This is a guest post from Max Kubert of NYU. The author’s views below are entirely his or her own.[Tweet “Blog is one of the most important brand’s online assets – @SearchDecoder”]
According to HubSpot, websites that blog receive 55% more traffic and over 80% more leads than websites that don’t. Yet, most businesses and entrepreneurs are slow to recognize the true value of blogging.
How to Make a Killer Case for Starting a Blog
I’m Max, and I currently work on content strategy for a couple different brands. Recently, as I was preparing to pitch starting a blog for one of my clients, I couldn’t decide whether it was really worth expending their limited time and resources. I imagined what my client would say:
“I don’t know how to blog.”
“Isn’t blogging just a fad?”
“It would be too time consuming.”
“Would anyone even read it?”
“Who blogs these days? I thought everyone is on Facebook”
These are valid concerns, but they stem from the most common myths about blogging going to the early days of the Web. Nonetheless, I still wasn’t sure about the best way to respond to them (a non-profit with such a tight budget). So first I asked a friend who really knows the Internet, currently working as a senior art director for a top NYC ad agency. She said:
“It helps in a lot of ways. It gives the impression that you are an authority and/or you have a passion regarding your subject or product. It builds a following and reaches out to more people through compelling content rather than just selling, and it’s a great way to get feedback through engaging with people directly.”
After talking to her and reading the book, I realized that no matter who you are, no matter how little free time you have, no matter how small your budget is, and no matter how scared you are to start a blog, you can do it–and you can definitely benefit from it.
9 Benefits of Blogging you Should Know About
Here are some of the ways Mike Fishbein says you can benefit from blogging:
It helps you build rapport, engagement and relationships. For me, this one’s huge—more on it later.
It helps you create opportunities. (i.e. speaking opportunities, press coverage, etc.)
Gives you a platform where you can organize your thoughts and learn. Even if no one reads it.
You can tell your story. Almost like you’re your own media company.
You can stand out from the crowd. Only 1% of internet users actually create content–most of us just consume it.
You can validate your expertise. Prove that you are skilled and knowledgeable.
You can make money. Wooo! More viewers = more earning potential.
In his book, What To Write About, How to Promote Your Blog, & How to Make Money Blogging, Mike goes a lot deeper into specifically how to create and strategize your blog based on your goals, resources, and skills.
How to Use the Blog to Build and Cultivate Relationships
What stood out to me the most was #3—specifically using a blog to build relationships.
For more details on how to use a blog to build relationships, check out the deck Mike Fishbin presented at NYU on SlideShare:
My client is a non-profit, but if I can convince them that a blog could be used as a way to build new relationships, cultivate those relationships, and thus, use it as a fundraising tool: booya.
Here’s an example. Imagine that you’re an olympian, and a fitness-focused non-profit calls you up and asks for a large donation. You probably get asked for money all the time. Unless you already have a relationship with these people, you’ll likely say no–flat out.
However, what if said organization, with its limited staff and budget, has set up a nice and simple WordPress-themed blog, and they call you up asking if you’d be willing to share your expertise in a blog interview. It puts the user first (by showing that the organization cares what you think enough to publish your thoughts), it’s free press, and it could be fun. Win-win.
So you do the interview, it’s posted on the blog (at little cost to the organization), you see it go live, you love it, you send the link to all your friends, and a few weeks later you get a call from a development officer asking if you’ll get a cup of coffee to talk about a possible donation. You’re probably a lot more likely to oblige.
This is just one way a blog strategy can be creatively tailored to meet an organization’s unique objectives. There are many, many other ways to use a blog.
In order to fully understand how a blog could help you, let’s stop thinking about it as just a journal. Instead, think of a blog as a place you can put strategic content that reaches the people you want it to reach, makes those people think a certain way about your brand or your product or you, and helps you reach a specific, attainable and measurable goal.
It can happen.
Questions? Comments? Tweet to me at @maxkubert.