This post is an exert from my ebook How to Generate Traffic for Your Website:
To give you a quick idea of the scale of blogging, here are some more quick metrics according to Technorati.com (April 2007):
- There are 70 million blogs
- There are about 120,000 new blogs each day, or 1.4 new blogs every second
- There are 1.5 million blog posts per day or 17 posts per second
What do these metrics mean for you and your company? Why is it important to blog? What’s are the benefit for your company? Will it help increase your traffic or revenues? Is it worth your time and effort (make no mistake about it, blogging successfully takes a lot of time and effort)?
For most companies, blogging can really help. It can help your business in a number of ways:
Personalize your business.
Instead of being just another faceless company website, it can give your website a second personality. It can give it that personal touch that people like. A lot of sales are through emotions, and people like to connect with people they like and trust. If you’re honest and real on your blog, and not just writing what you think people want to hear, you’ll create a personal bond with your customers. This will create long term traffic and revenues.
Express your personal philosophies and beliefs
A blog can allow you to express your personal philosophies, beliefs, etc. that might not be as appropriate on a corporate (or more official) website. For example, I share on my blog my beliefs about technical support. I’ve shared my beliefs that the most important aspects of software are easy to use, customer service, and quality. That it’s not the sheer number of features implemented, but rather how each feature is presented. To me that’s more important. I’d rather have less features, but have each one bug free and extremely easy to use. That’s my philosophy towards software design, and I’ll share it openly on my blog whereas I wouldn’t on my company’s website.
Behind the scenes.
I’ll also share what’s going on behind the scenes. How we’re doing on the next upcoming major release. Some struggles we had to deal with. Successes and failures we’ve experienced. A lot of people appreciate this. Why do you think movies often include commentaries and behind the scene clips? People like to know what happened behind the scenes. It helps bring a story to the businesses they deal with. And more importantly, it really helps them appreciate what you’re about. As a great example, my company LandlordMax doesn’t offer phone support. We tried it for a few months and realized it wasn’t going to work for us financially (if you don’t try you can’t know for sure), at least not unless we charged a significant amount. Now every time someone asks us why we don’t offer phone support I send them a link on my blog explaining why we don’t offer phone support. 99.9% of responses after reading this blog post are understanding and positive. Some extremely positive!
Another point very similar to behind the scenes, it’s giving your visitors transparency to your company. For us, because our customers plan to stay with us for the long haul, they want to make sure we’ll be around for a long time. Once they enter in all their data into the software, they don’t want the company to suddenly disappear. Our lifespan is important to them. By being transparent we can give them the confidence they might not otherwise get from just our corporate website.
People want to deal with competent people. When you go see a car mechanic you want to make sure they knows what they’re doing. When you hire a plumber, you want a good plumber. If you’re into home renovations you’d probably prefer to hire a reputable person like Bob Villa or Mike Holmes simply because they continually share their expertise. It makes you confident they can do the job. A great example of this is Pingdom.com. I don’t remember how I found their blog, probably through a link from another blog or a social network site, but needless to say I started to read their blog posts because they were extremely interesting and informative. The more I read the more I appreciated their knowledge. And it turns out I had been looking for a company I could trust for LandlordMax that offered their service (they will monitor your servers and if they go down , they notify you right away). Within a week I had bought a year package. The blog is what sold me. If it hadn’t been for the blog I have no idea who I would have selected. They really sold me on the fact that they knew what they were doing. But beyond that, I now follow their blog. I’ve also recommended their blog and services many times to a lot of individuals. I’m even mentioning it now in this post (and in the ebook). Their blog has absolutely increased their overall traffic (and revenues).
A blog gives you the ability to offer advice that you might not want to on a corporate website. For example, a blog about a winery could offer a lot of advice on how to select wines. It could explain the differences in viscosity. It could explain how to taste a wine. Even further, the company could explain how wine is made. The blog could describe the process, explain the subtleties. Basically by offering advice on how to make wine and select wine, they’re giving something to their customers. People will come back. They’ll share their article with their friends. It will drive traffic to their website.
Controversy will often generate attention and traffic. However, rarely will a professional or corporate website want to present any controversy. This is where a blog comes in really handy. It’s an easy way to present your view on a controversial point yet not directly involve your company, and still manage to get some of the advantages such as increased traffic.
Blog articles will generally continue to generate traffic long after you write them, sometimes even years later. Take advantage of this older traffic and redirect them to your main website. Each archived article may not have that much traffic individually, but together they do add up quickly!
If you enjoyed this article, you might also be interested in purchasing the full ebook How to Generate Traffic to Your Website for only $14.95 (less than the price of a dinner for two). It contains 138 pages of information on how to increase the traffic to your website using both free and paid methods. You can read the first 21 pages here for free.