Why blog? Good question.

Why should you—or more precisely, your business—start a blog?

Blogging takes energy, time, resources, and (of course) money. Even if you’re a one-person outfit, you’re still making the choice to spend yourself on this not that. And in the case of blogging, “this” is usually content that isn’t generating immediate income.

As a result, the question “why blog” is normally surrounded by a host of skeptical objections:

“Isn’t blogging sort of touchy-feely and hard to pin down?”

“What lasting value is there in blogging?”

“Does my industry really have a blogging audience?”

“Sure it’s a great way to share insights and get connected, but does blogging have any real financial benefits?”

And of course, “Does the Internet really need another blog?”

Last week, we posted Content is Still King Now we look at the most basic question possible: “Why?”

Having a clear and compelling answer to the “why” question in your own head is essential, especially when you’re facing down the barrel of an empty post... or a month’s worth of empty posts. The real value, however, lies in using that clear and compelling answer to fend off the skepticisms and objections that inevitably surface. Whether the desire to start a blog is top-down or not, generating quality content is always a team effort and so generating team-wide buy-in is invaluable.

Having a clear and compelling answer to the “why” question in your own head is essential, especially when you’re facing down the barrel of an empty post.

And, in the end, nothing generates buy-in like the bottom line.

So, with those doubts in mind, why blog?

1. More inbound links

According to Hubspot, Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links than companies that don’t.

More inbound links means two things. First it means more direct traffic via the links themselves. That’s nice, but it’s considerably less nice (i.e., less valuable) than the second reason.

Second, links are the primary gauge search engines use to evaluate the authority of both pages and domains. This is one of the few unchanging rules of SEO. More inbound links mean more “link juice,” which means more search “authority,” which ultimately means a higher position on search engine results pages (SERPs).

The difference between being on the first page of Google and the second page of Google is the difference between page-life and page-death.

And the difference between being on the first page of Google and the second page of Google is the difference between page-life and page-death.

2. More Leads

In their 2011 Lead Generation Lessons, Hubspot found that Businesses with websites of 401-1000 pages get 6x more leads than those with 51-100 pages.

Size matters. And it matters for at least three reasons.

First, more content means more authority which in turn means better search engine ranking. Check out this article from Swellpath for a more detailed explanation of why.

Second, more content means more detailed audience segmentation. For example, if your company develops both traditional websites as well as mobile applications, having a service page for each offering is infinitely better than just having one service page that clumps the two together. Better again is having 10 pages that each address a specific audience on the specific benefits that going mobile offers their specific industry. The easiest way to do this (without crippling your site’s navigation) is through a blog.

Third, more content means more clout. In other words, size matters because size matters. Why is bigger better? Because it’s bigger.

3. If you write it, they will come

Percentage of businesses that have acquired a customer from their blogs by frequency of posting (HubSpot):

  • Monthly - 38%
  • Weekly - 58%
  • 2-3 Times a Week - 69%
  • Daily - 90%
  • Multiple Times a Day - 100%

In addition, the number of both “unique visitors per month” and total “inbound links” increase an amazing 100% when blog frequency goes from less than once a day to more than once a day (Kissmetrics).

Size isn’t the only thing that matters. So does frequency. And (in the world of Internet marketing) finding a channel that literally pays off 100% of the time is rare indeed.

While you may not have the resources to blog multiple times a day, developing a disciplined plan for posting at least weekly is still a vast statistical improvement over the average AdWords campaign that yields a 2% click-through-rate... conversion not guaranteed.

81% of marketers rated their blog as useful or better (Hubspot).

Developing a disciplined plan for posting at least weekly makes a vast statistical improvement.

Companies that blog have far better marketing results. Specifically, the average company that blogs has (Hubspot).

  • 55% more visitors
  • 97% more inbound links
  • 434% more indexed pages

From a marketing perspective, blogging is one of the best, if not the best, advertising investments a business can make. Blogging not only makes your site more visible, it also makes your brand more likeable.

By offering your customers and potential customers free content that genuinely helps creates what Robert Cialdini identifies as the first “weapon of influence”: reciprocity.

4. One More Reason

At the end of last year, when MarketingSherpa named Webbiquity the Best B2B Marketing Blog of 2012, Tom Pick was asked, “What’s the best marketing advice you’ve ever given on your blog and what was the result?”

Tom’s answer?

“Start (and maintain) a blog! Despite all of the benefits of blogging, some larger companies still resist out of concern over bureaucracy (e.g., 'legal has to approve everything'), and smaller companies often balk due to resource concerns ('we won’t be able to generate enough content to keep it going')."

The results, when implemented, are virtually always positive.

The results, when implemented, are virtually always positive. One client that recently launched a blog saw a 5% increase in overall Web traffic and an 8% increase in leads within the first three months. And, digging into their analytics, more than two-thirds of blog visitors were new to the company, as they were coming from sources like LinkedIn and Facebook that had never driven much website traffic.

One of the most compelling benefits of a blog is that, unlike tactics like advertising or trade shows, a well-written and consistently maintained blog is a long-lived and appreciating asset. Another client that started blogging early still draws 4-5% of their total website traffic from a few popular posts that were written back in 2008.”

The point in all this is pretty obvious by now: blogging is anything but ethereal, anything but touchy-feely, anything but impractical.