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According to Keywords Everywhere, 880 people are looking for the answer to the question, "why blog?" every single month, which tells us that blogging is one of the fastest, easiest, and most scalable ways to increase your SEO. Blogging can be a highly-targeted way to increase traffic and reach the right people with the right message. Who wouldn't want to do that?

We all turn to the search bar for answers and blogging gives your company a direct medium to connect with their curious customers by creating really useful information that applies specifically to your prospect's search terms.

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People don't want to be sold to anymore. So, nine times out of ten, creating relevant and educational content will certainly be more advantageous than optimizing a site page or product page to rank for those keywords.

Have you ever clicked on a promising search result and it takes you to a nicely optimized, but barely related site page? Yet that's how too many business content strategies seem to work. Creating interesting, relevant, and useful content is hard work. However, creating a website page is easy, but that doesn't mean it will help you create meaningful relationships with your prospects online.

Source of Confusion

Perhaps the problem starts with the way blogging has changed over the years. The term "blog" started out as shorthand for "weblog." So, there may still be some confusion left over from those early days when blogs were really just personal journals. Back then, you could joke about blogs just being the place where people posted food pics, creative writing, personal journal entries, and random thoughts.

Since then, Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat all took their turns as the "post a pic" site people joked about. Meanwhile, major content creators and businesses hopped on the blogging train. Blogs have evolved as places for people to showcase their expertise on a topic and places for companies to own their own messages.

Sure, there are still plenty of businesses that just post press releases or sales-centric promotional posts on their blogs, and many others that don't blog at all, but businesses that blog strategically are getting the well-targeted search traffic they deserve. In fact, 84% of businesses report that their blog delivers "strong or some results."

How Blogging Works

Remember, even though it appears in your blogroll, each new blog is a new site page of its own. It has it's own URL and gets indexed separately, so each blog becomes a chance to rank for a new keyword. How well that works is up to you.

  1. Do your keyword research.
    There's a difference between "business blogging tips" (110 searches) and "business blogging 101" (only 10 searches). Pay attention to the differences, and your hard work will pay off. If you are new to keyword research, start your research process with Google's free keyword tool, it has all the basic information that you need to get started with blogging. However, if you are ready to take your research to the next level, check out tools like SEMRush, Moz, or HubSpot.

  2. Focus on longtail keywords.
    There is usually too much competition for the short keywords that get thousands of searches, like "business blogging" (8,100). Instead, go after longer versions with more words and less direct competition, like "business blogging tips."

  3. Create great content.
    The whole purpose of blogging is to demonstrate your thought leadership — to provide truthful, useful information that quickly earns your audience's trust and creates credibility. If they click the link and then click away because your blog wasn't worth reading, was it even worth writing? Start by writing great stuff and you'll get great results.

  4. When you hit a golden topic, leverage it to the end.
    If one of your blogs gets twice as many views as the others, congratulations. But don't stop there. Start promoting it by reposting it on social media, add a link to it in your emails, and consider paying to boost the post. Based on your initial results, the extra traffic should lead to even more traffic — both from more sharing and, hopefully, a higher organic ranking.

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  5. Measure, test, and iterate.
    The great thing about digital marketing is that we can measure everything. We not only measure traffic numbers, but we get source reports. Every quarter, look back at your numbers and identify what's getting results. Then go out and do more of the good stuff. Publish, test, repeat.

  6. What to expect from the results in the first 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, etc.
    Remember that new blogs take time to produce results. Google crawls the web nonstop, but there are a variety of factors that go into how your website actually ranks. No matter how good your content is, it can take 3-6 months before you'll start to see your search rank increase. But once you do, it will be the gift that keeps on giving. More views lead to a higher rank, which leads to more views, etc.

Takeaway: Why blog? Why not? Smart, well-targeted blogs are an opportunity to showcase your thought leadership and bring in extra organic traffic. And we have the numbers to prove it.

Beginner's Guide to Blogging Cheat Sheet