By Brett Boswell

Large corporations and well-known brands can spend fortunes on marketing and advertising budgets, and it tends not to be as easy when it comes to small businesses and start-ups. Nevertheless, creating a blog section as part of your website is inexpensive and relatively straightforward, making it one of the most widely-used, successful marketing tools at the disposal of any business.

Though some will argue that blogs are difficult to set up and even more so to sustain, as long as you are able to dedicate a certain amount of time per month towards creating content, your business will certainly benefit in a number of ways.

Build Credibility

These days, most people don’t just connect to the internet simply to buy things; now, they’re spending a significant amount of time searching for information. As such, your business’ blog should not be used simply as a way to generate sales. A blog’s purpose is to be used as a marketing tool in which one can provide expert information to your target audience. If you continue to post unique, stimulating content that your customers want to read, you will quickly establish yourself as a credible source that people will want to purchase from.

How, then, do you do this? First of all, don’t just blindly post any regurgitated piece of writing without much thought to originality or meaning. Instead, spend a little time trying to think outside the box and do your research into what your customers/clients are interested in- delving into your Google Analytics will help with this.

Moreover, keep content fresh and up-to-date. For instance, if an industry-related news story has just broken, then use this as an opportunity to give your professional opinion on the matter. The more your audience are seeing how engaged and current your blog is, the more they will view it a source of credibility, and the more they will keep coming back.

SEO Value

As entrepreneurs, most of us has probably heard the phrase “content is king” more times than we’d like to imagine. Well, despite being an overly-used buzz phrase amongst the SEO and content marketing community, it does in fact ring true. On the whole, search engines are the top referrer of traffic to most websites, which is why it is essential that you should be crafting a meaningful online presence.

To do this, your website must contain keywords and content which is relevant to that which users are searching for. As such, if you continue to publish high-quality, significant content on a regular basis, your blog will certainly help in boosting your search engine rankings. Moreover, if you produce such great content that people share and link back to it, your rankings will continue to rise.

Connect with Customers

Maintaining a blog provides you with an easy way to connect with your customers or clients and show them that you value their opinions and feedback. At the end of each post, ask your readers a question to spark conversation or debate. By reviewing and responding to comments, you are showing your customers that you care about what they have to say, helping to build trust, while also gaining valuable customer insights that can help you refine your marketing strategy further.

Increase Traffic and Leads

It has been reported that B2B marketers who use blogs will see a 67% increase in leads than those who don’t. This is where the old saying ‘if you build it, they will come’ comes into play. Essentially, good blogging builds traffic to your website, which in turn results in lead generation and conversions.

Express Yourself

While the main pages of your website should be used to professionally showcase your product or service, a blog should have a more personal feel, giving you the opportunity to express yourself. This is where you can let loose and show your customers/clients what makes you unique, while crafting your brand personality and defining how you want to be perceived.

Create frequent blog posts on topics which are timely and relevant, which spark interesting discussion and where you can provide unique and valuable insights to your target audience – then watch as your business continues to thrive.