Business Blogging Isn’t A Sprint, It’s A Marathon

Business Blogging Isn’t A Sprint, It’s A Marathon

Businesses are attracted to blogging for a variety of reasons. They may have heard they could build authority in their industry. Maybe they've realized the importance of ranking in search. Perhaps they've recognized that blogging could lead to more sales. They aren't wrong. A stunning 57% of law firms surveyed said they would be doing more blogging as a means of generating business (ABA Journal). Business blogging is taking off across industries as business owners see an opportunity to direct expertise in their own field toward content marketing efforts. This is great news for consumers, who will have access to more information, at a higher quality than ever before. The potential problem for businesses looking to launch a blogging program is flawed methodology; a shortsighted approach won't yield the kind of results you're looking for. Business blogging isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. Here's why: Blogging Campaigns Don't Work Many businesses create a single landing page and drive traffic there to generate leads and sales. This is not business blogging; it can hardly even be called content marketing. Companies that publish 16+ blog posts per month get almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that publish four or fewer monthly posts (HubSpot). Frequency is important – but not at the cost of reduced quality. Consistent, quality publishing is key. It’s not the end of the business blogging world if you can't publish 16+ posts per month – even a smaller number of regular posts can be beneficial. Don't look at blogging as a one-off marketing campaign. You might drive traffic to your blog and convert new visitors for a while, but the effect will diminish pretty quickly if you stop publishing altogether. Try looking at it as an investment: consistent efforts for a long period with lead to a greater continuing payoff. Steady increases in traffic and conversion are the dividends of conscientious business blogging. A Lack Of Marketing Integration Hurts You Blogging must be a part of your overall marketing plan, not an untethered extra. If you don't project a unified front, you risk sending mixed messages to your customers and prospects. Your blogger should be fully informed on the company-wide marketing strategy so your blog can reinforce your marketing message. If you're blogging, you have something valuable to share on social media. Questions asked on the blog can transform into new blog posts and more effective FAQ sections. You can use your blog to promote upcoming events or share photos of recent happenings, giving your audience an inside look to reinforce the business-consumer relationship. If your marketing plan includes your blog, there are countless opportunities for integration and cross-promotion. It's time to start treating blogging as part of a unified marketing plan so you can leverage the platform more effectively. Talk about yourself, talk to your audience, explore new ways to make your product or service relevant. Blogging Results Compound With Regular Publishing You’ve probably heard that quantity ≠ quality. Such is the case with business blogging. A lot of publishers focus on cranking out content, and aren't necessarily putting in the time and effort necessary to ensure both consistency and quality. Some other cliché advice you’ve probably heard that also applies: “find your voice.” When you find your blogging rhythm, quality content will come more easily and settle naturally into your wider marketing landscape. Disjointed, seemingly random topics present a confusing message to your audience – especially new readers, researchers, and prospects – but if your topics flow logically and your content appears consistently in front of them, readers will return. Returning visitors is a sign of the gold we’re all hoping to strike: brand loyalty. If you maintain a steady schedule, keep things manageable, and provide quality content, your blogging results will compound over time. The finish line you’re working toward isn’t a checkered flag or one major payoff in traffic/conversions – it’s loyalty and authority for your brand. According to Weidert Group, exponential traffic growth happens at the following mile markers:
  • 50 to 77 blog articles.
  • 150 blog articles.
  • 215 blog articles.
As we all know, content creation takes time and commitment. Your goal shouldn't be to rush to hit these milestones. Create a workable strategy and a realistic publishing calendar, develop quality content, and the benefits will begin to stack. This is why blogging should be treated like a marathon. If you sprint, you'll run out of time, resources, and energy. If you keep a consistent pace, however, not only will your blogging efforts be more manageable, you'll ultimately see greater payoff from your effort. Final Thoughts Everybody wants to create content that goes viral. In an environment saturated with professional, self-described “influencers” and “content creators”, the chances of going viral are infinitesimally small and essentially random. Today it’s Chewbacca Mom, a masked goddess among mortals. Tomorrow it will be someone else – probably a baby giving a presidential stump speech*. Even if you do manage to go viral, the traffic isn't repeatable or sustainable as a marketing strategy. A sudden influx of clients means nothing long-term if what you're doing can’t be replicated. A better approach to blogging, in general, is to focus on being valuable to your prospects. Answer questions, solve problems, and educate your audience. Looking to optimize for search? Then learn more about our professional SEO and SEM services to give your website a boost. *We’re making this up. However, we demand credit from anyone who reads this blog post and goes viral when they put a wig and a necktie on their child.