In the past three days I have had three conversations with three separate business people who represent three completely different industries. In every case there was a common theme. Why blog? Each of these very bright people who are leaders in their respective buisnesses are convinced that blogging is not right for their industry. They are convinced that nobody they would gain as a client would ever read a blog post so writing blogs would be a huge time suck that would gain them little or nothing.
I realized in each of these conversations that the expectation they had was that writing a blog only matters if you can generate a large following online and have people eagerly awaiting your wisdom of the week to hit their inbox. If not that, then why blog? While that is an admirable goal for all writers of online content, the reality is that I have written a ton of blogs over the past year that I find myself thinking nobody has ever read. Does that make the writing a waste of my time? Strangely it does not.
Somehow amidst the joys and pains of the SEO (search engine optimization) world that Google runs with a maniacal number of algorithmic computations, posting regular blogs using consistent keywords is one of the key strategies that is now almost mandatory for building an online presence.
Building Your Online Presence
I have begun describing it using a real estate analogy that I'm sure others came up with long before I did. Your website is your initial piece of real estate on the internet, and it provides a footprint, an address where you can be found. The latest statistics on how many addresses there are like yours on the worldwide web according to one source who is tracking such data is this: The Indexed Web contains at least 2.12 billion pages (Thursday, 27 February, 2014).
I know there are a lot of different numbers out there, but let's say this estimate is off by a billion and there are really only 1.12 billion web pages out there, I think we can agree that finding one of those addresses (specifically yours or mine) in this ocean of addresses doesn't seem a simple task.
So, why blog? Because every blog you write is a new web page and it increases the size of your real estate online. Your footprint grows every time you blog. It still remains true that your blog may not be read for quite some time by people who will come and buy your product or service, but what you are doing as you blog is increasing the square footage of your "online house" so that the search engines will see you as significant enough to send traffic to. The more relevent information you put out there online, around consistent keywords and topics, the more "reputable" your site becomes within the battleground of sites trying to be found on the internet. And, believe it or not, the more traffic you get to your site, the more you will see your business pick up, even if you can't quite directly tie a new opportunity to a specific person who visited online.
We have a client who is a brilliant podiatrist in New York City. Downtown Manhattan is where his office is, and the competition is stiff! We began a blogging campaign, along with some PPC (pay per click) and regular press releases as part of an overall internet and inbound marketing campaign. We wrote some e-books and offers and put them in place so his prospective patients can learn more about the various treatments he offers. We have an email nurtuing campaign for visitors to his site. And we blog. Three times a week we blog.
A year ago his website was getting less than 400 visits a month from all non-paid sources. Today in the month of February the site has 3040 visits and has been growing steadily. It has been difficult to always tie a specific online visitor to a specific patient, but what we know empirically is that the good doctor did more surgeries in December of 2013 and January of 2014 than in any corresponding month in any previous year. And that amidst some of the worst snow storms to hit NYC in a long time! We think that speaks fairly loudly.
So, Why Blog?
Your online house needs to get bigger if you want to be spotted amidst the billion(s) of sites. Writing a consistent, informative blog is the primary way you have to do that and the effort, over time, will yield results.
Stop reading. Start blogging.
Blogging is an important piece of your internet marketing strategy. To learn how it works together with the other pieces and parts download our free ebook below.