Finally, Technorati, the largest blog directory in the world, is getting more reliable data about professional blogging. When they release their State of the Blogosphere report each year, there's usually plenty of interesting data on who's blogging and why, but since 70% of blogs are hobby blogs, there's been little data on people using blogs for professional reasons.
This year they engaged a research company to survey 2,900 bloggers and included professionals writing about their industries (not to be confused with people making money from blogs ads, another type of problogger).
Here are the benefits of blogging for your business, that others are reporting:
- 71% have greater visibility in their industry
- 63% said clients purchased products and services
- 56% stated their company was now regarded as a thought leader
- 40% have been asked to speak at conferences
These stats support many of the reasons your small business should have a blog. A well crafted business blog is the number one key to getting found online. If you can't get found on the Web, you don't look good, and you will miss leads when prospects do online research.
Once people find you, they want to know more about you, get to know you, see if they trust you. You can't do that with a website that's on online brochure. You need to communicate, you need to write interesting content that informs, educates, entertains and engages with readers.
The KLT Factor
A professional blog, either on your website or as a separate site, is the communications vehicle. Doesn't matter if you write well or communicate with audio files or video clips. What matters is that your readers begin to know you, like you, trust you. You build your KLT factor.
Since blogs are interactive, it requires a different kind of writing than copywriting for sales pages. This type of writing is called content marketing. Content marketing with blogs works in several ways. It builds confidence with readers, creates community, AND feeds the search engines.
Your consistent use of familiar keyword phrases are the bread crumbs that leave a trail in cyberspace back to your blog or website.
Website or Blog?
I've mentioned this before, there are many websites built out on blogging software, creating an easy to use web platform that functions both as a website and a blog. There are several reasons this works well, the key being that it's easy for any professional to learn to "drive" it themselves and get maximum mileage with little training and expense.
I use a customized WordPress blog theme as a website for my Content for Coaches site: www.ContentforCoachesandConsultants.com.
I use Typepad blogging services for this blog and a few others I have for hobbies, family, writing and book blogs.
Blogging isn't a big deal, communicating is. I am no more a blogger than I am a typist. True, I spend most of my working days typing, either on one of my blogs or, in rare cases, typing on client blogs (as a ghost blogger). If I'm not blogging, I'm writing newsletter content for clients.
Communications matter. Content matters. Marketing? Of course it matters, but not in the form of advertising as existed before the advent of the Internet and blogs. It's different today, in some ways easier for everyone to join in. How will you be heard above the noisy crowd? Quality matters.
If you need guidance, let me know how I can help you.