It’s 2020, and you know what that means: Looking back to what you could have done better, looking forward to the good that will come of this new year, and of course, trying to forget about the fact that you already slacked off on your new year’s resolution to lose some weight. Look, I get it, sometimes you just need to eat something amazing and forget about the consequences. To err is human, and in my opinion, it doesn’t do you any good to dwell on mistakes from the past.
With that nice little segway in place, I’d like to suggest an idea for the future to you; and that is getting a blog for your business started. Blogs are one of the most classic and consistent ways to push growth of whatever it is you do, and since they’re so easy to do and set up, there’s almost no reason to not already have one for yourself. There are plenty of reasons to get started writing a blog in 2020.
It’s amazing how often the idea of having a blog is overlooked when they are such a simple, low-cost, low effort way get your name out there and start attracting real leads. Most of the time it’s because people don’t assume they’d gain new customers or rank higher on Google just because they have a blog now.
“Why would I start a blog if no one is here to read it?”, you say. That’s a fair question to ask especially if you have a website that doesn’t get much traffic, but you have to understand that people don’t often have sites that rank high on Google, and THEN add a blog to it after it’s popular. Most business owners who are chasing that sweet Google exposure will be wanting to add a blog in order to get their site more exposure.
Imagine if somebody looking for answers on Google searches a specific question, and there aren’t any websites that have a good answer to that question. If you can manage to be the guy with that answer, or that thing that they were looking for, it doesn’t really matter if you aren’t the top dog on Google. You’re still going to get visitors because you are filling a need.
Some sites, especially ones where the blog is a central component, start It takes basically nothing to get started except some pocket change to cover the cost of hosting, and a little bit of your time. and yes, even in the new year of 2020, blogs are still a great way to help your business grow.
Here are 5 big reasons why you should consider blogging to boost organic growth:
1. Blogging is free! (kind of)
The idea behind making and maintaining a blog for your business is pretty simple. If you don’t have a website for your business already, you’d find someone who’d be willing it host it, and then set up a site that they’d be able to host on their own servers. You can either set up your blog on the same website your business is on, or you can set up a separate website which would act as a standalone blog. You could even use subdomains to run two websites off of the same server if you wanted them to be separate.
However, for most people it’s smartest to just set up your blog on the same website as the one that features your products/services. I say that blogging is “kind of” free because you do need to pay some money for domain hosting.
There ARE free blog sites you can use, but I haven’t seen one so far that isn’t riddled with ugly advertisements and poor on-page SEO. If you’re ever getting a service totally for free, you need to remember to ask “what’s in it for them?”, and in this case, they make money from people running ads for them and people who get frustrated with the experience and upgrade at a cost. Not worth it.
I feel compelled to say here that I do specialize in website hosting if you’re looking for that sort of thing. My [Sunspot’s] web hosting services are priced pretty close to my competitors, but I also offer lots of free services that they don’t, like regular site maintenance, security updates, regular site backups, that sort of thing. You can check out my complete list of services here, or send me a message directly through here.
Bottom line, more traffic on your blog = more traffic on your website, which means more leads and conversions for your business, as well as a higher page ranking in Google, which is definitely a good thing.
You can either write up posts yourself as the site owner, or you can hire people to do it for you. Depending on your budget you might want to free up some time and hire someone to write posts for you, it all depends on your needs. Price ranges can vary a bit since some topics are much easier to write for than others, you might need a certain writing style or “tone”, or you might want someone who’s technically savy with what keywords to target, etc.
According to Upwork, the cost of hiring a blogger can be as low as $15 dollars an hour or as high as $80, although most people fall somewhere in the $30-$50 range. If this sounds like too much to you, you might want to consider writing posts yourself. As long as you have a decent grasp of your respective language, and about an hour or so of free time every now and then, you can do the blogging yourself, no problem.
2. Google LOVES to rank sites with blogs
…Or more specifically, Google loves to rank sites that bring value to the people willing to look at them. When you set up a blog, you are putting yourself in a position to give people free value, and as Google’s sort of way of thanking you, they will rank you higher in their results because you are demonstrating that you can help people who are interested in what you are saying.
“But don’t I need to already have visitors? Why would I start a blog if no one is here to read it?”, you say. That’s a fair question to ask especially if you have a website that doesn’t get much traffic, but you have to understand that people don’t often have sites that first rank high on Google, and THEN add a blog to it after it’s popular.
Most business owners who are chasing that sweet Google exposure will be wanting to add a blog in order to get their site more exposure, and for the most part it’s pretty effective. People who include blogs on their business sites can expect to see 55% more traffic then they would otherwise.
Here’s an example: let’s say you’re the owner of a ski resort. You’ve just opened up and not many people know about your business yet, so you’re still trying to get sales and spread your brand via word of mouth. Let’s say you decided to add a blog section to your website. It wouldn’t change anything about how the site’s core features work, it would just be a page people could click on if they were interested. You could write articles on things that you know about. It’s important to remember that you as an individual, no matter what kind of work you’re into, have so much valuable information to offer people.
You could publish an article called “10 Things to Remember to pack on your Ski Vacation” or, “Most Amazing places to take photos in the [your area] Mountains”, or something like that. These are just random examples off the top of my head, I’d do more research if I were actually writing an article on this, but hopefully you can see what I’m getting at. These are topics that people are either seeking information on, or topics that people have a cursory interest in.
Blogging becomes especially powerful when you’re writing about a sort of niche like this. Skiing might be a bit broad, but if we narrowed it down to something more niche. Let’s say we wanted to sell ski goggles. That might still be a bit too general. I can use Ubersuggest, a free online tool, to give me some relatively accurate stats of search terms and suggestion for what might get more traffic.
We can see that if I search for “ski goggles”, the term gets searched roughly 33,100 times per month. It’s got a PD (Paid difficulty, how many people are paying for ads with the keyword, lower is better) of 100, and an SD (SEO difficulty, how competitive the search term is, lower is better) of 58. These numbers are on a 1-100 scale. 58 Isn’t the worst, but it’s also going to be really difficult to rank for this term by itself. Let’s try to find something a little easier to rank for.
You can see in the related area it gives me a suggestion for “Best over the glasses ski goggles”, this one has a PD of 100 (still high), and an SD of 36 (doing better now). I’d say this is still a little too difficult to rank for, but it’s certainly easier than just the search term by itself. You might also think that the search volume of 110 is too low, but I’d argue that 110 is still significantly higher than 0, which is what you’d probably get if you went with a non-niche set of keywords. This might not be the best example of finding a perfect keyword since I’d still say that 36 is too high for me if I’m starting from nothing, I’d rather have something around the 10-20 SD range, but I wanted to highlight this because it shows how tools like these can give you new and creative ideas that you might not have thought about otherwise.
An important thing I should note here is that you have to be careful when writing for niches, because if they are TOO obscure, then people won’t find you because nobody would be looking in the first place. In addition to Ubersuggest, I’d recommend using the Google Adwords Keyword Planner to find good keywords to write about, since it’s a free tool and since it’s google’s official tool there’s little room for data to be unreliable, here’s a link that should help you in getting started with it.
These two are nice as free tools, but If you want something more advanced, I’d recommend ahrefs as probably the best keyword finder/planning tool on the market right now. The biggest downside is that it’s a bit pricey at $99 for it’s cheapest monthly plan. The upside is that since it’s a paid service you get lots of tools and super-accurate information since their servers are constantly updating.
3. You can earn good money blogging
Alright, maybe not THAT much money. But still a lot. Like, WAY more than you would if you just did online surveys or something.
As I mentioned in my first point, you can earn money blogging for other people, usually around $30-$40 when you are good at it, but I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about running your OWN blog, and making money off of your blog that way.
Now, full disclosure, I’m newish to the blogging scene, and given the nature of what I do, I don’t know if it’s something I would be able to do full-time, but it certainly is tempting looking at the numbers that some people are making. I mean sure, there are rare exceptions that make tons of money. Internet SEO guru Neil Patel makes $381,772 a month from his blog. Those are crazy numbers that most people honestly shouldn’t expect. These numbers are definitely possible, but not realistic for most. That’s not to say you shouldn’t try though, with the right strategy you could even end up doing better.
Anyways, you might be wondering how much money you can expect from blogging. Within the first year, I’d say it’s pretty reasonable to expect something like $500-$2,000 per month from blogging. This is just an estimate number for when you’re getting used to things. Once things start to pick up it becomes much easier as your traffic increases and you get more engagement. According to Glassdoor, the average blogger salary is $32,800 per year. Not bad for a side-hustle. And that’s just an estimate, there’s nothing stopping you from making far more than that if you find an effective strategy.
4. Blogging is fun
I’ve always been someone who’s enjoyed expressing myself with words. My English classes in school were never too hard for me since I liked writing and learning new words and new ways to express my thoughts and ideas.
Blogging is an interesting thing, because in some ways it feels like writing an essay for school, except with WAY more freedom. You are in control of everything, from the content, to the way you write to your intended audience. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be someone who’s good with words, it’s still not terribly difficult to write an effective blog post. Here are 13 great techniques to use if you find yourself struggling with the writing process.
“What should I blog about?” you might wonder. If you’re just getting started and you don’t have a profit motive yet, you can really just blog about anything you’re passionate about. Competitive knitting, video games-themed cakes, reviewing each letter of the alphabet on a letter-by-letter basis. You don’t have to have blog about concepts as weird as mine. You get the idea though.
If you do have a profit motive however, I’d recommend using the tools I suggested earlier. In addition, I’ve got a great article here I found from BloggingWizard when it comes to finding the best blogging niche ideas to come up with, while keeping profit and practicality in mind.
Through writing blogs posts, you can
- Get better at writing in general
- Find a voice for yourself
- Experiment with ideas in a risk-free environment
- Take a moment to relax and enjoy the freedom of being able to say whatever you want
- Gather concrete, useful information to give to other people
- Learn more information about whatever it is that you choose to write about
- Give your business or brand more of an identity than some faceless corporation
Hopefully I’ve give you something to take away from this post and chew on. Let me know if any of what I’ve written here resonates with you in any way!