Do you know there are over 1 million entries on Google if you’re looking for a macaron baker in the UK?
1 million possible routes to find a provider of delicious clouds of colourful tastiness.
Where the heck do you start?
Probably at the top. And it’s probably no coincidence that the top 3 businesses all have blogs.
So, what’s going on here?
Of course it could be coincidence. They could also be the 3 worst providers of actual macarons. But here’s what having a blog tells me:
a) They understand that a blog brings traffic and exposure
If you do it for no other reason, understand that well crafted content that tells a great story undoubtedly helps traffic to your website. Since the old practice of just stuffing your keyword into your site gets you penalised in search rankings, the best way is for it appear in its natural setting and that is in stories around your business, your customers, your industry, probably even your life.
b) It tells your brand’s story, and strengthens it
With a million possible entries, or businesses, or competitors, as a customer I’m going to choose one that delivers what I need, but also one that resonates with me at some other level too.
I like that Miss Macaroon shares the 3 quirkiest dates in Birmingham, only one of which is her business. Mademoiselle Macaron’s blog tells me the story of how they started, the story of their chosen charity and a guide to romantic spots in Paris.
All of which tell me about them, their business. As customers we don’t care about your business goals. But your business story could make us care. And buy.
c. A blog shows your expertise
Actually, I think it shows expertise and dedication, as it takes a lot to keep a blog going. But a regular flow of interesting content shows that you’re real, that the business is real and you really understand your stuff.
Telling the stories that come from doing business day in day out make it all real. Literally, you couldn’t make this stuff up. The world is a much more transparent place these days, so you’ll only trip up if you try. And if you are what you say you are, then you don’t need to.
d. A blog has the power to start a conversation
Telling a story is only the start of the story. If you do it right, you make someone feel something with your story. And generally when we feel something it’s easier for action to follow.
Indifference is your enemy.
Make them feel something, whether it’s happiness, sadness, anger and the next steps towards asking them to do something with it is much easier.
e. A blog can build your email list
Which is really a practical outcome of the previous point. If someone has been moved to feel something by one story, they might want to hear more.
Note, more stories, not just sales messages.
At the right time, a sales message might be just what they want to hear, but not all the time. If you don’t believe me, try Gary Vaynerchuk’s Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, brilliant book around the same theme.
Don’t get me wrong, starting and maintaining a blog is not easy, but there are many business benefits. As the world gets noisier, then those businesses telling the best stories will be the ones that rise to the surface, because stories make ideas stick and stories inspire us in a way that data can’t.
And there’s nothing to say that you have to do everything yourself. You could always find a writer who knows how to turn your stories into great stories. A story is no good if it remains untold and only in your head. I love to help set stories free.
What’s the first story about your business that needs to be set free?