For some business owners, the term “blog” has a number of unappealing connotations attached to it. For some, the first thing that may come to mind is a college student writing down their feelings after a hard day of classes. Sure, blogging in the past may have been a medium used to express feelings and general thoughts but the keyword phrase in that sentence is?in the past. Blogging is so much more than that. Today, let’s talk about the evolution of blogging and what that means for your business.iStock_000018660006XSmall

Blogging is Not a Journal. It is a Powerful Marketing Tool.

There are a number of reasons why your website will suffer without a corresponding blog. Let’s take a look at a few right now…

#1: Fall behind on search results.?Each and every blog article that you post is an SEO opportunity. It is an opportunity to optimize your site with the appropriate keywords, targeting both your brand and your niche. It is an opportunity to be SEEN. Without a blog, you are missing out on these benefits! Using the appropriate keywords will not only make your overall site SEARCHABLE, but RELEVANT. The more often you blog with the right keywords, the better chance your site will rank on search engines. Refreshing, quality content will keep your website on the map the search engine map, that is.

#2: Miss out on branding opportunities.?Think of your blog as a free way to advertise every week! Hey, if you are feeling really ambitious, you may even post a blog once a day. Whether you choose to blog once a week or once a day, you will STILL be building your brand. You will STILL be providing a personal touch to your website. You will STILL be giving your audience sense of your business’ culture, experience and vision. The best of all: Your website will still be updated with new, refreshing content. This means that’s your website will be relevant, and the search engines will reward you for it. Use your blog to brand your business as experts, all while continuing to please the search engines. Everybody wins!

#3: Give competitors a chance to build THEIR reputation.?Maybe you are not blogging, but guess what? Your main competitor may be. This bullet goes along with branding your business. Instead of letting your competitors build a better brand, take charge by getting ahead. You may want to write about company news, events, or even answer a few frequently asked questions from your customers. By providing high-quality, expert content, you will be drawing in your consumers all while proving that you are keeping up with the trends.

#4: Failure to engage. Businesses that do not have a blog are missing out on the opportunity to interact with customers and potential clients. A blog allows customers to see company updates, news, and even reviews. By having a comment section on your blog, you can establish a means of communicating with your customers. This will not only build relationships and reliability, but credibility.

Don’t Fall Of the Grid!

The world will keep on turning and technology will keep on evolving. If you are thinking about sitting back and letting these changes go by without taking action, you are making a big mistake. Keeping up with the trends and using these tools to your advantage will not only build your brand and reputation, they will have a positive effect on lead generation and your bottom line. Falling “off the grid” when it comes to technology is a sure way to remain stagnant on the search engines and in the world of business, in general! Here are just a few ways you can get ahead of the curve:

#1: Create unique, engaging, shareable content.You want to write a post that OTHERS want to see and read. Posts should be current, unique, and attention-grabbing. Whether you write a step-by-step guide or tie your business into a current event, your post should ALWAYS be relevant!

#2: Use keywords to optimize your blog post.You can use tools such asubersuggestor the Google Adwords keyword tool to find relevant keywords for your blog post. As a best practice, you should try your best to include the keyword in the title of your blog but do not force it! As long as you use it through the content, you should be okay.

#3: Add structure to your blog post. Readers want to read blogs that are easily scan-able. Use bullet points or headers to break up information. You should also add a relevant image or images when possible.

#4: Blast out your blogs.?Upload your post to your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts or bookmark it on social bookmarking sites (Reddit, StumbleUpon, Digg, etc.) This way, your blog post will gain more exposure in the long run!

So what are you waiting for? As marketing tools continue to evolve, it is critical that you do the same as a business owner. Blog to build your business, today!