Ten Reasons to Blog for Twenty Ten…

by Jonathan Marshall

Janine Popick, President, CEO and Founder of VerticalResponse, had a post discussing blogging, making it a top priority and changing how business-owners view the practice. Today, many people struggle to find time to blog, and since it is a relatively-new marketing tool, some people are still not totally convinced of it’s ability to gain sales and customers.

Some business-owners might think that blogging is only important to companies like JTCG because we are a San Diego web design agency. And since we also specialize in managing and executing SEO campaigns – of course we think it’s important… Right? Wrong. The bottom line is this – whether your company adopts blogging as a marketing responsibility, or you just have SEO Professionals like us handle it for you – Blogging has to be a priority this year.

Since I couldn’t say it better myself, I have included the blog post from Janine Popick in today’s post. Check out what she has to say about sharing, gaining online presence and getting feedback from readers in her blog below.

Yes it’s true, if you are considering a blog for your business, or revisiting one you haven’t posted to in a while, there is a time commitment…but DON’T RUN AWAY FROM READING THIS! First and foremost you got to this blog didn’t you? I blog about 2 times per week and I try to make it relevant to helping small businesses grow using email marketing and some pretty cool marketing tools & techniques. But that’s what this blog is all about.

So you’re asking yourself, “Why do I need to spend time I don’t have writing about god-knows-what?” Well there are a bunch of reasons that I’ve outlined below. And what do you write about? I’ve given some ideas in the blog post Writing Your Email Newsletter, What Do You Have to Say? Even though it’s geared towards email marketing, the ideas translate nicely into ideas for your blog. So here are 10 reasons it makes sense to start blogging for your business:

1. Get Shared – People will retweet you and post your blog content to their Facebook pages if they think it’s worthy. This could potentially give you access to new readers and new customers. You can track how many people have retweeted your blog content by going to Backtweets.com, entering your blog post URL and paging through all of your retweets.

2. Gain a Website Presence – If you don’t have a website yet, it’s easy to set up a blog quickly. San Francisco retailer Timeless Treasures does a great job at this. Then you can post about new products you might have or new services with your address and phone number so that folks know where to find you.

3. Build Your List – You can get new readers/prospects by adding an opt-in form to your blog so new readers can be included on your email marketing list. Then you can send them newsletters with the hopes of converting them to customers. VerticalResponse allows you to easily publish an opt-in form to your TypePad blog.

4. Search Engine Rankings – You can host your blog on your domain to get more traffic. This could give you higher rankings in the search engines with your specific keywords. For instance in each blog post we do we link the term “email marketing” back to our domain verticalresponse.com. As a result for that particular keyword, we’re pretty high in the natural rankings for that phrase.

5. Get Closer to Your Readers – So many customers want to know there are human beings behind the companies they do business with these days. Blogging is a perfect platform for you to easily do this. Your posts don’t have to be long and they should be easy-to-read. One thing that works great for me is that I pretty much write the blog like I would speak, conversational and friendly. Cathedral Ridge Winery has a great blog called the Barrel Room Buzz and they talk about everything from harvest to recipes that go well with their wines. This makes readers feel closer to the companies they are doing business with.

6. Send Your Email Recipients to Your Blog – You can include your links and excerpts of your blog posts right in your email marketing campaigns. This spreads out your message to all of your recipients who could then forward your email to their friends.

7. Quick Change – You can change your content and update your blog in seconds. Use your website as either a brochure site or a retail store, use your blog as the voice of your company and let your readers in the front door of your company.

8. More than 140 Characters Allowed! – You can have more content on the blog than you can on Twitter, or that you’d want to on Facebook. Use these social media outlets to send people to your blog and build up your own traffic to your domain, not theirs.

9. Analyze – You can tell what type of content you write attracts the most people. You can either use Google Analytics or most blogging software will tell you what is causing your traffic to spike. Then you can write posts that readers want to read more.

10. Get Feedback – As opposed to many static websites, you can ask your readers to comment on your articles. For instance at VerticalResponse we have 3 different blogs. One is specific to product changes that are going to be happening. We can solicit feedback from customers before we release the new features to gauge how they feel about it.

So if you think you’re wasting your time on blogging, think again! There are tremendous benefits to committing some of your busy time to communicating via a blog. Start today!