Nearly every business owner we work with asks us the simple question: Should I have a blog? And our response is always the same…it depends. A great, well-maintained blog with good content can do wonders for your business. Anything less could do more harm than good. (Hence this article. Read on!)
The Blog-Search Engine Dance
When Google is looking at two substantially similar sites, it will usually put the one with a blog up higher than the completely static, never updated site. Adding regular, relevant, fresh content to your website can do wonders for your site over time.
So…you naturally want a blog.
Not So Fast, Hot Shot!
If not properly built or maintained, your blog can actually do more harm than good! Before you commit to having a blog, consider a few things:
- what will you write about?
- who will write it?
- how often will you update it?
- who will want to read it?
If you think that you can blog your way to the top of Google by pumping out keyword-rich, spammy crap that nobody wants to read, you’re sorely mistaken.
The Audience: Tips and Pitfalls
When writing for your blog, first consider who your audience is. If you’re pumping out garbage just to rank on Google and other search engines, with absolutely no consideration for actual human readers, we have news for you: there are 24,000 people at Google who want to make sure your site only shows up for humans who want to read it.
No real person wants to read a page stuffed with keywords that make no sense, which is also why Google and other search engines will actually penalize you if they find you jamming in keywords for no reason.
The best way to ensure success for your blog is to write good, quality content that people want to read. Those people will share it with their friends, buzz will grow, and Google will reward you by moving you up the search engines.
The Frequency: The Message You Send
We suck at blogging and we probably shouldn’t have one. Why? It’s because we are so busy with web design, social media marketing, email marketing, text messaging, etc that we don’t have a lot of time to write for the blog.
Unfortunately, visitors don’t see how busy we are. When a visitor lands on your blog and you have neglected it for weeks or months at a time (like we have), they don’t immediately assume you’re busy. They assume you’re out of business. (And if you think they’re going to call to verify it, you’re wrong – they’re going to leave and never come back!)
Blog too little, and you look like you’re not a real business. Blog too much, and you send the message that you have nothing better to do. (And why would they do business with someone nobody else is doing business with?!?!)
The trick is to only blog when you have something good to say, but also find that balance between “abandoned” and “annoying”.
How Often Should I Blog?
The absolute minimum is one blog post a month. If you’re running a weekly or monthly blog, be sure to stay consistent – the Monday morning blog or the first day of the month or whatever. People will come to expect it at a certain time when they know not to expect it often.
If you plan on blogging more than once a week, try not to blog more than once a day unless you absolutely have to. News websites and stock trading blogs have timely, frequent updates and may need to update throughout the day; restaurants, dentists, and attorneys don’t!
Blogging Is Hard Work
Before you decide to add a blog to your website, first ask yourself if you can write, if people will want to read what you write, if you can keep up with it, and if the time spent blogging is better spent trying to get new clients in other ways.
Do as we say, not as we do because, quite frankly, we have a blog because it’s expected that Chicago’s WordPress experts would naturally have a blog. Now we have to work extra hard just to prove to the world that we’re here, busy, and waiting for your call!