Richard Kraneis, a longtime WordStream reader, recently left a comment on our blog questioning whether a certain post would "drive qualified traffic to our website." This brings up an interesting question: Why blog? What are the goals of blogging?
Of course the answer is different depending on whether you're talking about a personal blog or a corporate blog, but this is a business blog, and we wouldn't devote resources to blogging if it didn't make good business sense.
Here are three reasons that might motivate you to write a blog post for a corporate blog. In my opinion, every blog post doesn't need to fulfill all three purposes, though it's great if they do. The important thing is that every post fulfills at least one of these purposes, and that you don't focus only on one of the three. If every post is a linkbait, for example, you'll be wasting opportunities for leads. If every post is designed to generate leads, your blog could come off as overly sales-y.
To Get Leads
It's my opinion that a corporate blog shouldn't exist solely to generate leads. As a consumer, I only read corporate blogs that are informative and interesting on a regular basis – if they share useful or entertaining information, then I'm more likely to eventually buy whatever that company is selling.
That said, every blog post is an opportunity to get new leads, or to move existing leads deeper into the funnel. Here are some examples of lead-generating blog posts from our own blog:
- Improving Quality Score Part 4: The Importance of Quality Score
- Announcing the New Keyword Research Suite: More Keywords, Exclusive Data, Actionable Results
- What Can I Do With WordStream?
To Get Links
Inbound links are still where the money's at when it comes to organic rankings and domain authority, and maintaining a regular blog is one of the best ways to generate a steady influx of links to your corporate domain. Why? Because blog posts are usually more interesting and link-worthy to the average Joe than product pages. Whether they're helpful, funny or controversial, they get more conversations started than a picture of a shoe with an Add to Cart button next to it.
Here are some examples of link-generating blog posts:
- Is the Internet Bad for the Environment?
- How We Got a Link from the New York Times
- Five Experts on SEO Link Building
To Build Your Brand
A final reason to blog is to build brand authority and trust. This should always be in the back of your mind, whatever you're writing or publishing on your blog: How does this reflect on our company and brand? Does it contribute positively to our image and reputation? Does it fit our voice and personality as a blog and company?
Because this is such a big part of the motivation behind corporate blogging, you can get away with posting stuff that isn't necessarily going to generate a huge amount of leads or links or even traffic, as long as it contributes positively to your overall brand. In fact, I think bloggers that aren't always worrying about leads and links seem more human and likeable. And relationship building goes hand in hand with this – some posts are more about being a valuable part of a community, and showing gratitude for others within that community, than trying to create instant value. The benefits of having strong relationships in your space are lasting and compounding, even if it sometimes takes a while to see those benefits.
Here are some examples of brand-building blog posts:
- Online Marketing Blog Roundup Category (my Friday posts link out heavily, and are usually on the fun/entertaining side)
- Best Online Marketing Blogs Category (these posts are our way of pointing our readers to resources we love)
- Real Life Link Building: Three Real Relationships You Can Turn Into Virtual Votes (this post outlines our philosophy that link building is really relationship building)
You might have noticed that I didn't list "rankings" or "traffic" as one of the three primary goals. That's because our business isn't ad-supported, so traffic alone doesn't get us anywhere. We do, obviously, optimize our posts for rankings, but organic traffic is only valuable to us insofar as it leads to leads, links and/or brand-building. We can't directly monetize traffic.
I know for a fact that every post on the Wordstream blog does not fulfill all three of these goals, though of course the best posts do all three. As Justin Kownacki recently pointed out, every post can't be a winner, if by "winner" you mean a standout. But every post can contribute in some way to those three main business goals of your blog. As the editor of the blog here at WordStream, I try to make sure that every post we publish has a shot at contributing meaningfully to one or all of these goals.
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