By Ken Bradford
An article by Kathryn Aragon, written for The Daily Egg, puts blogging for web design and development in the right perspective:
To build your credibility as an expert designer, you need to create content that showcases your knowledge. I recommend starting your own blog and, whenever possible, writing guest posts for respected blogs in your industry.
There’s just no better way for you to connect with and create a rapport with your audience than by creating an effective business blog. If you aren’t blogging, there’s no better time to start. If you need a little inspiration, here are 14 ways blogging for your web-design business will help it grow.
1. Blogging provides an open line of communication.
Many businesses use their business blog to test new marketing ideas or to gather opinions about their products or services. Starbucks is a very good example. The My Starbucks Idea blog gathers customer’s opinions about the drinks or service. They actually use the comments and opinions from this blog to develop new marketing ideas for their stores.
Your blog provides a means of engaging and listening to your current and potential customers. It shows that you care about their ideas and opinions.
2. Your blog allows business differentiation.
There are thousands of web-design companies and they all do the same thing — build websites! Your web-design blog allows you to explain how your design business differs from all the rest. If you get these blog articles right, they will help you stand above the crowd in terms.
3. A blog gives you a place to tell your story.
You can tell your brand story. A blog is a great place to offer more insight into your company, philosophy, employees, and ideas. Tell your customers why you’re in business and how you can help them. Your blog gives you the opportunity to show the human side of your business.
4. Blog writing provides fresh content for your business website.
Do you find it difficult to constantly update the content on your website? Most businesses would probably agree that their web content is just a little on the stale side. The problem is that search engines don’t like stale content.
With a web-design blog, you will be adding fresh quality content to your website on a regular basis. It’s always fresh and up-to-date. This adds strength to your online presence and increases your website’s visibility.
5. Blogging can act as a search engine magnet for your website.
Major search engines, like Google or Bing, want to promote web content that is relevant, current, and of high quality. By posting quality, properly optimized blog content on a consistent basis, the search engines will find the type of web content they love to rank highly in the search.
There’s a very interesting article on HubSpot, “9 Ways to Increase Visibility for Your Best Blog Content.” It explains what happens to an old blog post once a new one comes along.
The more often your website gets crawled by the search engines, the more likely your website will come up in a better position in the search.
6. You can plan your blog content around your goals.
You should not start your blog without a well-defined goal. If your goal is to attract more clients, then you must tailor your blog content toward that goal without it being all about selling.
Let’s say you build WordPress websites. The best way to attract new customers is to write as much quality content about WordPress and how this blogging platform works.
7. Blogging allows you to focus on a niche.
Many web designers specialize in a particular niche and view design and development from the client’s point of view. Will potential customers consider a design company that works for an unlimited range of clients, or would they prefer a company who has expert insight into the problems unique to a particular business or group of businesses?
8. Maintaining a blog will help establish expertise and professionalism.
Your quality blog content must deliver some type of unique value to your audience. By providing expert information in your blog posts, over time, you will become the expert resource for helpful, informative blog content. The personal nature of blogging helps develop your online business personality. The style of your blog gives potential customers a feel for you and your company.
9. Blogging increases portfolio visibility.
Maintaining a blog can help you stand out among the thousands of competitors. Usually, web designers showcase a design portfolio on their website. What do you think would happen if you add a professional, well-written blog to that portfolio? By presenting your unique perspective and establishing your expertise, your portfolio will gain visibility and search results will improve.
10. An informative blog allows you to educate without selling.
Most of your blog visitors will come looking for a solution to a particular problem or an answer to a particular question. By offering educational material that solves common problems and helps your audience improve their lives, you will build trust and attract potential clients faster.
11. Blogging is a low-cost channel for content marketing.
A blog can easily be built into your existing website. Since you are already paying for the domain registration and web hosting for your website, adding a blog can actually cost nothing. A blog is simple to set up and maintain, and requires very little technical knowledge.
12. Your design blog will provide valuable content for social media.
A well designed business blog is an excellent social media marketing tool. After you have invested the time in creating a new post, you can easily promote it and gain attention by sharing it in social media networks. You engage potential design customers by providing them with useful information. You also make it easy for them to share your blog content which increases word-of-mouth advertising for your business.
13. Blogging forces you to stay current on the latest web-design trends.
Oftentimes writing an informative blog article is as much of a learning experience for the writer as it is for the reader. Even writing on topics you know about usually requires some research to make sure your information is current. Your concern for writing accurate blog content and your quest to put up new content on a consistent basis will force you to learn things the right way, instead of taking shortcuts.
The more you blog about products or services and industry trends, the more knowledgeable you seem and the better chance you have of building lasting business relationships.
14. Blogging helps beef up your writing skills.
Online marketing today is all about content. The following is a quote from an article, “What Bill Gates Predicted in 1996 Still Rings True for Content Marketers Today” on Entrepreneur:
Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.
There’s no doubt, your customers will judge you based on the way you communicate. In today’s digital world, the art of written communication is one of the most valuable skills you can obtain. The only way to write better website or blog content is to write often. The better your writing skills, the faster your climb to success.
If you continually produce high quality blog content, people will begin to notice. As your brand becomes known, you’ll find that new web-design projects come your way with very little or no marketing. New customers will come simply because they trust you and like what you have to say.