Content Marketing: Is Blogging Still a Thing in 2019?
Ten years ago, every marketer on planet earth would have told you that your business website needs a blog. There seemed to be an idea that hordes of customers would come flocking to your block, eager to read every word that you published on your blog. To be honest, my fellow marketers may have oversold things just a bit.
Fast forward to today (just a few weeks away from 2019) and we’re still asking if running a blog on your business website is worth the effort. But today the answer is less clear – the days of recommending a blog to every business on earth have passed.
Does My Business Need a Blog?
The short answer: yes. But you didn’t come here for short answers, so here’s the long one: your business will see a benefit from blogging, but only if you approach it with well-laid plans and a dedication to seeing it through.
A staggering or inconsistent approach to blogging won’t do your business any good, and there are thousands of abandoned blogs to testify to that fact. Today we’ll look at four factors that will determine the impact of blogging on your business.
- Regular: Posting a random post every few weeks, then months, then years, isn’t going to make an impact on your business. You’ll need a regular posting schedule if you want to attract an audience and see any SEO benefit.
- Unique: The internet is a big place and another bland, sales-driven blog isn’t likely to win you any new customers. Your blog will need a unique point of view if you want to see any benefit from your efforts.
- Authoritative: People turn to blogs to learn and grow in their knowledge. The days of blogging about your random thoughts and feelings died in 2008, today you need to present real knowledge to your readers.
- Goal Driven: Blogging without a defined goal is like driving without a destination. You’ll burn a lot of gas, but you won’t accomplish much. Your blog should have clearly defined goals if you want to see a positive impact.
If you can hit on all four of these factors, there is a good chance that your blog will have a positive impact on your business. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ll spend the rest of this blog post laying out ways to hit on all four of these blogging factors.
Blogging for your Business in 2019
Running a blog on your business website isn’t an easy task – and the difficulty is compounded when you’re trying to check all the boxes we mentioned above. The best method for finding success is just good old fashioned hard work – but there are, of course, tips and tricks you can use to help ensure your blog is helping to achieve your goals.
The old saying that things that don’t get scheduled don’t get done is truer than ever when it comes to blogging. If you want to produce regular content, then you need to set aside dedicated time to writing, editing, and promoting your blog content. And we’re not talking about 15 minutes a week here – especially as you are just getting started. If you can’t carve out four hours per post, then you’re probably too busy to run your own blog.
Build a Calendar
While we’re on the topic of planning, you should spend some time creating a content calendar before you jump into the writing process. Sitting down to write without a topic already in mind is a recipe for wasting time – you’ll spend too much time browsing for topics and not enough time with your nose to the grindstone.
Target Niche Keywords
Standing out requires an honest look at your resources and ability. There is little chance that you’ll be able to write a blog post on a popular topic that makes a big splash. Say you sell homeowner’s insurance, you probably won’t rank on page one for a blog post on why you need homeowner’s insurance – it’s just too competitive. Instead, go after niche and longtail keywords that are within your reach.
Show Your Personality
Even if you are targeting niche keywords, somebody else has probably already written about your topic. In order to stand out, inject a little personality into your writing. Is your brand fun? Go for a playful tone. Is your brand serious? Shoot for an education feel to your writing. Just make it honest – customers will see right through writing that is just parroting the latest trends (like the near ubiquitous one-sentence paragraphs in marketing blogs).
Answer Common Questions
When you’re looking for topics that you can address authoritatively, the best place to start with questions that you commonly address in your business. Talk to your sales team, your account executives, and your administrative staff to see what your customers are asking on a weekly basis. These questions provide a great baseline for filling your calendar with authoritative content.
Capture User Data
Putting all this work into blogging isn’t worth it if it’s not increasing your customer base. The best way to start adding value immediately is by using your blog as a lead generation tool. To do this, you will need to start collecting email addresses (or other contact info) from the readers of your blog. Adding a lead capture form is a relatively simple process that your web design agency can handle quickly.
Set Realistic Expectations
Nothing will kill your momentum like setting unrealistic expectations. That what happened to thousands of business blogs during the blogging boom – they were promised overnight success with readers and SEO alike. And when they success never came, they abandoned the project. Blogging is a marathon project that will get you incremental results. Knowing that from the outset will keep you motivated when it feels like you’re spinning your wheels.
Blogging Toward Success
While marketers might have oversold the power of blogging over the last one and half decades, that doesn’t mean you should abandon the technique in 2019. It just means that you need to approach blogging with clear goals, schedules, and expectations.
If you need help tackling your content marketing project, we’d love to help you get started – from setting up a blog to content creation and promotion. Contact us today for a totally free marketing consultation!