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Having a blog for your business is one of the best ways to put yourself at the top of organic search engine results. Organic results are those that appear beneath Google AdWords results, and they are very important. Without a blog, it would be nearly impossible for the majority of businesses to appear on the first page of Google results. And why is this so important? Because most users aren’t even giving the second or third pages a chance. And you can forget about pages beyond the fourth. Your blog therefore becomes the homebase for your content marketing strategy, and a powerful content marketing strategy can shoot your business straight to the top of the SERPs.

Why Start A Blog?

As previously mentioned, having a blog means you can better reach your customers. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 82% of B2B businesses are blogging, compared to 77% of B2C businesses. But there are plenty of other benefits to starting a blog. Here are a few:

It increases your search engine optimization, which attracts your ideal customer and puts you in front of the people that matter. When you blog, you focus on keywords that are pertinent to your target audience. Those keywords are the foundation of your SEO strategy and the backbone of your content marketing efforts. The more you infuse your posts with relevant keywords, the better positioned you’ll be.

It establishes authority and helps you become a thought leader in your industry. In the blogging world, the word “authority” means that you are the go-to person for a particular niche or topic. For example, in the world of marketing, Neil Patel is an authority figure. In the world of SEO, Matt Cutts is an authority figure. Being an authority figure can be very broad–like an authority figure in “cooking”–or very niche, like an authority figure in “savory pastries.” Without a blog, no matter how great you are at what you do, it would be nearly impossible to cultivate authority.

Brand storytelling is much more attainable when you can use a platform to reveal an authentic brand personality and voice. It would be difficult to rely on just your base website pages to convey your entire brand aura. Through blogs, you’re able to let the crux of your brand shine through. If you consider your business aesthetic to be fun and outgoing, let it show through experimental fragments and laidback article flow. There’s so much you can do with brand voice when it comes to blogging.

It can help you convert new traffic into leads and build rapport. After all, this is the main goal. You’re hoping that people who come to your site will turn into paying customers. Businesses with blogs give visitors a reason to stick around, and keep coming back. The more opportunities there are for retention and engagement, the more likely that person is to eventually make a purchase.

It may lead to business opportunities. For example, you might be asked to speak at a conference or lend your expertise to a local college. Because blogs make your company even more discoverable, sometimes the right kind of people reach out to you, such as event planners and other readers in important positions. You can see exactly what we mean by checking out this Forbes article titled, “Seven Ways To Get Speaking Gigs By Publishing Articles & Blogs.”

It can build your inbound links. According to Hubspot, companies that blog regularly receive 97% more inbound links than those that don’t. Inbound links are links that point to your website from other websites. This is a huge deal to Google, and considered a major ranking factor. The more websites that are linking to your webpages, the more valuable Google perceives it.

How To Start A Blog

Fortunately, starting a blog is fairly straightforward. If you’re new to blogging, work on a platform that’s user-friendly for beginners. This includes WordPress (the most popular option), Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly. If you want more power and creative control, WordPress is usually the better option. If you already have a domain through a site like GoDaddy, you can set up your hosting that way. Ideally, you’ll be able to manage all your domains and hosting under one roof. You can find information on connecting a domain to a host on both your domain/hosting provider’s site, and your platform site. If you already have a website for your business, this becomes much easier to handle. In most cases, you can just set up a new page.

One of the first things you’ll want to do is decide who will be responsible for content. If you’re good at writing and you have the time, this is a task you can take on yourself. You can always shift the responsibility in another direction later down the line if it becomes too much of a burden. Otherwise, there are plenty of sites that allow you to find solid, cost-efficient freelancers, such as Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer, BlogMutt, and Scripted.

The next step is to decide what you want to write about. Start a doc and began recording your ideas. Start with a few original ideas from the top of your head, and then begin researching to find other ideas. A good strategy would be to search for one of your own ideas, and see what results appear. Not only would they help you come up with foundation ideas for that particular article, but it will help you discover websites that are writing similar content. Check out those sites and use them as inspiration.

Be sure to record a log of all your future editorial plans. A good way to do this is by using an editorial calendar. If you’re using WordPress, there are editorial calendar plugins that you can take advantage of. These calendars allow you to keep track of what titles are being published, when they’re being published, who’s responsible for writing them, and more. Hubspot, CoSchedule, and Curata all offer their own versions of editorial calendars. Check out this full list of editorial calendar templates for even more options.