10 Reasons Why Your WordPress Business Should Have a Blog
10 Reasons Why Your WordPress Business Should Have a Blog
Let’s be honest: running a business requires a lot of stamina. You need to manage your business (finances, employees, and client relationships, to start). You need to continue doing the work that gets you paid (development, design, writing, whatever it is you offer). And then you need to find time to build your client list (argh!).
If you’re one of those people who struggles to find time to do the last piece, welcome to the club! Sales and marketing are not fun, especially when all you wanted to do was build beautiful WordPress websites for a living.
Alas, in order to continue generating more revenue, you need to find new clients. This holds true not just for the WordPress designers and developers of the world whose work typically consists of one-off projects, but for service-based businesses as well. If you stop finding new clients, you may wake up one day surprised at how slow or light your workload seems. So, in order to keep that money flowing, to sales and marketing we must go!
One of the reasons why business owners like yourself may be turned off by the idea of marketing is because some marketing strategies are expensive, time-consuming, and realistically might not pay off for a good six months or so. But those aren’t the ones I want to focus on today. Instead, I want to take a look at why your WordPress business should have a blog.
Why WordPress Businesses Should Have a Blog
Alright, before you start groaning, let me just stop you right there. I realize that not everyone enjoys writing blogs nor is everyone good at it. But that’s not a good reason to not have a blog. For starters, you can always outsource it to someone else. Secondly, blogs don’t always need to consist of 1,000-plus words of hyper-intellectualism. I’ll explain why shortly.
For now, let’s focus on the 10 reasons why your WordPress business needs a blog.
#1. It’s Affordable
Aside from the time investment and perhaps the purchase of a nice stock photo, there really isn’t any need to spend money in order to make blogging work for you. If you write your own blogs, they’ll maybe cost you a couple hours of time. If you outsource it to someone else, pretty much the same.
#2. Improve SEO
While you could pay to have Google post your site at the top of their search rankings, studies actually show that people care more about top-ranked organic listings. And if you want to get your site up there, a good way to go about doing it is to increase the number of indexed pages on your site. Google will take note that you’re keeping your site up-to-date with relevant information and reward your site in kind.
#3. Inspire Return Visits
When you’re reviewing analytics for your site, one of the numbers you probably look at first is how many new and returning visitors you’ve had.
New visitors are great since that means something is catching their attention, but return visitors are even better. That means there’s something on your site that gave them a reason to return; a blog usually being that reason. A Hubspot report actually shows how more blog posts published on a website will lead to an increase in inbound traffic, so don’t just take my word for it.
#4. Establish Authority
A static website that touts all the benefits of what you do as a WordPress professional and how you help improve clients’ lives is great. But talking about how great of a job you do for clients and demonstrating that you know what you’re talking about are two different things. Blogs give you a chance to demonstrate your expertise and authority in your space.
#5. Add Value
Blogs are also great for adding value to the on-site experience. Visitors (and eventually paying customers) will see this as you being willing to go above and beyond your WordPress services. Not only will you be their trusted WordPress professional, but you’ll become a reliable source for interesting and helpful information.
#6. Find New Business
There is a whole host of ways to find new freelance clients, many of which involve scouring the web or placing ads. However, 71% of people who blog say that a well-maintained blog can do a good job of increasing your visibility. If your target clients are out there looking for WordPress experts like yourself, your blog may be what leads them straight to you.
#7. Share Your Voice
Some of the best relationships you’ve formed with clients and business partners have probably come about as a result of establishing a genuine connection between you, right? Well, your blog (and site, in general) is a great place to set the tone for your brand identity and for you as the individual they’re eventually going to work with. Establish your voice and personality through your content and let the right people feel connected to you through it.
#8. Create a Community
One of the best things about writing for the WPMU DEV blog is the chance to connect with the WordPress community in the comments section. If you do choose to include a comments section on your site and want to encourage participation, this is a great way to engage visitors and potential clients in a valuable back-and-forth exchange of information.
#9. Increase Exposure
Although the bulk of what you share on social media should really be content created by others (after all, it’s about having meaningful conversations and not pushing your own agenda all the time), every now and again it’s nice to have something of your own to share. The more you write on your blog, the more content you’ll have to share around social media and to include in upcoming newsletters. It also means more content that visitors may find interesting enough to share on their own platforms.
#10. More Conversion Opportunities
There are obvious places on your website to put calls-to-action. But as you create more blog posts, those locations increase exponentially which means more lead-generating opportunities for your business.
Tips for Making Blogging Work for Your WordPress Business
Is blogging easier said than done? Perhaps. But if you know what it takes to successfully run your own blog and stick to a plan, you may be surprised at how well this works for your WordPress business and how quickly you start seeing results.
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Here are 16 tips you should abide by as you jump into blogging for your business:
Set aside time at least once a week to write. The more frequently you add new content to your site, the more likely you are to acquire a new customer from it.
Always remember to keep it relevant. If you’re a WordPress developer, don’t write a post on your ten favorite horror movies, unless you can somehow equate the efficiency with which the killers murdered their victims with the efficiency in which you can build a new website.
Don’t be afraid to “borrow” trending news topics. If you hear that Mark Zuckerberg is updating the Facebook algorithm to put live video higher in users’ feeds, why not write a post that correlates the success of live video on Facebook with the success businesses may have with it on their website?
Always include at least one image. Blogs with images receive 94% more views than those that don’t.
Have your social share buttons ever-present on your blog. The Floating Social plugin will help.
While there are some marketing experts who say that longer blog posts (usually over 1,000 words) perform better, that may not be the case for your audience—especially if you’re targeting very busy business owners. That’s why you should experiment with different length posts until you find that sweet spot for your readers. You can confirm this with Google Analytics’ time on site statistics as well as heat map tools.
Be creative with headlines. They don’t necessarily need to be clickbaity, but they should be interesting enough so that readers can’t help but click. If you can tease an answer to a common concern or question you receive from customers, that would be even better.
I always like to use CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer tool to let me know when I’m on track.
It’s okay to have an edge in your writing, but you should avoid controversial topics at all costs. No sense in losing customers before you’ve even converted them.
Don’t be afraid to write in your real voice. If that means speaking in memes and emojis, go for it! Readers will appreciate your authenticity so long as the content is easily readable.
Which brings me to my next point. Write in short paragraphs. Use short sentences. Include header text. Break up content with bulleted lists. Add images where possible. Do whatever you can to break up lengthy posts and keep readers on their toes.
Don’t worry about selling your WordPress business. That’s what the rest of your site is for. Just focus on the topic at hand and your authority on the subject and the quality of your content will speak on your business’s behalf.
Remember how I said you don’t have to write 1,000-word blogs all the time? Well, if you’re a WordPress developer or designer, why not play to your strengths? Instead of writing lengthy posts you’re not comfortable with, design an infographic with interesting facts you’ve learned about WordPress. Record a video of yourself white labeling the backend of WordPress. Create memes to speak on your behalf and inject some humor into your blog.
Don’t ever feel like your blog needs to be lengthy post after lengthy post. Mix it up and play to your strengths.
If your readers decide to engage with you, don’t leave them hanging. A comments board is a great place to get to know your audience and build new relationships.
Keep your blogs alive! One of the biggest mistakes people make (and this isn’t just for WordPress professionals) is not sharing their posts wherever they can and to keep them in rotation. Share them on social media, in your newsletter, link to a recent one in your signature, and send one to a client if it answers a question they asked. If the content remains relevant, keep putting it out there.
You may think you’ll remember to make time to blog every week… but you probably won’t or you’ll find an excuse to avoid it. That’s why you should add an editorial calendar plugin to your WordPress site. It’ll help you plan out ideas in advance and keep yourself accountable to whatever amount of blogging you intend to do on your preset timeframe.
Of course, don’t forget to optimize your blogs for search! Having Google index those new pages is a good start, but if you can get the proper metadata on there, you’ll greatly improve your chances of it ranking better than it would have without it. Try WPMU DEV’s SmartCrawl plugin for this.
Marketing is essential for every business. After all, unless you’re working out of a tiny shop on Main Street and hoping for passersby to stop in and ask for your help in developing their WordPress site, how do you expect new clientele to find out about you?
That being said, no one’s saying you have to hire an agency to create a $5,000 monthly marketing campaign to promote your services. Start with the blogging piece, reap the benefits of the increased exposure and trust-building, and see how it goes.