Need help diagnosing what's wrong with your blog so you can increase traffic and grow your income?
Do you have a business? Great!
Do you have a blog? Oh, no…
While it takes time to build up a quality blog, there are undeniable benefits of blogging for business—so take advantage of the power of content marketing!
How Blogging Has Helped My Business
I’m a freelance writer, so blogging has been essential for me. Here are some things that have happened ALL because of this humble blog you’re reading:
- My writing has been published in a Hachette textbook.
- I have been featured in Writer’s Digest magazine.
- I have won over clients because of this blog, including one retainer client who paid me $2,500 a month.
- I now make more than $3,000/month in PASSIVE income from this blog.
In short, you should get yo’self a blog ASAP.
The 7 Undeniable Benefits of Blogging for Business
#1 It establishes you as an expert.
Many freelancers and business owners shy away from the “expert” title, but honestly, it doesn’t take much to be an expert. I don’t mean that in a bad way, I just mean you have incredible capacity to help others JUST by being a couple steps ahead of them.
To show how you can help others, you can write blog posts (like this one!) that show them how to do something they want to do. This establishes your expertise because you’re giving away your knowledge for free, for anyone to find.
#2 It’s great for SEO.
If you’re a blogger, you need to learn about SEO. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is basically learning to speak the language of Google so that the search engine can “read” your site, understand what it’s about, and then place it correctly in its search engine results. This includes everything from keywords to site speed to links to your blog from other sites.
Here’s why blogging is essential to SEO: SEO relies on INFORMATION FROM YOUR SITE to be able to tell what it’s about—if your site has no blog, you have a limited number of pages with which to provide that information!
Many of my clients want to try to rank for certain keywords in Google, yet they don’t want to start a blog. What I always have to explain to them is they are making it 10 times harder on themselves, because Google loves long-form articles that are packed with information. That is hard to do without a blog.
#3 It helps your ideal clients find you.
This is directly related to #3 above. The fantastic thing about blog posts is you can target the keywords your ideal clients are searching. When people search in Google, they’re looking to solve a problem. And as a business owner, you sell a solution.
So, let’s say you’re a social media manager specializing in wedding planning businesses. You could pay to target wedding planners via Facebook ads. OR you could do some keyword research and find that “how to use social media to promote your wedding planning business” is a highly searched term, write a helpful blog post on it, and guess what type of people are typing that keyword? Wedding planners who are looking to use Pinterest to drive customers to their business (AKA your ideal clients!).
#4 It gives your visitors a reason to come back.
Let’s walk through a potential client journey.
Pretend a mobile app startup is looking to hire a freelance writer to craft website copy and blog content for them.
A freelance writer website without a blog: Maybe the prospect searches “freelance writer for mobile apps” and that prospect lands on your homepage, learns more about you on your About page, maybe checks out your Services page. But then what? They’ll leave. There’s nothing left to look at. Will they remember you and come back? Maybe, but I wouldn’t bank on it.
A freelance writer website WITH a blog: The prospect lands on your homepage (which is a blog) and sees you’ve written about how mobile app companies can grow their email list with blog content—that’s relevant to the very issue they’re having! They click through and read what you have to say; it’s clear you know what you’re talking about. At the end of the blog post, they see your call to action asking them to sign up for exclusive marketing tips and your latest blog posts. They enter their email address and leave your site. A week later, you send out your weekly blog post about the 5 biggest blog mistakes startups make—another problem they’re trying to solve! They return to your site and remember they were thinking about hiring you.
Now, in each of those situations, which one is more likely to convert a website visitor into a client? The one with the blog, of course!
#5 It can be a powerful portfolio.
This applies to ALL freelancers—not just writers! Whether you’re a freelance designer, marketer, or developer, your blog becomes your portfolio. For the first social media management jobs I landed, I had never really professionally managed social media—but I had for my own blog. So the examples I showed them were from WhereverWriter.com, the community I had built on Facebook and Twitter. It was enough to land several gigs that way!
Let me tell you another story, from the client side. When I was in Toronto, I really wanted to get my hair highlighted for the first time. Naturally, I was extremely nervous and wanted to make sure I found someone who really knew what they were doing. When I Googled for hair stylists in Toronto, plenty of them had websites but the one I went with? She had a beautiful Instagram feed showcasing all her clients’ hair after she worked on them. While that isn’t a traditional blog, it is a form of micro-blogging. And a blog is a form of social media. I just want you to realize how essential content creation is to your business.
The same thing happened when I was looking to hire a graphic designer. I got a handful of proposals, talked to some potential candidates, but in the end, I chose the one who had a blog chock full of content about graphic design for writers. I grew to trust her because I saw her work showcased on her blog. I hired her and am extremely happy with the results!
#6 It helps you attract more qualified leads.
Content marketing (which blogging is a part of) can attract more “qualified leads” versus other forms of marketing. What this means is that if you blog, you’re more likely to attract your ideal clients. Why? Because content marketing forms a long-term relationship of giving—you constantly give valuable information to your readers. They get to know you. They begin to trust you. And when it comes time to buy, they’ll go with you.
#7 Your blog becomes an alternate income stream.
This is by far my one of my FAVORITE benefits of blogging for business—especially if you’re a freelancer. As a service-based business owner, you have an income ceiling: You are essentially selling your time, and eventually, you have no more time to give.
BUT you can turn the knowledge and experience you have from freelancing into a product you sell—and then you have unlimited income potential. You can monetize your blog to bring in passive income. That’s what I’ve been working on over the past year, and my passive income from my blog now makes up more than 50% of my total income!
Having a blog for your freelance business allows you to build a long-lasting, sustainable business. If your client projects dry up one month, you can breathe easy because you can fall back on your blog income.
How to Start Blogging for Your Business (The RIGHT Way!)
Now, obviously, it is NOT as simple as throwing up a free WordPress blog and calling it a day. The content marketing strategy behind your business will make all the difference.
Here are the basic steps:
- Step 1: Define your target audience/ideal client.
Who are you writing for? What kind of clients do you want to work for? Get as specific as possible. It helps to imagine a real person or company. Examples might be: Single moms looking to get healthy. Or B2B SaaS companies.
- Step 2: Get crystal clear on the problem(s) you are solving for them.
Okay, so now you know who you want to work with and write for. But how can you help them? What problems do they have that you can solve? Example: Single moms are crunched for time and don’t have enough of it to get healthy, so you could write about quick and healthy meal plans or 5-minute workouts. B2B SaaS companies might need help with content marketing, so you could write about how SaaS companies can leverage blogging as a way to reach customers or social media tips for B2B companies to grow brand awareness.
- Step 3: Map out topics that are related to the problems you solve.
We already talked about some potential topics in Step 2. Start with maybe 3 core topics, then branch those out into more specific topics. If you have a hard time with this, try to imagine you are your ideal client. Pretend they are sitting right across from you, coming to you with their problems. What questions do they ask you? What kinds of things are they searching on Google to find solutions for? These are your blog post ideas!
- Step 4: Write helpful blog posts that solve the problems of each topic.
When it comes to blog posts, I always tell people this: Go for quality not quantity. I actually don’t think consistency matters nearly as much as being as thorough and helpful as possible. Each of your blog posts should be no shorter than 1,000 words! This helps your SEO. This blog post right now is more than 2,000 words! Most of my blog posts are in the 2K range, sometimes higher.
To amplify your efforts, though, you really need to learn about SEO to make sure your blog content gets found.
Ready to start your blog? I show you how in this step-by-step guide.
Need Some Inspiration? Here Are Some Freelancers I’ve Hired in Part Because of Their Awesome Blogs!
- Melody Christian of Finicky Designs: When I was looking for a graphic designer to design the logo and brand for The Wherever Writer, I knew I wanted to work with someone who understood writers. Well, in waltzed Melody. She has a fantastic blog where she writes about design for writers and showcases her client work!
- Candice Prather: In 2017, I knew I needed systems and organization in order to run my business smoothly. I was so stressed out and disorganized, I sought a business systems strategist. I had TONS of potential coaches contact me, but you know who stood out? Candice. Her website copy and content were written for me. This one blog post in particular hit me like a punch in the gut (in a good way?) because it talked about the EXACT problem I was struggling with! That’s what I mean by being laser-focused on your ideal client and their problems. When you write blog posts like that, your ideal clients will be jumping at the chance to work with you!
- Melyssa Griffin: Okay, so I’ve never hired her per se, but I have bought one of her courses! And you know why I did that? Because she hooked me in with her free content (AKA her blog). She showed me she knew what the heck she was talking about when it came to marketing your online business. So when she offered her paid course, I bought almost immediately! That’s why blogging is so powerful: It helps people to feel like they know, like, and trust you.
In short, don’t just write a diary of your day. That’s personal blogging, and while it has its place, that’s not how you’re going to win over clients for your freelance business. Everything you write should be looked at through the lens of a prospective client who is interested in working with you, but wants proof that you know what the heck you’re talking about. If you want to reap the benefits of blogging for business, you have to start somewhere.
Recap: The Benefits of Blogging for Business That You Should Take Advantage of TODAY
#1: It establishes you as an expert.
#2: It’s great for SEO.
#3: It helps your ideal clients find you.
#4: It gives your visitors a reason to come back.
#5: It can be a powerful portfolio.
#6: It helps you attract more qualified leads.
#7: Your blog becomes an alternate income stream!
The benefits of blogging for business are indisputable. But there is ONE bad thing about blogging I failed to mention: It takes time, which is why you should’ve started yesterday. But if you haven’t yet started, there’s no better time than now. This blog is how I got interviewed for a second time by Writer’s Digest just last week! It’s how I got a new writing client inquiry last month! Think of your business blog as an asset that keeps growing in value over time.