Blogging seems to be all the rage in marketing now. It’s no longer the sole purview of thought leaders and outspoken armchair philosophers, even though reading many blogs might make you think otherwise. But is making a blog worth it? Is it even something worth hiring a content marketing agency to create for you?
The short answer is yes. The long answer? Bring consistency and a strategy. Blogging does work, but you need to realize that you’re committing to the long game when you start. Case in point: according to these case studies I recorded, it can take anywhere from 4-18 months to see the full benefits of blogging (paired with SEO).
That traffic growth pictured above took about 18 months of regular blogging to reach 45,000 sessions per month, and now it’s even higher. The traffic growth pictured below took about 6 months to reach that level, and it rested on just four pieces of content. The results differ between every website and industry, but consistency and dedication pay off.
“57% of companies with a blog have acquired a customer from their blog. 92% of companies who blog multiple times per day have acquired a customer from their blog.” – HubSpot
This is why LinkedIn decided to let every member begin blogging for free in its news feed. Blogs worth reading can drive traffic, and LinkedIn now capitalizes on the fruits of its members’ labour in exchange for offering a personal publishing platform with a built-in audience. It has effectively crowd-sourced its users content to keep those very users engaged and ready to see more advertisements.
It’s a good value exchange for most people, and—more to the point—content adds value to everyone in the equation, in some form or another.
Is Making a Blog Worth it for Smaller Companies?
Increasing your sales should be the ultimate goal, but marketing doesn’t always work so directly as that. In fact, it’s rarely ever that direct! It’s about building trust with your prospects so that they reach out to buy from you when they’re actually ready to buy. Some people are ready to buy right now, while others may take months to come around. The point of blogging is to become the trusted source of information and insight for leads whenever that time comes.
That’s how online marketing works.
This does not mean shoving offers in your prospects’ faces. Blogging is worth it because it can form the backbone of your online marketing strategy.
- Share your (relevant) thoughts and experiences with the world
- Build credibility
- Inform your prospects
- Become the industry or community authority from whom you’d want to buy
Prospects will become your customers when they are good and ready, and not one moment before. In fact, it may even take them a while to feel comfortable with you. That’s good—it’s a natural, long-term process of building trust that earns you legitimate brand loyalty.
You don’t even have to pay for ads to get that traffic. Instead of paying $10,000 per month or more on selling to a small portion of the traffic, you could create a source of traffic that’s almost self-sustaining for a fraction of the cost. As I explained in my answer on Quora, the traffic you can attract through blogging can match the financial value of a full-blown digital advertising budget.
“I grew one website’s traffic from around 1,000 organic visits per month to around 40,000 monthly. SEMrush estimates that traffic would cost $60,000 if I was bidding on it for PPC campaigns. Obviously, you don’t need to pay anywhere near that much money per month for SEO.”
So, is making a blog worth it for small companies? Absolutely. The raw traffic can easily match the value of a pay-per-click advertising budget, and building that brand loyalty brings your customers back on a regular basis. That’s what makes blogging for business worth your time.
Build on Your Blog With Other Marketing
Blogging with an SEO strategy in mind can yield incredible results for your online sales and marketing funnel, but it doesn’t need to stop there. Even though I specialize in content marketing and SEO, there is more to the world of digital marketing—and blogging can feed many of those channels with leads that you’d never see otherwise.
- You can build email lists with sign-ups from your organic search traffic (earned through blogging).
- You can create remarketing audiences for digital advertising campaigns based on your blog traffic, even segmenting them based on which parts of the website they visited.
- You can run more effective social media advertising campaigns with remarketing audiences as well.
If you treat your blog like an acquisition funnel, then you can redirect some of that traffic toward deeper parts of your funnel. That’s how digital marketing takes shape. When asking if making a blog is worth it, it’s important to consider these secondary benefits. On top of traffic, brand loyalty, and a low cost of acquisition.