You've already heard by now that you should probably have a blog on your business's website.
Not only does it bring you visitors and sales prospects who might otherwise never find your site, it also fosters goodwill amongst brand loyalists.
It gives your readers some idea of the human face behind the brand (whilst also providing them with a wealth of valuable information).
Today, I'd like to propose a concept that some of you might find a little strange at first glance: I firmly and strongly believe that every content creator worth their salt should maintain a personal blog, at least for a short time.
Basically, you should write a blog simply for the sake of doing so, not because you want to generate traffic for a digital storefront or goodwill for a brand. Write on whatever interests you - your likes and dislikes, your hobbies, your friends and family, your personal experiences; you get the idea. Doing so could well be the best decision you ever make, from the perspective of content creation.
"My first entry into blogging around four years ago was on a free blogspot blog," writes Darren Rowse of Problogger. "It was largely as personal site in which I reflected upon many aspects of life including spirituality, movies, politics, my church, work, and miscellaneous ramblings from my hobbies."
"While some entrepreneurial bloggers seem to look down a little on 'personal blogs' as being second rate,"continues Rowse, "I think it was my years of using blogs in this personal way that actually made me a better blogger."
Now, a lot of you are probably wondering exactly how and why this is the case. Why would telling the world about your cat make you a better content marketer? What does explaining your views on Catholicism have to do with your job?
More than you'd think.
First off, if you're new to the blogging scene, it'll familiarize you with all the tools you've got at your disposal - that way, when it comes time to write professionally, you'll already know how to use the necessary blogging platforms. Plus, it'll give you an idea of what the culture's like amongst content creators - and maybe even help you find a few friends or mentors in the process.
It's also great practice for honing your skills as a writer. I've a weekly publication on Tumblr where I write about Tabletop Gaming in all its forms. Although it doesn't really have a great deal to do with my regular topics, since starting it I've a better grasp of what makes content popular, how to appeal to a readership, and how to generate new ideas. In short, I'm better at my job because I blog casually as well as professionally.
On top of that, if you're a particularly high-profile personality in the content marketing scene (I'm not), it can help your readers feel a closer connection with you as a person. Somehow, it's a lot easier to trust someone when you know they've got a thing for cats and they're scared of spiders - again, it's a matter of attaching a more human face to your brand.
Everyone knows why your business should have a blog - but not many people really consider the value of having a journal you write on the side, too. By maintaining your own private corner of the web, you not only hone your skills as a content creator, but also give yourself a taste of blogging culture and give your readership a taste of you as a person. All in all, some pretty awesome benefits, no?
Image credit: Antonio Litterio