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Despite doomsayers telling us that blogging is dead, there are several good reasons why blogging is still a key aspect of a small business’s online marketing plan. Apart from the fact that it creates fresh content that reaches your target audience and encourages them to engage, it also boosts website traffic, improves SEO and generates brand awareness. 
In fact, 77% of internet users read blogs, and out of 80% of bloggers reporting that it drives results for those who publish blogs at least twice a week, half of them say it generates strong results. These statistics demonstrate that publishing blogs is still an effective way to promote your business. However, the blog has changed and diversified; it’s now about adding value to your customer, being educational and informative, answering a query or solving a problem, and telling a story. In essence, your blog has to give something to every reader. 
However, it’s difficult to know where to start if you've not done any blogging before. We don’t just mean how to set up a blog; we also mean what to write, whether to use a copywriter or how to promote your blog. So, to help you get started on this important step towards boosting your business’s growth, here’s our guide to kickstarting your small business blog. 

Why should I have a blog? 

Blogging today isn’t just about writing 500 words on a topic and posting it on a website page. There’s far more to writing a blog that will get noticed and generate results; it is an effective, scalable and affordable way to boost a small business. 
For a blogging newcomer wondering whether it’s worth the effort to have a blog and whether it will make any difference, here are some of the best reasons why you should; 
Increases website traffic – according to statistics, adding a blog to your website increases traffic by as much as 434%. We could leave it at that but let us explain. As well as the standard pages on your website, a blog page gives you another page that will not only be indexed (ranked) by search engines but provides more content for visitors to your site to view. 
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Generates leads/conversions – so now you’ve got more traffic to your website, a blog can help convert that traffic into leads and sales. Giving them valuable information they can use or solving a problem makes them more likely to bookmark that page. Encourage them to return by adding a CTA (call to action) in your blog, such as a ‘subscribe’ button. This adds their details to your email list and allows you to reach out to them in the future. 
Builds authority – your competitor will have as many pages on their website as yours, so how do you turn your ‘voice’ into an authority in the industry? Through a blog - it allows you to publish regular blogs on important topics in your industry, making your blog the go-to place for people looking for information and answers. It establishes authority and builds trust with your audience. 
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Creates an engaged audience – with many small business websites, there’s little room to start a conversation with your customer, except through a blog. Allowing your viewers to engage with your blog posts through comments and sharing that blog on social media helps to build an engaged audience. 
Improves SEO – a key aspect of a blog is that it significantly improves search engine optimisation, particularly local SEO. You can include keywords and key phrases that search engine bots can find within a blog, thereby indexing and ranking your business higher in search results. 
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Boosts online marketing activity – the great thing about a blog is that it needn’t be posted to just your website. You can publish it on your social media platforms to enhance brand awareness and build engagement. You can post it to your online directories, like Google Business Profile. You can also send it out as an email or incorporate it in a regular newsletter to subscribers. 
Benefits link building – Google's key search engine ranking factor is using inbound and outbound links. Linking to other relevant pages on your website (internal link building) and other authoritative websites (outbound), as well as receiving backlinks to your website from those authoritative sources, shows Google that your business can be trusted as an expert in your industry. This, in turn, increases online visibility. 
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So, now you’ve got the reasons why you should be blogging; what do you blog about? 

What should I write about in a blog? 

It’s a common question when starting on the blogging road; what do I write about? Remember that the content has to be useful to your readers; it must add value to their lives (or certainly enough for them to believe it’s worth sharing). It must also be engaging, high-quality and tell a story. So, here are some ideas on what smalls businesses should be blogging about. 
News, updates and trends – part of running your business is staying up to date with the latest news and trends and any industry updates. So, share this with your audience and your insights and opinions. 
Updates to products/services – keep your customers and wider audience updated if there are any changes or new products/services. 
Tips, advice and ‘how-tos’ – share valuable tips and advice about your industry or products/services with your audience, demonstrating how you can solve their problem or boost their business. 
Share your success – highlight your products/services that have helped your customers achieve their goals. Share testimonials, case studies and success stories. 
Your small business blog is the ideal platform to spread your wings and reach your target audience whilst improving your SEO, establishing your business as an industry thought leader and boosting online visibility. With the right high-quality, optimised content, your blog can become the most powerful tool in your online marketing strategy. 
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