I'm convinced that all bloggers are narcissists. Not in the when-I'm-president-I-will-fix-the-world kind of way. Much more subtle than that. But nonetheless, bloggers write expecting people to care about what they write. Remember when we used to keep our diaries under lock and key? Now they are published on the WWW for the world to see and share.
If you're not yet a blogger but are thinking of blogging, you're probably even more of a narcissist. Why? Because the only reason you haven't started blogging yet is because you haven't figure out what's in it for you. If you already knew that you could get a thousands of fans tomorrow if you started blogging today, wouldn't you start today? Heck, I know I would. But that's because I'm a narcissist, just like you.
Of course, I jest about the narcissism thing, but it does make a valid point. We generally don't start doing anything until we have figured out the WIIFM principle. WIIFM, for those that don't already know (every narcissist does!), stands for What's In It For Me. If there is no value in blogging, then there is no reason to start, right?
This is true for personal, hobby, political and social bloggers, but even more true for business bloggers. Nobody minds wasting their own time, but no business wants to waste theirs. Time is money, honey.
Yes, Virginia, People Do Read Blogs
While not everyone who is online is an avid blog reader, there are some interesting stats about those who are. Approximately 100% of all blog readers read one or more blogs regularly. Wait, no, that's not a real statistic. But these are:
Almost 40 percent of all blog consumers read 5-10 blogs regularly. And another 30 percent read up to 50! What that tells you is that 70 percent of those that read blogs are doing quite a bit of blog consumption, and there is a good chance they have room to add yours to their daily, weekly or monthly blog portfolio.
But so what, right? What does that mean to the narcissist? Well, let's dig deeper.
Blogging Get's Noticed by Google (and Those Other Search Engines)
Companies that blog have more pages of their site indexed by the search engines. On average, they get over 400% more pages indexed by Google.
Now there are two reasons for this. First, every blog post is a page that can be indexed by the search engine. On a pure math level, more blog pages on a site equals more pages to be indexed. But the other reason is that Google loves fresh content. And the more you're blogging and producing fresh content, the more the search engines want that content. As they keep coming back and grabbing blog pages, they'll also be grabbing your business content, as well. It's win-win.
Blogs Deliver Visitors
We've already determined that people read blogs, so it stands to reason that blogging brings visitors to your site. Of course, this doesn't have to be true, as many people subscribe to blogs via an RSS news reader, which means they don't necessarily have to visit your site to read your content. Nonetheless, blogs do drive traffic.
Are all those visitors going to be customers? No. In fact, the blog will likely produce a lower visitor-to-customer ratio than your regular site pages. But don't let that worry you. You may not be building a customer today, but you are building an audience that may be a customer tomorrow or even a brand evangelist tonight.
Blogs Drive Customers
Hands down, the best search channel for those looking for information to drive their purchase decisions is search. But the chart below shows that a full 50 percent of web users go to blogs, too!
Of course, many of these visitors come from search itself, so having a blog (with lots of indexed pages) increases your chance of drawing traffic into your site. And these are your customers... Or those looking to become your customers... Or at least people who want what you sell. Turning them into customers is on you!
Blogging Generates Leads
Who couldn't use a few extra leads, right? If you're a service-oriented business or a lead-generation site, the news is good for you, as well. Both B2B and B2C companies that blog get 65-85 percent more leads than companies that don't.
If your blogging is done right, it's doing the job of helping sell your visitors on not only the quality of your products or services, but also on your own authority as an expert in your business arena. And that's exactly what the blog should be doing. The more you become a recognized authority, the more likely you will be to get new leads and customers.
Blogs Create Links
When it comes to SEO, links are the fuel that powers good on-page optimization. Yet, link building is one of the most time-consuming, expensive, and difficult jobs the SEO has to do. Put it simply, link building isn't easy. Blogs create a ready-made link-building mechanism.
Companies that actively blog get almost double the amount of natural inbound links than of those that don't. That means your organic link profile is growing at double the rate, which is a big boon to your on-page search engine optimization efforts!
Blogs Build Customer Loyalty
And finally, my last point for all you blogging narcissists (or narcissist wanna-be's) is that when you engage in social media - which includes blogging, along with Facebook and Twitter (two other fun activities for the whole narcissistic family) - you are building brand loyalty.
Once a sale is made, satisfied customers are more likely to follow you on one or more of your social channels. A blog is a great place to keep them informed and to continue to feed them information that reinforces your brand and will likely bring them back for repeat sales.
So, there you have the justification you need to pull the trigger on starting up that company blog. But narcissists be warned, while blogging may have a solid WIIFM, if your blog doesn't meet your audience's needs, you'll be blogging to an audience of none.
May 15, 2013