7 Good Business Blogging Examples

Blogging has become one of the most valuable marketing tools that businesses have for improving SEO, building an email list, and connecting more directly with customers and leads. When done well, blogging can do a lot of good for your business.

But blogging isn’t easy to do well. It requires a lot of ongoing work to produce regular content, and making sure the content you publish is useful and entertaining to your audience is a constant challenge on top of that.

If your company struggles with business blogging and could use some inspiration, I’ve brought together a few good examples of businesses* that consistently produce solid blog content for their audiences.

1.    Care/of

business blogging example care/of

Care/of is a vitamin subscription service that customizes the vitamins they send to each customer based on their particular lifestyle and needs. The company’s blog includes articles that directly discuss the benefits of the supplements they sell, summarizing and referencing research studies that back up their claims. But they also publish posts less directly related to their products that address health-related topics that their target audience is likely to care about.

Some good posts that demonstrate this are:

  • Spice of Life: A Closer Look at the Benefits of All-Powerful Turmeric

    Turmeric is one of the supplements they sell, so this post is directly touting the benefits of a product, but the post manages not to feel overly promotional. It gets into the history of how turmeric has been used as both as a spice and a medicinal aid and references a number of research studies that have found evidence of its health benefits.

  • 5 Ways to De-Stress Over the Holidays

    During the holiday season, people get overwhelmed and stress becomes a big part of many people’s lives. This post covers a number of strategies that can help people reduce stress, including (but not limited to) taking some of the supplements the company provides. It’s another good example of a post that provides value first, but mentions their products where it’s relevant.

  • 7 Healthy Living Blogs You Need to Follow Now

    I call this a sharing-the-love post. It can feel unnatural to write a blog post that sends your readers to other blogs similar to yours, but people have room in their lives for more than one blog about a topic!

    By highlighting other blogs that cover health-related topics (most of them more about recipes or exercise rather than supplements, so not direct competitors to Care/of), this post provides something valuable to readers while also potentially starting positive relationships with influencers in the space.

2.    Media Bistro

business blogging example mediabistro Media Bistro helps play matchmaker for hiring managers in the media industry and the talented professionals they hire. Since the company has two equally important audiences, they produce two blogs: one for employers and one that offers career advice to media professionals.

The blog for employers is a good mix of posts that cover news relevant to hiring managers, answers to questions their readers are likely to have and general advice. Some recent examples worth checking out include:

  • Congress Weighs Massive Changes to 401(k) Contributions

    Employee benefits are something every hiring manager has on their minds, the benefits they offer and how competitive they are can make a big difference in the caliber of talent they attract. So when the government considers legislative changes that could affect the value of a common employee benefit like the 401(k), it’s something the Media Bistro audience needs to hear about. This post explains the proposed changes and what it would mean for the blog’s readers

  • Can You Hire or Fire Based on Political Beliefs?

    In the divisive atmosphere that’s followed the last presidential election, this is a question probably on the mind of more than a few hiring managers. This blog post provides both the technical answer (legally, yes, at least in most states), while also getting into the bigger question of whether or not you should factor politics into your personnel decisions.

    The career advice blog regularly publishes roundups of top jobs available in different cities – something that’s definitely valuable to readers looking for a job – along with posts that offer general career advice and answers to common questions. A few good examples to look at are:

  • 6 Ways to Track Down a Magazine Editor

    For many professional writers, figuring out the right person to pitch is a big part of the job. This post provides specific steps writers can take to discover the editors at publications they want to pitch. It’s a useful piece that solves a common problem readers have.

  • How to Land Higher Paying Assignments

    No matter the industry, any blog about careers should address the issue of money. It’s one of the biggest topics readers are thinking about. Media Bistro tackles the topic in this post, which provides specific advice on how to start making more money and backs it up with anecdotes from expert sources.

3.    Priceonomics

business blogging example priceonomics

Priceonomics has a business model based on data: tracking it effectively and putting it to good use. And they use their blog to effectively demonstrate the kind of good use their clients can put it to. Their blog posts all use data to answer common questions – or at least as often, questions you didn’t even know you had, but find yourself really interested in learning the answer to.

A lot of the content on their own blog serves as an example of collaborations with their clients. By showing the ways their customers use data to create great content, they make a case for their products, while also entertaining their readers.

Their posts are a mix of fun, useful, and just interesting information. Here are a few good examples:

  • Is There a Connection Between Bad Grammar and Bad Reviews?

    This post is a good example of a collaboration with a client, Datafiniti, a company that has a large database of products and their reviews. Once you hear the question, you probably think back to the large number of badly written negative reviews you’ve read – many of them with lots of unnecessary capital letters or confusing typos. It’s a good example of the kind of question you didn’t know you had until you heard it, and now you kind of want to know the answer, don’t you?

    The post not only answers this question (the answer is yes, if you’re wondering), but also includes a lot of interesting insights on the average length of reviews (apparently one-word reviews are quite common) and how length and spelling errors both correlate to whether a review is positive or negative. It’s a thorough and interesting analysis that does a good job of demonstrating the value Priceonomics provides to customers.

  • Ranking the Most (and Least) Nutritious Meals for Your Dollar

    This is a good example of a really useful post. If you’re someone who cares about your health (most of us) and also cares about spending your money well (also most of us), then this is the kind of information you need to make better decisions when choosing your meals. This is another collaboration with a customer – this time a company with software that helps people plan and track healthy eating.

    It tests the common supposition that healthy eating costs more (spoiler: it does). But it follows up that depressing finding with a list of healthy foods and recipes people can eat that pack a lot of nutrition for the cost. In short, it’s super useful.

4.    Grammarly

business blogging example grammarly

Grammarly sells subscription software that automatically checks customers’ writing against a number of rules and best practices to help them improve. Obviously, their audience is anyone that writes often – from students, to professional writers, to professionals who want to write better emails. Their blog posts therefore often delve into common problems and questions writers have, but they also sometimes explore fun history or weird information that curious learners (something most writers are likely to be) will find interesting.

Some good examples to check out include:

  • Want to Stop Procrastinating at Work and Get Stuff Done? Here’s How

    If I wasn’t currently hard at work on this blog post as I type, I might feel personally called out by this post. Like a lot of creative professionals and well, probably everybody else, writers often deal with procrastination. Staring at a blank Word document has a way of reminding writers about other things we could be doing.

    This post therefore addresses an issue that Grammarly’s target audience definitely cares about. It provides actionable advice that can really make a difference for a common problem.

  • Mexican Novels to Help You Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

    You know something all good writers like to do? Read! In fact, I’ve long considered reading one of the most essential tips for being a good writer. This post makes use of a timely reference (it went up on May 5) to provide Grammarly’s audience with information they’re likely to care about: recommendations for good books.

    This post technically doesn’t have anything to do with the company’s product, but that doesn’t matter. It keeps their target audience interested in the blog and more likely to come back for more.

5.    Threadless

threadless

Threadless mostly sells t-shirts, along with home décor, art, and accessories. People can buy t-shirts anywhere, so what makes Threadless really stand out is the hip and artsy personality they pack into their products. The blog continues that branding with posts that are fun, interesting, and highlight original art (including the art they put on their t-shirts and other products).

Here are a few posts that will give you a good taste of the fun personality they present:

  • No Context Needed: Overheard at Threadless

    This is a funny post that says a lot about the brand as it mixes design (each of the quotes are displayed with original illustrations) and humor. The quotes from employees around the office show the kind of light and goofy atmosphere that defines the company’s work culture and make it easy for readers to feel a connection to the brand.

  • The Cute Meets Creepy Creations of Comic Artist, Maria Ahokoivu

    This post features one of the artists whose work shows up on Threadless products. It humanizes the artist behind the work – she talks about favorite movies and pizza toppings, along with her work as an artist. And the post includes examples of her work, along with some links to specific Threadless products readers can buy. With artist interviews like this, they’ve found a human, personal way to sell.

  • 6 Tips for Making it as an Artist (And Making Money)

    Some of the people most likely to love and buy the products Threadless sells are other struggling artists trying to figure out how to get their own designs out in the world. This post provides advice for how to start profiting off your art and includes quotes from artists that have actually pulled it off. It’s valuable advice that speaks to a common struggle of the kind of people who follow and buy from Threadless.

  1. Intercom

intercom2

Intercom sells customer management software that helps businesses better organize and improve their relationship with customers and leads. As a result, they have three main audiences: marketers, sales reps, and customer support professionals. Their blog addresses topics relevant to each audience, as well as tackling issues important to anyone helping run an SaaS company. They often use their own experiences working at Intercom to provide useful advice to readers likely to face similar challenges.

Here are a couple of good examples of how they do that:

  • Motivate Your Star Performers with Meaningful Career Conversations

    For all three of the main audiences Intercom targets – sales, marketing, and customer support – one of the most important parts of success is finding and keeping good employees. This post provides specific steps that companies can take to make sure good employees want to stick around and uses examples of how Intercom does things to illustrate how the recommended process works and why it’s valuable.

  • Why Your Privacy Ecosystem is Crucial in the Age of GDPR

    This post addresses head on the biggest issue many tech companies are worried about right now: GDPR legislation. It provides useful advice on how to approach your own product and those it integrates with in order to better protect your customers’ privacy and stay on the right side of GDPR.

  1. HelpScout

good business blogging example helpscout

To promote their customer support software, the HelpScout blog provides a lot of information on providing great customer service, along with posts that more generally address how to run a business well. They regularly publish fairly long posts that include helpful tips coupled with examples that help illustrate the tips.

For an idea of what their posts often look like, here are a couple of good ones to read:

  • 22 Customer Retention Strategies that Work

    One of the many good reasons to provide great customer service is that it convinces happy customers to keep coming back – which is good for your bottom line. This post provides a lengthy list of good ways to keep customers happy once you’ve earned that first sale and backs up the recommended strategies with research and statistics.

  • Writing Support Emails: A Style Guide

    Style guides are a valuable tool for businesses that want to be consistent in the way they communicate across different channels, but they’re not commonly associated with support emails. This post provides a corrective to that. It gives specific and useful advice on how to structure emails to better provide your customers with what they need and accomplish your support goals. And it uses specific examples to illustrate the suggestions throughout.

Hopefully spending some time with good examples of business blog posts will give you the inspiration you need to get fired up writing for your own blog. Even though blogging requires a lot of work, it really can be worth it if you keep up with it and make sure you provide great blog posts that are helpful to your audience.

If you’re struggling with staying on top of all the writing that a blog requires, it’s ok to ask for help. Writing blog posts for businesses is a big part of what I do. I can take some of the load off for you. Just contact me to see if we might be a good fit.

 

*While I think all the blogs I write for are pretty great examples of good business blogging as well, I left them off the list here to avoid personal bias. Lucky for you, that means you can see even more examples of good business blogging over on my writing samples page. Enjoy.

 

Why Your Content is Facing an Uphill Battle

Content marketing is no longer optional for businesses – at least not if you care about being mountainvisible and reaching customers on the web. But a lot of people doing it are struggling to see the kind of results they want.

If you feel like you’ve been putting so much time, money, and energy into content marketing without seeing much response, it’s not just you. For anyone starting content marketing now, and even most of those who got started in the in past year or two, you’re facing a challenge on par with scaling a mountain.

Moz research found that the vast majority of content businesses are publishing never gets shared or linked to at all. In a lot of cases, that’s probably because the content’s not all that good to begin with. But that’s not necessarily the case across the board. In our era of content saturation, good content gets ignored too.

The odds really are stacked against the average joe business trying to get noticed on the web with content.

That’s because, right now, content marketing success primarily falls to two categories of businesses:

  • The early adopters

    These are the guys that started content marketing over five years ago, sometimes over ten. They were the first in their space (or close to it) and created some of the cornerstone, established content that people in their industry have been looking to for years.

    Other influencers in the industry (and Google) all see them as an authority already. They can keep doing what they’ve been doing and it will keep working for them, but if you try to do the same, you’re starting out much further behind.

  • The businesses with the most money to invest

    ViperChill recently published an eye-opening post on the companies that dominate search. They found that just 16 companies – behemoths like Hearst and Time – own the vast majority of websites that rank for a wide range of lucrative keywords. From software to food to health and pretty much everything else you can think of, these companies claim most of the top spots in Google.

Why It’s So Hard to Outrank These Guys

The initial thought that inspired this post came from working on a recent post on how writers choose what websites to link to, which gave me cause to really think about my own research process when working on a post.

When I go looking for examples, data, relevant extra info to back my points up – I go to Google. The stuff that’s already showing up on page one and two is the stuff I’m most likely to click on and read, and therefore the stuff I’m most likely to link to within a post of my own. Is it fair? No. But how much work would I have to do to find your awesome post – even if it’s better than the stuff on page one – if it’s sitting on page 13?

That creates a cycle. The content that’s already doing well in search is the stuff I’m most likely to find and link to, which keeps it high up in the search. And as the ViperChill article makes clear, since many companies are using their high-authority websites to link to their new websites, the new sites with the best chance of breaking that cycle are those that already have an unfair advantage.

What Can You About It?

It’s good to know what you’re up against to keep your expectations realistic, but that’s no reason to revel in doom and gloom. Plenty of adventurous people actually do manage to scale mountains – but only with the proper preparation and plan.

Content marketing is hard, much harder than it used to be. But that doesn’t mean your case is hopeless and it’s better not to try.

Commit, all the way.

First off, you can’t just throw up a blog, put together some haphazard content once a week, tweet here and there and think that’ll work for you. If you’re going to get anything out of content marketing you have to make a real commitment to doing it right.

That means:

  • Taking the time to understand your audience and develop a strategy based on what they care about and need.
  • Being consistent with your content production. Don’t overdo it in the beginning, get burned out, and let it dwindle to almost nothing. Figure out what you can do realistically and stick with that.
  • Don’t just produce content. That’s not all content marketing is. Do the work to get your content in front of people and stay connected with those people once they find you.

Promote.

Publishing relevant content was once enough for those early adopters, but if you don’t fall into that category, it’s not enough for you. You need to do the extra work of promoting your content to help get it in front of people.

At this point in the game, a lot of your best promotion options will mean spending some money or committing some serious time. That could mean buying social media ads, trying paid distribution platforms, or putting in the work (or hiring someone) to help you land some big guest posts that will get you attention.

You’ll have to do some testing to figure out what types of promotion work best for your content and audience. Whatever form it takes, promotion needs to be an important part of your content strategy.

Target and interact with influencers.

When you look at those early adopters, you shouldn’t just see the people that were lucky to get on the bandwagon early, you should see potential contacts that may be able to help you. Work to get on their radar.

Interact with them on social media. Comment on their blog. Go to conferences or networking events they may be at. Share their content.

One of the best ways to make the kinds of valuable connections online that lead to a larger reach and more links is to actually make connections with the people behind those websites and links. Don’t be creepy or demanding. But do let them know you’re paying attention to their work and appreciate it.

Over time, those interactions could lead to an actual relationship, a guest post on their blog that drives traffic to your website, or a tendency to share your stuff (now that they know it exists).

Expect to play the long game.

Even if you do everything right, it takes time to build up authority. Don’t expect any one thing you do to be the magic bullet that launches you to visibility online. You have to do a lot of different little things and keep doing them for a while.

Pay attention to what’s working as you go so you can tweak your strategy over time. And don’t get discouraged and drop everything when you don’t see results right away. You’ll just end up that much further behind when you decide in a year or five that actually you should have stuck with this content marketing thing after all. Better to stay on top of it now.

Don’t set all your store on Google.

Google matters in online visibility. Of course it does. But it shouldn’t be the end all be all of your marketing plans, if for no other reason than that, right now, it’s out of reach for a lot of businesses – at least if you’re interested in keywords that are at all competitive.

Focus on reaching people through whatever other channels you can find. As more people find and trust you through other places, over time you may find your authority in Google growing. But by then you won’t be dependent on Google anyway.

8 Ways to Lose a Link

Content marketing means creating content with a purpose. For every piece of how to lose linkscontent you create, you should have a specific goal (or usually, several) in mind that you want it to achieve.

If you care at all about SEO – and I’m not sure I’ve met a content marketer that doesn’t – then one important goal you should have for blog posts is earning links. While the factors Google uses to determine search rankings are complicated, backlinks (quality ones, in particular) are still arguably the most important factor.

And one of the biggest factors involved in earning links is appealing to writers. We’re the ones who do most of that linking.

Let me assure you that we’re not spending our days considering whether or not we’ll make or break brands in our decisions about what to link to in our articles. We’re just trying to write the best, most useful content for our clients and their readers.

We’re not thinking about you, but you can benefit from thinking about us and understanding what goes through our heads when we decide whether or not a piece of content we come across is worthy of that link.

Just like anyone, we have our standards and pet peeves – sins that will make us immediately click off a page and refuse to consider it a worthy authority for our readers. To help you avoid inadvertently losing out on a link, I surveyed a few colleagues to better understand what makes all of us tick and decide a link is not worthy of our love.

8 Sins to Avoid if You Care About Building Links

1.    A bad website design

If your website looks like it was built in 1999 and hasn’t had an update since, it won’t look authoritative to me (or any of your other visitors). I’m not the only one who feels this way, Content Strategist and Author Leah Levy told me “I wouldn’t link to a piece if the site looks spammy — that is, it has an outdated design.”

“Spammy” is about the last word you want people to use to describe your website or content. The quality of the content itself won’t matter much if it lives on a website that looks so cheap and old that no one can get past the design.

As Linda Dessau, the founder of Content Mastery Guide, put it “Since a link is an endorsement, I steer clear of sites that look outdated or unprofessional. I want to be associated with people and businesses that have a polished and professional image.”

2.    Sloppy writing

Part of our job is paying attention to things like spelling, word choice, and sentence structure. When we encounter something that’s sloppily written or riddled with typos, you can bet we notice.

Linking to something that clearly no one bothered to proofread would make me look bad. If you can’t be bothered to take the time to read over your blog posts (or hire someone to do so) to make sure they make sense and don’t include any embarrassing errors, then writers won’t bother to share or link to them.

And it’s not just about writers nitpicking, sloppy writing makes you look untrustworthy. Leah agrees, she told me, “I wouldn’t link to anything with clear spelling or grammatical errors (nor would I trust it).”

3.    Bad UX

A good website design isn’t just about making sure you don’t look stuck in the 90’s, you also want to make sure people find your site easy to navigate and pleasant to be on.

Unfortunately, many businesses are callously sacrificing good UX in attempts to get more email sign ups and clicks. Pretty much anyone you talk to will have their opinions on what makes for bad UX (although not everyone would know to call it that).

For me it includes pop ups that block out the text and blog posts split needlessly between several pages when they could all be on one (slideshow posts are notorious offenders). I’ll put up with a certain amount of that on sites that are established enough or if the content is really useful. Normally though, I click away and find something else.

Freelance writer Susan Johnston Taylor has her own list of UX dislikes: ““If a site is littered with Google ads, broken links or typos, it doesn’t seem very credible.

As does writer and editor Christine Moline of Jane Doe Ink, who told me, “I wouldn’t link to a poorly organized post or any pages cluttered with ads.”

Linda added a couple more issues to the list: “I screen for overly aggressive or annoying pop-ups, sites that are slow to load or aren’t mobile-friendly.”

All told, different descriptions of bad user experience accounted for the most common answer I received from writers.

Just to reiterate, the final list of UX issues that will make writers click away comes to:

  • Annoying pop ups
  • Articles split into too many pages
  • Lots of ads
  • Broken links
  • Slow loading times
  • Sites that aren’t mobile friendly

If you’re prioritizing getting email sign ups or ad money over the experience visitors will have on your website, know that may be costing you links.

4.    Overly promotional content

When you’re paying for content (or investing a lot of time in it), it’s hard to set aside the idea of promoting yourself. I get it. You want a direct payoff for what you put into it.

When you make your content all about you though, it makes it come off as less trustworthy.

I head from multiple writers that overly promotional content was a no-no in their linking choices, but writer and content maven Phaedra Hise had the most to say on the subject: “I don’t link to anything that’s too promotional. I’m really picky about that – if it’s too promotional I might even link to it as an example of what NOT to do, but usually I don’t even like to give that kind of publicity.”

I mean, links are nice, but you don’t want to get one by becoming a writer’s example of what not to do.

5.    A statistic without a link or citation

None of the other writers mentioned it, but this is one of my personal rules. If your article mentions a statistic without telling me where it’s from, you will immediately lose my trust.

The thing is, many of us think we know statistics we don’t. I’ve come across the same statistic casually mentioned in article after article that I’ve never been able to track down to a source.

Sometimes the source is a research report that costs hundreds of dollars, so I understand if not every statistic can be easily linked to. But make sure you let me know which report that costs hundreds of dollars it’s from so I’m willing to at least take your word that it’s real.

I can only speak for myself on this one, but if you ever want a link from me, make sure you cite your sources.

6.    Outdated information

A lot of industries move fast. If your blog post from three years ago says something that’s no longer true, then it’s losing value in the link economy.

Says Susan, “If a post is several years old or clearly references outdated information, I’d try to find a more recent post to make sure I’m linking to something that’s still current.”

That doesn’t mean your old posts are useless, just that you should make a project out of updating them now and then. In particular, any posts you have that are popular and bringing in traffic now should be revisited so you can see if there’s a good opportunity to update any of them for accuracy.

7.    Lack of authenticity

This relates somewhat back to overly promotional content, if you come off like you’re trying too hard or acting like something you’re not, people will notice.

Barry Feldman, founder of Feldman Creative put it at the top of his list of things he won’t link to: “Posts lacking personality. I think you can offer a lot of knowledge, but I’d rather not align my brand with yours if it’s boring. And that represents 90% of content marketers, sorry to say.“

The good news is that if 90% of marketers are doing it wrong, then bringing some real personality to your writing is a good way to differentiate yourself.

On a related note, Carol Tice, author of the recent ebook Small Blog Big Income and the blog Make a Living Writing , cited one of her biggest dealbreakers as when “the blog author is pretending to be an authority when they really just started doing the thing they write about.”

There’s a definite value to positioning yourself as a thought leader or expert – but only if you have the knowledge and experience to back it up.

8.    Moral reputation

Carol had another big sin that she mentioned: “I won’t link to posts on the Huffington Post due to its policy of not paying writers, since I am an advocate for fair writer pay.”

She’s the only one of the writers I talked to that mentioned this particular point, but I suspect we’ve all shied away from visiting or linking to a website if we know the brand represents something we disagree with.

Be careful what you stand for and how you treat your employees and contractors. If you gain a reputation for being about something that many writers don’t agree with, they’ll be quick to find another resource to go with instead.

Conclusion

To summarize, the eight deadly sins that will lose you links are:

  • An outdated website
  • Sloppy writing and typos
  • A bad user experience
  • Being overly promotional
  • Not citing your sources
  • Letting your content become outdated
  • Not being authentic
  • A bad brand reputation

Avoiding these things obviously doesn’t guarantee you links. We’re still going to seek out the resources that are most valuable to our readers and relevant to the subject we’re talking about. That may be your links; it may be those of another business or publication. But if you’re guilty of one of these eight sins, then even if your content is useful, there’s a good chance we’ll look for another resource to use instead.

If you want to appeal to the people doing the writing, then take heed. Producing valuable content is one part of the puzzle, avoiding the errors on this list is another.

The Benefits of Content Marketing

Now that you know what content marketing is and why it’s good for your small business, let’s talk about some of the specific benefits a business can achieve with good content marketing.

Part 3 in our Introduction to Content Marketing for Small Businesses video series covers what you can expect to get out of content marketing.

Give it a look, and let me know what you think!

If you prefer to read it rather than watch it, here’s the transcript:

Hi! I’m Kristen Hicks and welcome to part 3 of the Austin Copywriter video series on content marketing for small businesses.

Our focus in this video is some of the specific benefits content marketing can offer to your business.

We’ve talked more generally about why it’s useful and what it is, so here’s what you can expect to get out of content marketing.

Benefit #1: A stronger reputation.

So much of small business success comes back around to reputation. Who’s heard of you and what did they hear?

Current and past customers who have had a great experience with you are a really good way to build this reputation, but limited. They don’t know everybody, and you want to attract and impress customers included in that circle beyond their reach.

Imagine a woman in crisis. She’s having a terrible day because she has a problem she can’t solve on her own.

Naturally, she turns to Google. She finds a blog post on your website telling her exactly what she needs to know to solve her problem.

Success! You’ve just made a positive impression on someone who has never heard of you before.

The problem and solution vary depending on what you have to offer, and how you help your customers, but the idea is consistent. Helping people will improve your reputation.

Benefit #2: A convincing demonstration of your expertise.

That same woman we just talked about. Not only does she think fondly of your company now because you helped her solve a problem, that blog post also showed her you know your stuff on: accounting/furniture building/gardening/whatever your business does.

If you’re worried that giving your expertise away for free could lose you business, chances are, it won’t.

Most people are happy to hand over the chores they don’t excel at to someone who does (for a reasonable price).

Benefit #3: Greater visibility.

You need people to know you exist, plain and simple. No one will ever think to buy your product or services without first knowing you exist.

Content marketing helps spread the good word of your business throughout the web. And, once people start liking you enough to talk about you with friends, beyond.

You give people something worth talking about and sharing, and they will. Your reach will extend based on how large of an audience you gain, and how much they like what you have to say.

While not a comprehensive list, that hits some of the most important benefits of content marketing for your small business.

Check back soon for the 4th and final entry in our Beginner Content Marketing for Small Business video series where we get into some of the best tips to make sure you do content marketing right.

Link Building is Dead, Practice Link Encouragement

Within the most of marketing industry, to say that link building is dead isn’t terribly controversial. Nonetheless, many businesses haven’t yet left behind the idea and come to marketing firms and consultants convinced it’s what they want for their business.

The shift in the direction that SEO and online marketing have taken in the past couple of years due to recent Google updates is good for consumers, but bad for businesses looking for an easy fix to outrank the competition.

If you care about competing online, you can’t hire someone to do a little SEO work for you as a one-off project and expect results. Instead, you’ll have to drop the idea of an easy fix, and think bigger.

Content Marketing=Link Encouragement

It’s certainly still true that gaining links back to your site is mostly a good thing, but the quality and relevance of the sites giving you those links matters more than the quantity. The only way to get a link from a site with any authority is for them to want to give it you.

They have to believe that what you’re offering provides value for their visitors, and feel comfortable associating their site and brand with yours. Without that, you won’t get anywhere.

For this reason, the best approach is not to set out to “build” links, you need to encourage them by providing something that relevant sites will value. As you’ve probably surmised by this point, that means content.

The Good News

Content marketing is not an easy, quick fix. It’s a long-term process. But, it comes with many benefits besides link encouragement.

Content gives you the opportunity to earn trust from your audience and demonstrate that you know your business. A consumer trying to choose between a business that talks about how good it is, and one that shows how good it is by giving a taste of the knowledge and expertise it’s able to impart has an easy choice.

With some time, effort and strategy put into it, your business can build up a community around its content that doesn’t just attract customers, but creates advocates. A customer that feels she has a relationship with your business will make sure that people in her life know who to turn to when they need your services. A loyal customer that feels a bond to your brand is a better marketing tool than anything a marketing firm can do for you.