Building on my scary theme from last time, I recently saw the film Get Out. It was the best film I’ve seen in the theater in a long time. Certainly deserving of the great reviews and box office success. Some of the themes will keep you up at night, kind of like business blogging. More on that in a moment.
Although I had seen the preview for Get Out a couple of times, I hadn’t thought seriously about seeing it because I had taken a vow not to pay movie theater prices to see another horror film. I instituted this particular ban after seeing The Witch, another film that was touted for its social commentary. Despite all the rave reviews, I just was not that into it.
I generally like suspense and thrillers (It goes back to that whole feeling your body’s fear experience within a relatively safe environment.). But typically, horror movies don’t give me the experience I crave. It’s almost as if, since I know the filmmakers are trying to scare me, I can’t suspend belief long enough to allow the psychological process to happen.
But I set aside my skepticism to see Get Out and I’m glad I did. Perhaps this was different because the themes resonated more with me. But rather than go any further down the rabbit hole into the recesses of my psychology, let’s talk about business blogging. Shall we?
Fear of Failure and Business Blogging
They say real life is scarier than fiction. The stuff that really scares us, the stuff that nightmares are made of is based on real world fears. Fears like failure, especially public failure.
Business blogging can stir up these kinds of fears for a lot of people. You are super awesome at coaching clients about improving their image and giving them the confidence to own whatever room they walk into. You feel energized when you help clients. But when it comes to writing a blog post, you freeze.
You don’t know what to say. You worry that the words will come out wrong and you will blow all of the credibility you have worked so hard to build. So, you turn-tail and run back to what you know you are good at.
If this sounds familiar, don’t worry. We’ve all been there. Even your entrepreneurial frenemy who posts to her blog 3 times every week like clockwork (and somehow also finds time to coach her daughter’s lacrosse team), fears failing at something.
Knowing this won’t make your fears about business blogging disappear. Since it’s so easy to rationalize and tell yourself that you can make up for not blogging in other ways, let me give you some reasons (11 to be exact, in no particular order) to face your fear or find another way to make business blogging part of your marketing plan.
1. Blogs are 63% more likely to influence purchase decisions than magazines.
If you are spending money on print ads, it may be smart to shift some of those resources to blogging and other online channels. Of course, the main consideration should always be where your target audience likes to hangout. But generally speaking, blogs are gaining in influence over purchasing decisions.
2. Websites with blogs have 434% more indexed pages.
Search engines look favorably on websites with quality blog posts. Raising your ranking on Google and other search engines could be a matter of focusing on writing a regular blog post with high quality, educational information that engages your audience. Easier said than done, but the payoff is huge.
3. Companies with active blogs receive 97% more links to their websites.
The quickest way to get noticed is for others to share your content with their audiences. While you may have hundreds in your network, if you can get a few of those to share your blog with their networks, just think of how many more you can reach. Everyone loves to share fresh content and blog posts are natural backlinks.
4. Small businesses that published 11+ blog posts per month had 3x the traffic of companies publishing 0-1 blog post per month.
This stat scares me the most. I could possibly create 11+ blog posts per month, but I would definitely have to sacrifice quality and cut corners in other places. This is the challenge of running a one-woman show. Fortunately for me, small businesses that publish once or twice per month also receive 70% more leads than those that do not have a blog. So, this makes me feel a little better.
If you have employees who are interested in helping with the writing, though, then you are in a better position to make this one happen. You could also consider sharing the load between a ghostwriter and in-house writing talent.
5. 70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles rather than ads.
Blog posts are powerful because they aim to educate, rather than influence readers. Of course, you will want to slip in your call-to-action somewhere in the article. But as long as readers are gaining useful information that they have come looking for, getting to know more about what your company does and can do for them, it’s a win-win.
6. 90% of consumers report that they find custom content useful.
Today’s consumers love to do research before they buy. Your custom content can shape and guide the information that is available. This is especially true if your competitors do not have a regularly updated blog. You have a golden opportunity to make inroads with potential clients if you can help them better understand their home remodeling needs, what types of skirts are most flattering for their figures, or how a piece of legislation is going to impact their lives. They will grow to remember and trust your company over time.
7. 65% of daily Internet users read a blog.
Growing a list of dedicated fans who read you regularly is a great way to gain trust and credibility. Even if most of your readers never contact you or purchase your product or service, they are likely telling their friends about you. Taking the time to sign up for your blog and read it regularly, is an endorsement. You will want to keep track of who is following you and learn as much about them as possible.
There are a few blogs that I follow regularly:
- The Middle Finger Project: for business tips and inspiration.
- HubSpot’s Marketing Blog: for marketing ideas and staying current.
- The Bloggess: for a good laugh.
8. 70-80% of Google users say they ignore paid ads, focusing on organic results.
I definitely skip over the paid ads at the top of the Google search page, at least when I’m using Google to answer a question or do research. I have heard from small business owners who have spent money on Google ads and been dissatisfied with their results. Of course, as with any type of marketing, there are better and worse ways to use Google ads. For some industries, it’s a necessity. Consider this a reminder not to neglect the creation of organic content.
9. Google processes roughly 3.5 billion searches EVERY DAY.
Wow. This number is staggering. It simply illustrates the power of the web and the potential for grabbing market share with excellent blog posts. The days of marketing your product by mailing a few hundred homes or making a few thousand cold calls are certainly fading. Even more important than the content is capturing the useful data generated by those billions.
10. 346,000,000 people globally read blogs.
When blogging first became a thing, most readers were hobby-obsessed folks looking to buy, sell, or trade hand-painted figurines or talk to other equally obsessed folks. No longer. Now millions around the world read blogs and smart businesses are making blogging a marketing priority.
11. Blog posts continue to generate impressions up to 700 days after they go live.
This stat is particularly interesting. It means that more than two years after I post this article on my blog, it could still be generating returns for me (makes the two hours I spent searching for stats all seem worthwhile, doesn’t it?). The key to continuing to influence readers is to hone in on the keywords your audience is searching for and create unique content that few others are discussing. Experiment A TON and once one of your posts hits a nerve, milk that for all it’s worth.
Okay, business blogging may not be the stuff of horror movies, but if you aren’t blogging regularly, I hope I’ve convinced you that it’s time to face your fear or whatever is holding you back.
Some types of fears are productive, for instance, the fear of failing to meet a deadline. But when fear gets in your way of accomplishing other things, it’s time to find a better way to deal with it. I can’t scare away the monsters hiding under your bed, but I can help you sleep better at night. Contact me to find out how.
Has blogging helped your business? If you aren’t blogging now, what’s holding you back?
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