Check out the following statistics and you’ll see why having a blog is a really good idea.  Whether your customers are consumers, other businesses, or both, there is no doubt that having one will benefit your business.

Want to know how to do it?  There’s a wonderful blog by Gail Gardner, Small Business Marketing Strategist at GrowMap that was posted yesterday.  It clearly explains:

  • What should you do if you don’t have the time or skills to blog?
  • What you need on your mobile responsive blog.
  • How to come up with content ideas.
  • How to encourage readers to comment.
  • How to get more traffic to your blog.
  • With the huge number of blogs, is there a shortage of readers?
  • Repurposing Blog Posts.

Here is a reprint of Gail’s post:

Studying the statistics above, it should be obvious that blogs have major benefits for businesses. When 90% of consumers find customer content useful, you need to have that content. Blogging is the easiest way to quickly update your site and keep it current.

61% of U.S. consumers have made a purchase based on a blog post. If you aren’t blogging, you aren’t influencing your buyers. Without blog content done properly, you miss out on having your brand shared on social media. Businesses need to understand that influencers on social media cannot share your business site in most circumstances. If we do our followers will consider it an ad. (There are some exceptions such as providing a direct referral.) We can share blog content for the information value.

Websites with blogs have 97% more incoming links. Blog posts can be shared on Google Plus and receive +1s. All of these improve search engine position and get your site found. B2Bs using blogs generate 67% more leads. There is no doubt that a blog will benefit your business.

For more reasons every business should have a blog read 7 Ways Businesses Should Be Using Blogs and 21 Quick Tips: How to Write a Blog for Your Business.

Whether you haven’t even started or have been blogging a while now, the tips in this Google Hangout-on-Air in the Google Plus Entrepreneurs’, Small Business and Self-Employed Community will benefit you.

Pooling Our Knowledge: Entrepreneurs’ Community Hangout

The four participants are all serious bloggers with over six years experience each as full-time professional bloggers. All of us actively mentor and teach blogging for business:

  • Professional business blogger +Sarah Harris of WriteCollective
  • Small Business Marketing Strategist Gail Gardner of (me)
  • Google Hangout expert and successful mom blogger +Crystal VanTassel of CrystalandComp and #LearntoBlog
  • Crystal’s partner in their weekly How to Blog Hangouts +Kelli Miller of 3BoysandaDog
  • What should you do if you don’t have the time or skills to blog?
    • Hire a freelance blogger
    • Grow the skills in-house
    • Buy blog post packages or blog management services from WriteCollective.
  • What you need on your mobile responsive blog:
    • Install a lead capture form in the top right corner of your sidebar (or top left if your sidebar is on the left)
    • Make sure you have search on your blog (and your site)
    • Use a header design similar to your main site
    • Social sharing buttons that work on mobile devices
    • Use of images and video
    • Test to make sure your header, images and videos re-size on mobile devices
  • How to come up with content ideas:
    • Brainstorming; make lists of commonly asked questions and do a post with each answer (and then link them to your FAQ page)
    • Identify goals; keyword research; have a post or page for every keyword phrase
    • Storytelling: who you are and how you can improve your readers’ lives
    • Resonating with your audience; content that provides value; viral ideas
    • Try the new Hubspot Blog Topic Generator
  • How to encourage readers to comment:
    • Pose a question at the end of your post
    • Use a call to action intended to get the reader to do something
    • Remember that discussions on social platforms (Google Plus, LinkedIn, Facebook) are also valuable
    • Interact with bloggers who are more likely to comment on their sites and in social media
    • Ask someone you know to leave a comment (the first comment is the hardest to get)
    • Consider using CommentLuv
    • Respond to comments if you want to keep getting comments
  • How to get more traffic to your blog:
    • Interact with social media influencers
    • Get collaborators to use Twitterfeed to automatically share your new content
    • Use Viral Content Buzz and JustRetweet to get influencers to share your content manually
    • Use Google Plus (G+) to get your content indexed quickly and for SEO value as well as visibility. What you share on G+ is searchable
    • Content MUST have images so you can pin them on Pinterest and use them on G+, Facebook, LinkedIn and now even on Twitter. (You have to upload the image manually and can pin one tweet to your Twitter profile.)
    • Use established groups to locate and build your own “tribe” of collaborators.
  • With the huge number of blogs, is there a shortage of readers?
    • No, because people are always searching for products, coupons, deals, tips, how-to information
    • Be sure to capture your readers to a mailing list to keep them coming back
    • Give them something of value to get them to contact you and use your service or buy your products
    • Go comment on related sites and blogs to attract an audience
    • Get published on other related sites so their audience has a chance to become yours
  • Repurposing Blog Posts
    • Slideshares
    • Videos
    • Podcasts
    • Transcripts
    • Quote from or link to existing posts from new posts on your own site and on other blogs.