them visibility, credibility and sociability. What many business people lack is the ability part of it.
Let’s start with visibility. It’s one thing to spend a lot of time, effort and money on a nice looking website, but if you don’t have the kind of written material on it that will generate solid search engine optimization, then you might not be found. It’s like building a big beautiful house and then putting a big wall around it and never inviting anyone inside. Who is going to know it’s there?
Every time you create a new blog post, you are creating a new page to be indexed on the web. That means search engines such as Google will arrange the information on the web in a way that makes it easier for readers to locate. So, for example, you type a search query into Google and it goes through those indexed pages to determine which ones to return in results. By continually adding information to your website there is more information to be indexed and more opportunities for your business to be discovered.
You may have established your credibility with peers and clients simply by being in your business for a long time. But what about those who know nothing about you or your business? How will they perceive you? A blog can help position you as a thought leader.
You may ask, why do I need to prove myself? I know I am the best (doctor, lawyer, Indian chief) in my field. During any first introduction people make an impression. Your website is your introduction to those who don’t know you, and you want to make a good first impression. Blogging about what you know and how it relates to your business is one way to accomplish this.
Blogging shows clients and potential clients that you are aware of what is taking place today in your industry as it relates to your company and the services that you have to offer.
Sociability is defined as the act of being friendly and interacting well with others. That’s what blogging is all about – interaction. Why do you think they call it “social” media? You want people to come to your blog, read it and perhaps even share it. Sharing also is something you, as the writer should be doing with your blog. Don’t just leave it on your website, put links to it on your other social media outlets such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and even Pinterest.
The more you share, the more chances for others to see it, and to learn more about you and your business. If you have a comment section be sure to respond to anyone who leaves a comment, this is an opportunity to open a dialogue with a potential or existing or potential customer. And remember, even if the comment is negative, don’t lash out, remain cool, calm and collected and answer them respectfully because it’s your reputation and image on the line.
Coming up with topics isn’t always easy and finding the time to blog about them is even harder. That’s why many businesses outsource the job. Hiring someone who blogs for a living will only serve to ensure that you blog consistently, with authority and professionalism.
Susan R. Miller is founder of Garton-Miller Media, a full-service, South Florida-based public relations firm. Susan is a former journalist with more than 30 years of experience. She has written for local, state and national publications. Her clients include attorneys, non-profit organizations and healthcare professionals.
Garton-Miller Media is a full-service, South Florida-based public relations firm. Founder Susan R. Miller has 30 years of experience as a writer, journalist and PR professional.