Why every website needs a blog, yours included.

Why every website needs a blog

 

One of my favourite parts about getting new clients’ websites up and running is how excited they are leading up to the launch!

They follow my recommendations step for step by preparing compelling copy for the pages of their website, taking beautiful photos, setting up social media accounts and syncing up their email lists. In these areas, so many business owners excel. They really “get it”.

But when it comes to blogging? Heck no!

This is where I see business owners across all industries messing up and sabotaging the success of their websites.

Most people don’t realize how important it is to include a blog section on their website, and this is because they honestly don’t understand how valuable a blog can be. It isn’t a matter of being lazy or “too busy” to have a blog; on the contrary, if more people knew how useful blogs can be to their businesses, I bet more business owners would focus their efforts on blogging.

In this article, I’m going to explain exactly why your website needs a blog (no matter your industry) and why you should regularly create content for it.

Related: How to set up a blog on a Squarespace website (video tutorial)

Having a blog vs. being a blogger

Before we begin, let’s take a moment to make the distinction between a website that is set up as a traditional blog, versus a website that has a blog section to support an existing business or personal brand.

Many industries thrive off of exclusively creating content for blogs (the fashion and lifestyle industries come to mind). For example, every day those bloggers will publish an outfit post, which is often created in partnership with a brand and contains affiliate links. When you visit many of these sites, you’ll essentially see a collection of posts in chronological order, or else the posts will be grouped together by category (e.g., lifestyle, beauty, travel, recipes, etc.). Many of these bloggers aren’t offering a product or service unique to their business - instead, their income comes through partnerships and affiliate links.

In the context of this article, however, I want to be clear that we are talking about the many small businesses out there that offer a product or service, and (should) have a blog section to support their business efforts. This means that their websites contain specific, targeted pages (e.g., About, Products/Services, History, Contact, etc.) as well as articles posted in the blog section.

When I encourage you to include a blog as part of your digital strategy, I’m not telling you to become a full-blown Blogger overnight.

Hope that clears things up from the get-go!

Why every website needs a blog

Now that we’ve made the distinction, let’s go over the many reasons why every business needs a blog as part of their website.

1. Blogging builds relationships with your audience

Whether you’re writing posts on your personal website or on your business’ blog, blogging gives you a chance to connect with your readers. It’s a platform you can use to develop your voice online and let your personality shine through. People love to know that you wrote a post and didn’t just outsource it to a VA haha! Blogging allows you to build a voice for your brand (even if that brand is just you!) and it gives you a place to comment long-form on market trends and industry happenings.

Keep in mind that blogs usually have an open comments section, which is a fantastic platform to encourage discussion with your audience. Odds are your readers won’t take the time to email you with their thoughts or comments on one of your blog posts (that’s wayyyy too much effort), but it’s more likely that they will comment on a post instead. If you take the time to answer their questions or reply to their comments, you can build a relationship with your readers. It also demonstrate that you actually read their comments and care enough to reply or answer their questions. Opening up a two-way conversation through your blog encourages people to interact with you and invest in your brand/business. This is huge!

2. Blogging promotes networking

This is a funny point that many people don’t consider right away but blogging has fantastic networking benefits. Think of it this way: every time you write a post that mentions or references someone else, you’ve created a relevant reason to reach out to them.

You can shoot them a quick email saying “Hi [person’s name], I really enjoyed the article you wrote recently in [publication name] about [subject]. I mentioned it in a blog post this week,  here’s the link if you’d like to check it out!”.

Alternatively, you can tag their Twitter handle to let them know that you’ve mentioned the in your article. Maybe you’ll even score a retweet and even more people will find your article!

This lets you build and strengthen relationships with people you might not otherwise connect with. It puts you on their radar, shows them what you’re working on and gets people to pay attention to you. Who knows, this might even lead to a partnership opportunity (if you are in similar or related industries) or a chance to connect offline!

Similar to the point above about connecting with your audience, blogging also lets you interact with your peers through comments. People always want to know what you’re up to and how they compare to others so if you let them know that you’re open to connecting, they’ll pay more attention to you in turn.

3. Blogging establishes your expertise

By regularly publishing posts, you’re able to position yourself as an expert in your field and really show that you know what you’re talking about. This confirms to potential clients that you know what’s up, and also signals to peers in your industry that you are up to date with trends and have something intelligent to say.

A regularly updated blog also signals to your audience that they can stick around your site and maybe even learn something from you. Your blog shows that you know about your industry or niche, have an opinion, and can express your thoughts about something that interests them.

4. Blogging lets you show off (in a good way!)

One of the really fun things about writing articles for your blog is that you can show people who you are and highlight your position in your chosen niche. Blogging gives you a platform to show off about what you know and what you’re interested in - how cool is that?

Blogs are an awesome way to self-promote (it’s your website you can do what you want to!) but it’s important to remember it doesn’t have to be annoying or sales-y. TG for that! Instead, you can use your blog to show off projects you’ve completed, let your audience know about any awards or recognitions you’ve been nominated for, or highlight client success or case studies.

Some people don’t like to “show off” this way, which is something I’ll never understand. You don’t need to brag but if you’re doing really neat stuff, why not let people know about it? This shows your legitimacy, makes you more appealing to new business, and clients will be more likely to trust you and continue doing business with you.

5. Blogging gives you content to share on social media

I’m going to guess that your goals include spreading the word about your offerings and getting publicity for your business. This is all well and dandy but how do you expect to get eyes on your site through social media if you don’t have anything to share? Imagine your website only has half a dozen basic pages; it’s unlikely that you’ll get the results you want by Tweeting a link to your About page every other day.

Having a blog is a great way to create content that you can then share on social media to help build your following. The more blog posts you have, the more content you have to share!

Writing valuable blog posts is beneficial for two reasons:

  • It gives you something to share with your audience that they’ll enjoy or find interesting, or will help address their pain points

  • It gives your audience something to share with their own following

Blogging is one of the biggest factors in content marketing since it feeds social media and can be used as inspiration for newsletter updates.

Pro tip: By using different titles or headlines in your Tweets or Facebook posts, you can still link to the same article and it won’t look like you’re just regurgitating the same thing over and over. #aintnoshame

6. Blogging is a fantastic way to grow your email list

If you’re using your website strategically as a way to grow your email list, then blogging will help you speed up the process. One of the best ways to do this is by including content upgrades (sometimes known as lead magnets) in your blog posts. Basically, you’re offering a fair trade to give someone a relevant bonus in exchange for their email address.

Content upgrades aren’t a “one size fits all” approach and by including them on multiple blog posts, you can be specific and helpful with what you offer. This allows people to connect with you and your brand on a closer level.

Even if the reader doesn’t become a client right away, you want them to join your email list since they’ll be more likely to purchase from you in the future this way. By keeping in touch with them and building a relationship over time, you will win ‘em over eventually!

7. Blogging is great for SEO

The benefits blogging has for SEO is arguably the most important reason why you need to have a blog because the benefits cannot be understated. Think of it this way: a basic website might only have 5-10 specific pages (e.g., About, Contact, Products/Services, etc.) which doesn’t give search engines (i.e., Google) a whole lot to index. However, by starting a blog, every article you publish counts as a page that can be indexed by the search engines. This is major because now your website has even more opportunities to be seen!

Along those lines, the more content is published on your website, the more often search engines will crawl your website, which means that this new content will be indexed even faster. If your website doesn’t include a blog section, the site is essentially dormant - the static pages are just sitting there and there’s nothing “new” to be looked at. This means that search engines won’t crawl your site as often and as such, any changes or announcements you make will not be indexed quickly or effectively.

By having and updating the blog section of your site, your website is “actively alive” (<--- roll with me on this made up term, please). Search engines (and readers!) will notice that it’s being tended to and it signals that your business is still up and running.

Another major point is that blogging improves organic search visibility. In English: this basically means if/how your website shows up in search results on Google. When you have better organic search visibility, your website will appear higher in search results which means that more people will click through to your website and you’ll see an increase in traffic. The more blog posts you have, the more chances you have to rank positively for specific keywords.

Finally, publishing an interesting or helpful blog post can be a powerful way to get people talking about you - like we mentioned above in the networking section, people will return the favour. Whenever someone cites or references your post/website within their own content, they are creating an inbound link. These links are super important for SEO and can lead to significant referral traffic to your website. If people like what they see, they will click through the link and be directed to your site.

No more excuses

As you can see, there are a ton of reasons to add a blog to your website or continue writing articles for your blog. The benefits cannot be ignored!

But wait, do I hear.... an excuse? No way, Jose - not from you.

Yes, blogging takes a lot of time and effort, but the payout is worth it. Other people might come up with excuses for why they can’t possible blog, but I know you’re not one of them.

Remember that it is totally okay to focus on quality instead of quantity and you don’t have to churn out a new blog post every day. In fact, industry experts suggest blogging less frequently and writing longer, more valuable posts instead! Spend extra time promoting articles through social media or repurposing that existing content into other areas, such as your email list. Blogging does take a lot of work and while you might not see any enormous or immediate results, that doesn’t mean it won’t pay out in the end.

If writing blog posts feels like a total chore or if you don’t feel ~*inspired*~ on the regular, I suggest sticking to an editorial calendar. This will help keep your blog on schedule and it will also make sure that your content is related and relevant.


As always, I’d love to know your thoughts on this article. Do you include a blog on your personal or business website? Have you found it strengthens your brand or helps you to develop stronger relationships? Leave me a note in the comments!


Charlotte O'Hara

Vancouver