When I first started blogging, the idea of running a business was pretty far from my mind. Although today my blog and business are mostly one cohesive thing, at the time, the blog was something that was made to stand alone. In retrospect, having a successful blog was integral to my business. If you're think of starting a creative business, or if you already own a creative business there are so many really good reasons why you should be blogging— even if you haven't even launched your product or service yet, even if you're not a hundred percent sure about what the focus of your business will be.
As part of our December series on launching your creative business, we're talking about the seven reasons why you ABSOLUTELY should be blogging if you're thinking of starting, or starting a creative business.
1. Expand your audience
Depending on whether or not your business is already residing all or partly in the online world, starting up a blog can greatly increase your reach. Even before you consider targeted, paid advertising, getting online gives those folks access to your business that they may not have previously had. When I first started blogging, the majority of my viewers were from where I reside— Canada— meaning that most of these views were really coming from the friends and family I had, and some extended friends from Facebook. When things really began to take off, the US and even the UK overtook Canada with stunning swiftness, extending my blog and my business's reach far beyond that of friends and family.
If your business is all about selling tarot cards and you also blog about self-improvement and motivation, you'll be attracting people to your business who are on the fringe of your niche, but who might not have otherwise found your business.
2. Connect with your audience
Beginning a blog is a fantastic way to really connect with your audience in an authentic way, even before you really get into launching your business. By blogging you can truly understand your audiences needs by communicating with them one on one through your blog, or offshoots of your blog on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. This can be a fabulous way to address any concerns and questions that your clients and customers might have, and to share with them an exclusive peek into the way you operate.
You can also use your blog to form partnerships with other small business owners and entrepreneurs, creating valuable connections that will carry you through your biz experience (it sort of is all about networking, after all).
3. Perfect promotion
We've probably all been there before. You're starting or thinking of starting a business and you're not exactly in a great financial place. Never mind all the office supplies, product costs, internet and web hosting costs, logo design, etc, that you've paid for, now you have to pay for advertising, too. Sometimes, when you're faced with paying hosting bills and ordering a second round of product, the wiggle room for a little extra advertising just isn't there.
Having a blog when financial woes strike will be a boon to your business like no other. It's absolutely free for you to share new promotions with your readers. You can feature new products, interesting ways to use your products or services, or even add videos or vlogs about your product or your production process.
Adding a newsletter into this will be the perfect cocktail of advertising magic. There are folks out there who are selling infoproducts, making hundreds of thousands of dollars without paying for advertising, and you know how they do it? You guessed it.
Beginning a newsletter and blog before the birth of your business will ensure you have a captive audience who love your products and services, who are giving you valuable slices of their inbox real estate where you can share valuable information with them, connect with them, and, sometimes, pitch them your new product (this balance, though, is essential).
4. Bolster your Brand
In a world where people can find out about your business not first from seeing your sign on your store front (if your business exists physically at all) but from a business card, an email, a text, a tweet, a pin, or a blog post, having a strong brand is absolutely essential for getting that sweet, sweet brand recognition and interaction from your potential customers.
Blogging can help do this for you. Your blog is a brilliant first place to introduce your readers with your business. Not only do they get a clear first impression of your surface brand, but they can also find out more about your brand story— about who you are as a person, and what your brand and business stand for. They can form a glimmer of personal connection with you when they read about your dog, your twelve unfinished journals, your handmade Christmas gifts, and your careful planning process that goes into every single product you create.
Making that strong first connection with your customers and readers through your blog will help them to recognize your brand and business anywhere they might encounter it.
Having a successful blog that is related to your business website will do wonders for your SEO (search engine optimization). The more people are talking about your business online in many different places, the better.
Having a blog in place allows you to benefit from internal links, which SEO loves. Blogging hugely increases the visibility of your business in internet searches, allowing you to attract more potential clients. Quality content, consistent posting, and good inbound links are key to generating good SEO, and blogging will help get you there.
6. Free Research
By blogging, you have a direct line to your customers. Without spending a single dollar on research money or paying to send out long and boring surveys to your clients, you can find out exactly what it is your ideal customers are wanting. Reach out on twitter, ask on your blog or Facebook page if they would be interested in a certain product. You can begin to intuit through your readers responses in comments exactly what they need, and exactly what they're struggling with.
Which, of course, you can then help them with.
7. Inspire others
Finally, you can use your blog to reach out to others who may be dreaming about taking the next step into a creative life or a creative business, but aren't sure how to go about beginning. It may sound a bit cheesy folks, but it's a really great feeling knowing you've inspired someone else. When you share your biggest successes and your most crushing failures with your audience, they will remember you, and they will come back to you again and again.
You can use your platform not just to build your business, but to show your customers that your business is not just about getting, but also about giving back.
>> If you've got the guts to show up and bring your vision and expertise to your community, grab my beginner's guide to starting a quality blog. It's for absolute beginners, and it gives you the framework on which you can build a blog that works for you— not a formula. Because this guide is for beginners and I want it to be accessible for as many fresh bloggers as possible, there is no launch, no epic marketing funnel, and it's $10. I think you'll love it.