A commitment-phobe's guide to blogging

Nearly every new website we design features a blog page. It's become an unspoken must-have for brands, who blindly believe they’ve gotta have it. But is that true?

We’re here to tell you that no, it’s not.

There’s no doubt there are real perks to having a blog. According to Social Media Today, it can have a measurable impact on brand awareness. More than 80% of all blog traffic consists of new visitors who are learning about your brand for the first time – these are new customers.

But tapping into those benefits takes commitment. Having a blog requires that you actually blog. And while most people realise this, they don’t realise the consequences of not blogging.

There are two common scenarios here. One is where the blog launches with regular content, and then tapers off until the posts start coming erratically – maybe one week, two weeks, even months apart. The second is where the blog launches empty, and stays that way – you never posted anything.

An erratic or empty blog seems harmless, but it actually says a lot about your brand. And none of it is good. It says you didn’t think your strategy through, and it says you aren’t committed to managing your time or your audience.

Think about how you feel when you click on a competitor or brand’s blog and see their last post was July 2014. Doesn’t make them very credible does it?

The same applies to you. But it’s so easy not to fall into this trap. The secret is launching your blog with a solid plan that focuses on your content, your audience and your goals.

Once you’ve committed (that ugly word again!), it takes no time for the hard work to pay off and the rewards to pour in. More than 60% of readers make a purchase based on the blog post, says Social Media Today.

So before you start your blog – or ask us to build it into your website – check out our top three secrets for blog success:

Content creators
You’ve got a business to run, you probably don’t have time to sit at the computer and write. That’s where content creators come in. These are people who write for a living, and can produce the quality content that’s going to make your blog stand out. Sure, you’ve got to invest in bloggers and actually pay them, but when they’re helping you grow your customer base without adding to your workload, the investment is well worth it.

Audience research
Good content creators aren’t going to write whatever comes into their heads. They’re going to do their homework. Figuring out who your customers are, and what they want to read, is the first step they’ll take to creating your blog. By spending the time on audience research, your bloggers will zero-in on the topics, tone and format that your audience wants – and that attracts new readers.

If content is King, then consistency is Queen. Putting out quality blog content on a regular basis is going to make it clear to your audience that you mean business. Statistics show that after 20-30 blog posts, readers are hooked. And they’ll keep coming back for more – because you keep posting more. As the frequency of a visitor increases, so does the likelihood that they’ll become a customer and advocate of your brand. And that’s the bottom line you’ll be looking for.