Why Blogging is Important to Your Business in 2018

Not too long ago, many companies considered it a big deal, just to have a professional website up and running – even when the multi-million dollar corporations started spending mega-bucks to grow their online presence, there were still lots of business owners who weren’t convinced of the huge impact an online identity and digital marketing strategy could make to a company’s bottom line.  Those were the days when people believed that nothing would ever eclipse the holy grail of marketing:  print, radio and television.  In fact, the web presence of many  businesses consisted of little more than online ‘landing pages’, which provided the visitor with the company’s basic contact information, but little else.  Today, we know that more and more local and global traffic is being directed to businesses via online searches – and these potential customers are doing their research and homework online, before making their purchase decisions.  In 2018, pretty much everyone understands that maintaining both a website and a strategic digital marketing campaign is critical  to their company’s success.  But for many, the question of whether or not we need a blog is not so certain.

Do We Really Need a Blog?

One question that is frequently asked by over-worked Owners and Managers is “Do we really need a blog?”.

 Well, in 2018, the resounding answer is YES!!

Blog Business 2018

From an SEO and performance perspective, there are some extremely compelling reasons why your company needs a blog.  In fact, it’s a complete no-brainer.  For example:

When your company has a blog, you’ll have a 434% higher chance of being ranked high on search engines (Tech Client). And, companies that blog receive 97% more links to their website.  **Remember that the more Backlinks your website gets from a variety of sites, the higher the site will rank in search engine results.

  • Blogs help corporate leaders and company’s develop their ‘Personal’ or ‘Corporate Brand’. A company or individual’s ‘personal brand’ can be thought of as their ‘reputation’ – everyone knows the advertising adage that bad news travels much faster than good.  It’s imperative that companies and their personnel maintain excellent reputations as these have a great impact on customer’s buying decisions.  Keep in mind that any company can be subjected to negative reviews from a disgruntled, unreasonable customer, but the more positive content that’s been published online about your company, the less it will be negatively impacted by a bad review.
  • Businesses using blogs as part of their content marketing mix get 67% more leads than those who don’t (Hubspot). And the customers that you attract through blogging tend to be higher-quality ‘Leads’ – these Leads may already familiar with your corporate values or history, having read your blogs, so they feel as though they ‘know’ the company and/or the writer of the blog (who is often the company founder or CEO).  And people are much more likely to do business with people that they know.

Getting The Benefits of a Blog

Content Is King
Content is King:

Consistent blogging with quality content will help you and your company grow your brand – the more readers begin to view your blog as a valuable resource for pertinent information, the more credibility you and/or your company will gain in your field. When you become a trusted, credible source, it becomes much easier for your company to sell goods or services –  customers are much more apt to purchase from people and companies they like and trust.  Blogs are one of the best ways to make customers feel as though they already know your company and/or its corporate leaders; this sense of familiarity can have a dramatic affect on sales because people like to buy from people they ‘know’.

 

Determine Your Goals:

When starting to write content, the would-be blogger should begin by determining exactly what their goals and objectives are for the content.  For example, is the content being created with the main intention being to drive traffic to the blogger’s e-commerce site?  Is the purpose of the content to relay valuable information to your customers?  Or, is the original content part of a strategic brand-building scheme?

 

Know Your Target Audience:

Once you’ve determined the goals of your content creation, you need to research your target audience – make sure you know who your target audience is, as well as what kind of information they’re interested in reading online.  The better you know the interests of your target audience, as well as where they like to ‘hang out’ (which websites), then you’ll have the best information that enables you to create the kind of content that will resonate best.

 

Consistency:

To achieve the best results, you need to be creating original content and publishing on a consistent basis.  In fact, consistency and reliability are considered even more important than frequency (for example:  it’s better to publish every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday – and stick to that schedule 100%, rather than to aim for a daily blog, but only achieve an 85% success rate).  If you want to attain the business benefits of a ‘blog’ you’ll need a system that ensures your company is creating and high-quality, informative content and that you’re posting on schedule.  Many bloggers use one of the many available online calendars to stay organized and on track.  Remember:  it’s very important that your target audience begins to view you as a subject matter expert who can be relied upon to follow through with commitments.

 

Frequency:

Publishing frequent blog posts will help your business grow.  When you are posting new blog content regularly, it will positively impact Search Engine Optimization – fresh, relevant and engaging online content causes the Google algorithm to index your website more frequently, which positively impacts its ranking.  And improved SEO means more visitors to your site and more opportunities to realize your business goals.

 

Best Practices for Business Owners

Some business owners take on the task of blogging themselves because they view it is a fantastic opportunity to communicate important information to their customers and prospects.  As time goes by, however, they may find that blogging takes more of an investment in time than they’re able to make, (especially in the midst of their many other responsibilities running the business).  As a result, content creation and blogging are often delegated to another internal leader or employee.  Or, the business owner may choose to outsource this important task to a Digital Marketing Agency; by utilizing the services of a professional marketer or writer, the business owner is able to focus on other activities that will best drive the business, (areas where the owner’s greatest personal expertise may reside).  In the long run, utilizing the services of a professional digital marketing agency often proves to be the most cost-effective solution with the most outstanding business results.

One 2018 survey indicated that 52% of business owners think that blogging is their most critical content marketing tactic.  Considering the value that business owners themselves place on blogging, any company that doesn’t include a blog strategy as part of their marketing plan is missing out on one of the most powerful tools in their marketing repertoire.  To stay updated regarding future posts on business, entrepreneurship and continuous learning, please subscribe to our newsletter.  Also, If you’d like to comment on this post, or if you have suggestions or a story you’d like to share, please contact us.

What Are The Determining Factors Of Success? (Outliers Book)

outliers

‘Outliers’ By Malcolm Gladwell is one of my favorite books about success I’ve ever read so I though I would share some of the key things I have taken from the book (AKA The determining factors of success).  Basically why some people succeed and others don’t, I have also done some research myself and cited my sources below — So without further a-do let’s get right into it!

1. Talent, Opportunity, Work, and Luck

Success is far from impossible like most make it out to be.  There are many commonly held misconceptions about why people actually succeed and fail and this creates confusion around the topic of success and failure and what it takes to “make it big”.  In reality there are only a few main factors that determine whether a person will ultimately achieve greatness and succeed or stagnate and “fail” as we call it. These are seemingly random factors many do not take notice of but if applied correctly they can practically make success an inevitability.  But failure is likely as inevitable if these crucial factors are not put in place properly or violated. The “secret” to success in truth is an impossible-to-bottle mixture of timing, luck, cultural heritage, and thousands of hours of practice. Even if the circumstances aren’t in your favor don’t displace the idea that you could still succeed, for these factors and behaviors may still be cultivated if you understand them in depth and take action to replicate your life with someone who has already accomplished what you are striving for.

2. Timing and Historical Context

Timing and historical are a major key if one wishes to achieve success.  Having a set of skills that one develops through hard work is not enough to guarantee success. In addition, one must also live in a time when those skills are valued by your culture and this is where the role of historical context and timing comes in for determining success.  If the time period does not need our skills at the moment no matter how skilled we are we will not have as much of an impact we could of possibly had at another point in time. Also our historical moment might also prevent you from acquiring certain skills that others can due to their historical moment. For example, if you entered the workforce as a computer scientist before the era of personal computers, when the personal computer did finally become mainstream, you would be too invested in the “old” way of doing things. You would be inevitably stuck in a historical status quo and you would never attain the level of success of someone like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates.

3. Privilege, Heritage, and Cultural Background

A few more factors that can determine success are the complex and often misunderstood relationships among individual talent, hard work, opportunity, and luck. In truth individual talent is necessary but not sufficient to achieve success, opportunity, luck and of course hard long work also pays a huge role. The surrounding context of available opportunity is very crucial. For example, Bill Gates would never have been so successful without his unusually frequent exposure to computing technology in an era where computers were still rare.  Therefore you can not only be talented and willing to work hard—but you actually have the opportunity to be able to. Luck also plays a crucial role in success, seemingly random factors like date of birth can be integral to achieving success. For example, a young Canadian boy’s birth month can actually have a huge impact on his likelihood of success in hockey. Hockey is a part of our Canadian culture; the regulations state that children born in the same year play in the same league, but because kids grow so quickly there is often a huge disparity in size.  Studies show that often these smaller kids, almost a year younger than their teammates, are identified early as ‘weak’ players, and this becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. When the opportunity comes where they can pay rep the earlier birth months make higher level rep teams and are challenged against better hockey players. They then get all the attention from their coaches and get better faster and faster while the lower level players have no chance because they never had the same luck and opportunity that the children with early birthdays got. In the book Outliers the author indicates that it’s more than a coincidence that over 70% of professional hockey players had birthdays in either January or February. What started out as just a little difference in skill turned into a huge one all because of the luck earlier birth month boys had and the opportunity it presented them.  The truth is success is largely influenced by talent, hard work, opportunity, and luck, and pervasive societal narrative about success resulting from being “gifted” is a misconception, and “pure talent” is a myth.

4. Solutions and Implications for the Future

Privilege and cultural heritage also play a critical role  in determining success. Cultural heritage can be an advantage or a disadvantage, and sometimes it can be both at once.  For example, the rise of Jewish-run law-firms in New York City in the early 20th century had much to do with the fact that Jews were discriminated against, and forced to form their own (often litigation-oriented) firms. This ended up giving Jewish firms a major advantage when corporate takeovers became common practice later in the 20th century. The tremendous success of many of New York’s most legendary lawyers stemmed from the disadvantage that religious discrimination had formerly imposed on them: a disadvantage became a huge advantage over time. Our cultural heritage can influence our attitudes towards race, religion, honor, work (and what constitutes “meaningful” work), money, and entitlement.

These are the factors that typically foster success and either will make you succeed or fail.  The socially conditioned view of success will get you nowhere because it is flawed and will prevent you from having the correct mindset and attitude to achieve success.  These factors are all possible to adhere to as long as you stay focused on your long hard working tedious journey towards success with all the bumps you’ll encounter on the way.

Citations:

1. Talent, Opportunity, Work, and Luck

Kalla, S. (2012). Forbes Welcome. Forbes.com. Retrieved 9 September 2018, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/susankalla/2012/05/31/six-keys-to-excellence-at-anything/

The Forbes article, Keys to Excellence, talks about basketball superstar Michael Jordan and how he became a six-time NBA championship winner.   Although natural talent is a factor for world class athletes, the article makes clear that it was Michael Jordan’s disciplined practice and incredibly hard work ethic that contributed most directly to his success.  Both the story about Michael Jordan and the book  Outliers  set out to dispel the myth that great successes are born, rather than made.  Also, both the article and book conclude that hard work and the right mental attitude are the two most important contributing factors to success.

2. Timing and Historical Context

Lee, B. (2014). Will Automation Take Our Jobs?. Scientific American. Retrieved 9 September 2018, from http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/will-automation-take-our-jobs/

This article talks about  a study published at the University of Oxford estimating the probability that 702 occupations would soon be computerized out of existence.  This means that many changes to labor, markets and businesses and some people will lose their jobs. In the book Outliers it talks about how having a set of skills that one develops through hard work is not enough to guarantee success. In addition, one must also live in a time when those skills are valued by your culture.  The article talks about this as well and how in the future there a lot of people’s skills may no longer be of value in our culture due to Technology.

3. Privilege, Heritage, and Cultural Background

Keating, P. (2011). THE WORLD OF SPORTS runs on merit, right?. ESPN. Retrieved 9 September 2018, from http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/6777581/importance-athlete-background-making-nba

This article looks at whether it is an athlete’s grit and determination that leads to their success, or whether there are other cultural and economic factors at work.  It talks about the 1960’s and 70’s, when over 90 percent of NBA players were from urban areas, as it was a cheap game to play and basketball courts were community meeting spots.  But, as the game gained popularity, attracting more fans and corporate sponsors, it now costs too much for many inner-city kids to compete at the highest level. The book Outliers also talks about how economic and other cultural factors can influence a person’s ability to be successful in specific areas.  Hockey is a part of our Canadian culture; the regulations state that children born in the same year play in the same league, but because kids grow so quickly there is often a huge disparity in size.  Studies show that often these smaller kids, almost a year younger than their teammates, are identified early as ‘weak’ players, and this becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. In Outliers, the author indicates that it is more than a coincidence that over 70% of professional hockey players had birthdays in either January or February.

4. Solutions and Implications for the Future

Mitchell, M., & Leachman, M. (2015). Years of Cuts Threaten to Put College Out of Reach for More Students. Center of Budget and Policy Priorities. Retrieved 9 September 2018, from http://www.cbpp.org/research/state-budget-and-tax/years-of-cuts-threaten-to-put-college-out-of-reach-for-more-students

This article talks about how society’s cuts to education funding have made college too expensive for many students, and with a growing number of jobs demanding a college education, the future for some of these low-income kids may be marginalized.  In the book Outliers, the author puts forward strategies to combat the low-graduation rates of inner-city schools and to encourage post-secondary education; he presents strategies, such as shortening summer vacation, as this has been shown to reduce the drop-out rate.

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