Why Blog? Three Good Business Reasons to Blog



Why Blog?

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:

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:

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:

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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Richard Kraneis
Jul 13, 2011

"Every post can't be a winner"...

Thanks for your fine article Elisa. I know I had a slightly dissenting opinion on another WordStream post. And in return WordStream provided another piece to the puzzle of my online education. A valuable piece of wisdom.

Each blog article must be viewed for its lead generation, link generation, and contribution to the brand.

All I know is that trying to emulate WordStream techniques this month for trending topics (without infographics), I think I've increased my website traffic by approximately 20%.

Thanks for this fine article and for WordStream's useful blog posts.

Elisa Gabbert
Jul 13, 2011

Thanks, Richard, we do appreciate the feedback!

Justin Kownacki
Jul 13, 2011

"Every post can't be a winner," no, but you're right that every post can be a building block in your overall blogging strategy (OR your overall growth as a writer, if those are separate goals). If you expect every post to be a massive traffic magnet, you won't appreciate your own smaller, less-shared posts that still profoundly affected the people who did read them.

For a comparison, if Hollywood only made blockbusters, we'd miss out on a lot of drama and comedy. And while the blockbusters are the touchstones we all identify with on a cultural scale, the smaller films that resonate with niche audiences are the ones that help define our individual point of view.

In short, you need both. ;)

Elisa Gabbert
Jul 13, 2011

I agree! Thanks for your comment, Justin.

Jul 15, 2011

Hi Elisa,

I am absolutely agree with your opinion as blog posting can be a better way to get link , lead and also for brand creation, besides these blog commenting may help you in increase your customer loyalty and also customer retention.

Richard Kraneis
Aug 03, 2011

One Month of Using a Trending Topic

In a followup to "what is qualified traffic" I wanted to mention a blog experiment of mine. During July I wrote two blog articles on trending topics:

1) Atlanta Teacher Scandal. Researchers determined that the highly acclaimed Atlanta, GA school district was altering student test answers to improve test scores.
2) Jose Baez – High School Dropout. The high school dropout who became a lawyer. He also recently won an acquittal for Casey Anthony in Florida.

They've been published for 1 month. Here are the simple results.

1) I had visitors from 48 countries rather than the usual 3 countries (U.S., Canada, India). I can only imagine it was the name Jose Baez.
2) The two blog articles mentioned accounted for 20% of my web visitors in July.

Was it qualified traffic? I don't know.

All I did was find two trending topics and related it to my blog. I didn't even have Infographics or the WordStream method for spreading the word on the articles (its a compliment).

If I worked officially in an online marketing department (yes, I'm looking for a job in Chicago, IL) I'd make sure that the department studied WordStream's methods for using infographics on trending topics.


Aug 11, 2011

Blog is a good way to promote a business. Most people spend their time on the internet looking for an information or anything that interests them. Aside from that, blog is useful is you are doing SEO for your website.

Nadine Stevens
Oct 12, 2011

Hi Elisa,This is great and helpful and I really appreciate sharing it with us.  I've started blogging for a long time now, but better yet I've learned how to blog while fulfilling at least one of those three purposes.  Such a valuable MINDSET to hold on to as a current marketer.Best,Nadine 

Oct 25, 2011

I thought it was going to be some boring old post, but it really compensated for my time. I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will find that very useful. 

Amy Jensen
Jan 02, 2013

Thank you for the article.  It is true that blogging can help your business.  I work for a company called Virtel Marketing and we have just started blogging.  The difference it has made is amazing.  This is definitely something that people need to look into doing for their companies. 

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