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Why your B2B should blog (but first, let’s debunk 6 myths)

Computer keyboard   As a B2B company, you’ve probably heard it a thousand times: You should blog. That’s great! Now blog away. You’re still here; why aren’t you blogging yet? What? WHY should you blog? Well, I’m glad you asked. In fact, that’s the second question you should ask yourself. The first question is, what am I hoping to accomplish? What are my goals? Blogging because someone says you should is not a reason to blog. Building brand awareness is a reason; becoming a thought leader is a reason; ultimately selling more products is a reason. Once you’ve gone through that exercise you can ask the second question: Why blog? According to Social Media B2B, B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those that don’t. That’s why you should blog. Here’s how it works: Every blog post is a new page with its own URL. That means you have more pages – and more and (if you’re not trying to game the system) better SEO; The more and better SEO you have, the higher you rank in search engine results pages; The higher you rank in search engine results pages, the easier it is for people to find you on the great, big Internet; The easier it is for people to find you on the great, big Internet, the more opportunities you have to engage them with quality content. The more you engage people with quality content, the more they will trust you and the more likely it is that they will consider doing business with you; I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: “That’s awesome, Tami. I’m going to start a blog!” Slow down there, Bucky. There are a few myths we need to bust before you get started: Myth #1: If you build it they will come. You aren’t Kevin Costner and this isn’t Field of Dreams. So if you think you can slap up a website Field of Dreams posterand expect to start reaping rewards right away, think again. And don’t get discouraged if you don’t get a following right away. It takes time and patience. And more time. Did I mention patience? Myth #2: A blog doesn’t cost anything. You know what they say: There’s no such thing as a free lunch. And do you know why they say that? Because there’s no such thing as a free lunch! Blogging isn’t free and it ain’t cheap – not if you’re doing it right. So, if you’re going to outsource your blog, don’t cheap out, because you know what else they say? You get what you pay for. Even if you do the writing and posting yourself, it’s not free. You need to regularly and consistently post blogs for the best results. That takes time, and your time is worth money. It’s what they call “opportunity cost” in economics. While you were blogging, you weren’t working on your core business – you know, that thing you get paid to do when you’re not blogging. Myth #3: What you blog about doesn’t matter, just as long as you post something. It’s a noisy blogosphere out there and if your website has nothing to read but crap, no one’s going to bother to read it at all. Your website becomes, as Bruce Springsteen says, “57 channels and nothing on.” And look what happened in that song: He lost his wife and got arrested for disturbing the peace. That should be a lesson for everyone: Crap content will ruin your life. Myth #4: Size doesn’t matter If I had a nickel for every time I heard that old saw … well, needless to say, size does matter. It’s just figuring out what size that is, exactly. According to Medium, the sweet spot for post length is about 7 minutes – or about 1,000 words with graphics and/or pictures. Of course, your particular audience may prefer longer posts – or they may prefer shorter posts. Like Goldilocks, you’ve got to try all of the porridges and find which one is just right. Myth #5: It’s all about me, me, me No, no, no. When you go to a party, do you spend the whole time talking about yourself? If so, you probably don’t get invited to many parties. Blogging involves a lot of giving and a little taking. What you give is what I like to think of as the 3 Es: Engaging, entertaining or educational content, content that has some value for your reader. I think it’s safe to follow the 80/20 rule of social media: 80% of your blogs should be geared toward the 3 Es and 20% of your blog should be about you or your product. Bottom line: Nobody cares about you. Get over it. Myth #6: Spelling and grammar don’t matter Au contraire mon ami. While you don’t have to be a professional writer to blog, you do have to Look rihgthave a command of the English language (unless your blog is in Swahili, in which case you need to have a command of the Swahili language. Play along with me here). Sure, lots of people can’t spell, but there are lots of people who can – and they will notice if you can’t. Misspellings, typos and bad grammar take attention away from your message and hurt your company’s credibility. Unlike those extra 20 pounds you’ve put on, credibility is easy to lose and hard to get back. So, if necessary, find someone who has a handle on spelling and grammar and have them read your copy before you post. So there you have it. Now go out and blog! What? What should you blog about? Sorry, I’m getting close to that 1,000-word sweet spot, so that will have to be a conversation for another day. For now, just keep calm and … well, you know the rest.
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