Whenever I talk to a business that is considering taking their products online or boosting their current online presence, the first thing I ask is “have you got a blog?” Sometimes the answer is “what’s a blog?” but many times it’s “I started one, but I ran out of things to say.”
Can you believe that people run out of things to say? Well, it’s true – they do and so their blog sites there with an old date on it and so it gets ignored by both people and Google. Some would argue that it’s best not to have a blog at all rather than have one sitting in an almost catatonic state where everyone can see that you haven’t been bothered to update it for such a long time. I would tend to agree.
So why bother with a blog? Can it really bring you any more profits and does it matter to Google and people? The answer is obviously a loud and very shouty “YES”.
Blogs have been used by many people now to promote their products to a wider audience but their very nature means they have a lot more value than simply getting a bit of information out – they appear as a friendlier window onto your business and therefore as a softer sell to those who are reading them.
For example, many corporate websites have news and information about their products and services spread all over their website, but this is usually marketing-friendly content that has passed through many filters before it’s been published and eventually consumed. However a blog seems to be far more relaxed and as it should include content that wouldn’t normally make it to the news pages – for example news about fund raising or things the teams within the business has been up to – it’s a far easier read.
The benefits are that you tend to build up more of a rapport with your customers if you use a blog and you can be more frank and open with them. As you are open, they tend to be more believing and eventually more trustworthy. If they trust you, they are more likely to buy from you and therefore you have a greater chance of selling to them.
And that’s the key. If you want to sell to a customer you need to ideally warm them up to the idea of buying from you and the best way to do that isn’t from sales tactics or any kind of trick, it’s simply a matter of being open and honest and as a blog is a great way of doing that – it means you can effectively sell more through your blog than you ever have through your normal site.