If you own a business, there’s no doubt that you hear about the success many have with blogging. But what you don’t hear is the millions of blogs that don’t succeed.
In fact, there are 600 million blogs(1) in the world. But only 1-2% of them generate a substantial amount of web traffic.
But, you guessed it; the ones that do – they’re doing VERY well. How?
Because they have a well-thought-out strategy. And they’re not just posting random content hoping for the best.
So, should you start a blog for your business?
The short answer is it depends on your niche, your business, your strategy, and endless other factors. We’ll talk about that in more detail later on though.
Keep reading to find out:
- What the data says
- When it doesn’t make sense to start a blog for your business
- How to analyze whether blogging makes sense in your niche
- How to analyze whether it makes sense for your specific business.
Should Your Business Start Blogging? What The Data Says
Top blogging statistics:
- Companies with blogs produce an average of 67% more leads monthly than companies that don’t blog. (DemandMetric)
- Blogs can result in a 434% increase in indexed pages and a 97% increase in indexed links. (DemandMetric)
- Businesses that blog get 55% more website visitors than businesses that don’t. (HubSpot)
So yes, if blogging is right for you and your business – it can have a HUGE impact, especially if you’re in the B2B space.
Those statistics above really aren’t a surprise because blogging increases trust with your audience shows what you can do, and is an easy way to collect opt-ins.
So we could kind of expect that business growth is positively affected by blogging.
The Snowball Effect
One of the most significant benefits of blogging – which is also a contributing factor to all of the statistics mentioned above, is the snowball effect.
The cool thing about blogging is that the pages you create generate continuous traffic with little to no effort after they have been created. So, after a while, your old pages generate traffic, and so do your new ones, creating a snowball effect.
From there, you can keep creating pages with the returns of the previous ones and see exponential growth.
But with this significant benefit also comes one of the most significant downsides – the fact that it takes forever in the beginning.
To reach this point, you must first build authority on a certain topic.
When It DOESN’T Make Sense To Start a Blog For Your Business
So far, we figured that blogging can be profitable, but it’s not for every business. Let’s look at some examples of where it’s not suited.
If you fall into one of these categories, it might not be the right path for your business.
#1 – Your Niche Is Too Competitive (For What You Can Handle)
The first reason is if your niche is too competitive. The thing about blogging with SEO is that there are only ten spots for each keyword.
Of course, there are endless keywords out there. But if you’re researching your niche, and even on the low-volume stuff; it’s full of authority sites. That may be a bad sign. But we’ll cover that in more detail later on.
However, you can target sub-topics and slowly grow by covering them in more detail than all the big sites. But even that will still require many articles from you, and if you want to post one per month, it probably won’t be enough.
Later on, I’ll show you how to analyze the competition of your niche.
#2 – Your Target Audience Doesn’t Like Written Content
There are a lot of audiences that are highly unlikely to start reading. This might be a crap example, but for many music genres, the audiences aren’t interested in reading. They just want to listen.
The best way to check whether your audience likes written content is by finding keywords in your niche and checking their search volume.
If they’re looking for content in Google like “How to’s,” – then that’s a confirmation that they like written content.
Not sure how to check the search volume? We’ll cover that later on.
#3 – Blogging Is Simply Not Suited For Your Specific Business
If you need an ROI quickly, blogging is not the best route. The same goes for if you can’t write enough to compete but don’t have the budget to outsource your content writing.
There are many reasons why blogging might be suited for your niche but not for your business.
I’ll help you determine some of the reasons why that might be the case later on.
How To Research Your Niche’s SEO Potential (And Competition)
As already mentioned, you need to check the search volume of some keywords in your niche. For SEO, we also want to look at how many other blogs there are competing for some keywords.
And of course, how difficult it will be to compete with them.
However, keep in mind that SEO isn’t the only reason why you might blog. You can also use it as a way to offer value to your existing customers and clients. If that’s your plan, you can skip this section.
How To Check The Volume
For this, I suggest you download the Keyword Surfer and Keywords Everywhere browser extensions, then activate them. Once you’ve done so, you can head over to Google and type in some random keywords related to your niche (Like How to do X)
At the top of your screen, inside the search bar, you’ll see the search volume.
On the right side, you’ll see keyword suggestions.
I suggest you click around and look at the search volume. If you see decent numbers (100+ on many keywords), it’s probably worth it.
You also have to keep in mind the average sale value of your business. If you’re selling something for $1-20, you should see many keywords with 1000+ search volume.
How To Check The Amount of Competition For Your Keywords
After clicking around and finding some suitable keywords for your business, we will want to check how many other blogs are competing for these keywords.
The reason we do this is to get a broad idea what to expect before going into a niche.
If it’s a small keyword like 2-3 words, this number will likely be bigger than it will be for a long keyword (4-5 words).
What I want you to do is do a Google search for intitle: “keyword goes here” – This is a search operator that will show you all the results with your keyword in the title.
At the top of the SERP, you can see how many people are competing for that keyword. If it’s a crazy number, and the search volume isn’t that high, it may not be worth it.
I usually look for keywords with under 2500 sites competing because you have to keep in mind that half of them are just garbage or social media shares anyway.
How To Check The Difficulty of Competition
For the difficulty, I use Audiit.io for on-page factors like the Wordcount, difficulty, etc. – If you want to learn more about that, I explained in how to optimize your blog posts.
The other significant factor is the external backlinks and internal links. For this, you can use Ahrefs, Mangools or SEMrush to check out your competitors’ backlinks.
All three of them use a % system to determine how competitive a keyword is. I find Mangools to be the most accurate in keyword difficulty.
Type in some of the keywords you have found, and get an idea for how competitive the niche is as a whole:
- 0-25%: Easy, low competition
- 25-50%: Medium competition
- 50-100%: High Competition
Keep in mind all of these percentages are 3rd party metrics, so they aren’t used by Google. Still it’s a good way to get an overall feeling for your niche.
Is Blogging Right For Your Business?
Next, we need to determine whether blogging is right for your business. Most businesses, especially ones just starting, don’t have a lot of time or funds to spend on something that won’t deliver an ROI quickly.
Besides, you might be on your own and hate writing, in which case you could hire a writer, but you would probably have to learn the SEO basics like optimizing, keyword research, etc.
So, it depends on how you feel about the whole thing, and what type of budget you have available.
You may also like: How To Increase Blog Traffic
How Quickly Do You Need an ROI? (And How Quickly Can You Expect One?)
With blogging, you can expect an ROI from your existing audience and bring in new traffic from SEO. This assumes that your content is valuable and well-written.
I’m not going to go into what type of ROI you can expect from your existing audience because that depends on how large your following/email list is, whether your content is shareable, where you promote it, etc.
How Long Does SEO Take For Blogging?
In most cases, 3-6 months to start seeing some traffic. But for the big results, like where you start seeing thousands of visitors per month, I’d say 1-2 years from when you first launch your domain.
However, again, this depends on so many factors:
- How much you post
- How competitive your niche/keywords are
- How good the blog posts you write are
- How much authority you build on a topic
If you analyze the competition and provide a better Google search result than them on every blog post/keyword you’re targeting – you may see results much earlier.
But there are so many factors so that that time frame could vary.
How Often Can You Post?
The more competitive your topic in search engines, the more you’ll need to post. This is to build authority on a subject by showing that you have reliable answers to what the user may ask.
I believe you can make up for not posting as much by getting backlinks from the right sites. However, either way, you’re going to be spending some types of resources on growing – or you’ll need extreme patience.
In most niches, I think an excellent frequency for a business is around 3x per week. I feel like that can give you enough to build authority on your company’s topics and cover a lot – without burning out.
However, if you’re in a particular niche where there’s not much competition, 1x per week may be perfect. If you want to find the perfect frequency based on your goals, your capability and niche check out: How often should you blog?
Is Blogging Worth It For Businesses?
Overall yes. It may take a while to get the ball rolling, but once you do, the amount of traffic you can generate with a single blog post is almost insane.
For example, one blog post alone could bring you 100-1000 visitors + per month. If you consider buying an article costs around $100, you’ll quickly see how good this is.
That $100 article can generate 100-1000 visitors per month continuously, but you only paid $100 for it. Of course, it could take you two years until you reach a point where you’ll see this type of ROI from your articles.
However, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s very worth it. It’s also worth keeping in mind that it’s better to start it sooner than later, as this will help you get past that building phase more shortly.
If you have decided you’re ready to start a blog, I wanted to walk you through how to set one up.
Choosing a CMS
The first thing you need to do is choosing a content management system (CMS). This is basically what you manage your content/website with.
If you already have one, you can skip this step,
The #1 CMS for blogging is WordPress, here’s why:
- You have complete control over everything (Site speed, security, etc.)
- You have access to the 3rd party plugin store (and can download free SEO plugins, etc.)
- It’s used by X% of websites
- It’s free to download
Despite it being free, you will need web hosting to get it set up. The one I use, which I recommend for businesses, is WPX hosting.
However, if you’re looking for a very affordable option to get you started, you can also use Bluehost. The only problem is your website will be pretty slow when you see more traffic, but then you really should upgrade to WPX anyway.
Bluehost is just a way of getting started, while your website doesn’t yet get a lot of traffic.
Setting Up Your Blog
If you chose WordPress as your CMS, you can download my free e-book, which covers everything you need to know about setting up a blog.
But if you didn’t, just make sure to go through whatever setup process your CMS has so that your blog is ready to start posting.
Some things you want to look out for include:
- Url Structure
- Allowing search engines to find your website
- Ensuring the formatting/page settings are how you want them to be
Once you’ve got this all set up, you can move on to the next step.
Keyword Research & Planning
Next, we need to start planning our content ideas. For this, we’ll use an editorial calendar, so check out some of the templates that I have linked below.
Need help finding content ideas? Check out my guide here.
But before you can fill that out, you need to learn how to find keywords for your blog posts. I recommend reading my detailed guide, which will walk you through the exact process I use.
Once you have found your keywords, add them to your calendar and plan the content ideas.
Editorial Calendar Templates:
Tip if you’re hiring writers: You may want to consider providing the writer with a blog post outline. This will help them understand what to include.
Finally, you need to create the content. Again, I have a detailed guide on writing and optimizing your content to make sure it’s good for SEO.
That article will walk you through everything you need to know to give you the best possible chance of ranking.
GET My FREE E-book on How To Start a Blog
So, should you start a blog for your business? It depends. If you can invest your time or money into something that might not pay off until next year, then sure.
It’s one of the most effective ways to get seen in search engines, and it’s very affordable too. If you would like to read more articles like this, I suggest following me on Twitter as I’ll always post them there.
Sources named thorughout article:
Companies with blogs produce an average of 67% more leads monthly than companies that don’t blog. (DemandMetric)