By Hazel Butters, CEO Prompt Communications
Blogging is as compulsive as it is compelling. For many businesses and individuals, the desire just to ‘have a blog’ can gain momentum so rapidly that all strategies concerning what it will be about, who will write it, why they will write it and what it will actually achieve, are often brushed aside.
But this is 2012 – any business kick-starting a blog today isn’t an early adopter trying to gain some pioneering advantage just by taking part. If you’re thinking of launching your blogging career today, some 13 years after Blogger first appeared on the scene, then you need to have a clear grasp of why you’re investing your time and effort into it, and to what ends.
Of course blogging means very different things to very different people. A blog can, for example, be a relentless marketing and sales bludgeon used solely to engage with prospects and cram that sales funnel using any messages that resonate with a solvent audience. Or it can be a casual conversation about current affairs and cats. Both are equally valid, as long as they are achieving their goals – in these examples, presumably, direct sales or a comforting community.
So ask yourself now – why should your business really be buzzing about blogging?
• Because you want to communicate key messages to customers, prospects and the broader community, demonstrating engagement with industry trends, sharing an understanding of key issues affecting software testers and quality assurance professionals, while being authoritative about topics that matter to clients
• Your main website needs visitors – clicks into core content are good measures of engagement. Internal links drive extra traffic
• Forging relationships with peers is valuable to you. Commenting on like-minded third-party blogs provide a reciprocal boost as well as a networking opportunity
• Maybe writing itself is your talent? What easier way to showcase your skills regularly than to write for engaged visitors about topics they are already passionate about
• Archiving your company’s thoughts and values on various topics at precise points in its evolution is valuable in itself. Much of the information on the blog will stand as a repository of thought-leadership
• Your website is pretty static, and a regularly updated blog keeps content current and fresh. It shows that your company isn’t happy to let its shop window stagnate, and you’re actively busy thinking about its marketplace and the challenges your customers face
• SEO, silly! One of primary benefits of a blog is in boosting that search ranking
• You can’t get out and about as much as you used to, but you still want a secure channel by which to have genuine conversations with your customers. Many people are happy to read blog as sources of one-way information, but it’s important that they know collaboration is there if they want it
• Sometimes you need to kick the beehive to make things buzz. If it’s your business, you thrive on taking risks, and you are bullish and brave enough, then stir up a storm with some controversial opinions on your market that you’ve wanted to share for a long time
• You strongly believe that once you engage like-minded visitors in conversation at any level, you have the products and services at hand to turn them into customers
Of course there are many, many other benefits of blogging, and one of those is that hopefully I don’t need to list every single one I can think of here, all on my own. Blogging isn’t about delivering monologues – it’s about throwing interesting topics into a space where you know interested people can grab them and turn them into group conversations.
So please join in, if you can. What do you blog about? Why do you blog? Why don’t you blog? Why are you reading this blog? What would you like to talk about next? Please let us know.
About the author
Hazel Butters is founder and CEO at Prompt, a UKUS-based communications consultancy.
Hazel believes in a no-nonsense approach to PR, content creation and social media. Specialising in innovative markets including sustainability, technology and healthcare, Prompt helps its clients communicate effectively and authentically with core audiences online and offline through PR, media relations, copywriting, webinars, market and industry analysis, social media, video content and customer reference programs.