Surprising as it may be, there are still lots of home business owners that ask and wonder whether investing their time and effort on blogging is really worth it. After all, with many online stores that allow stay at home mums to start an online business for free, it may seem to appear at first that the need to create a small business blog isn’t at all that important.
If you take a closer look at stay at home mums who have been successful in starting a business from home, you will notice that they all have one thing in common. In addition to using free online stores like Etsy.com, they all created and manage their own small business blogs. There is obviously a connection between building a successful home based business and blogging.
If you have your own home based business and have been contemplating whether or not you should start blogging, this article will give you 10 reasons why blogging works in growing your home based business.
- Your own your small business blog.
While it’s true that there lots of online stores—and even some social media sites like Facebook — allow you to start an online business, the biggest problem with just focusing on these sites is that you don’t own them. What does that mean for a home business owner like you? It’s very simple. In addition to you having to pay these sites a percentage of your earnings for using their site for your home business, these sites change their terms and policies very often and sometimes without warning. If your home business suddenly doesn’t meet these new terms and policies, the shop you’ve set up in these online stores can be taken down by the site administrators.
On the other hand, when you create a blog, this completely belongs to you. Here, it’s your terms and your rules so you don’t have to worry about your online business suddenly taken down by someone else.
- Small business blogs complements any kind of home based business.
Because you own your blog, you can easily set it up in a way that it complements whatever home based business you want to start. Not all stay at home mums, after all, would want to start a home business that involves selling a product. Others may prefer starting a business from home where they can use skills that they’ve learned and developed in a previous office-based career. For example, providing Virtual Assistant services such as task management, invoicing, accounts etc.
- It makes it easier to convert potential customers and clients.
When you start a business from home using a third-party online store, you are very limited on what you can write to describe the product or service you’re offering.
That is not the case with small business blogs. Here, you can really give as much detail and information about the products or services you’re offering to your potential customers and clients. Since many of them would want to first learn as much as they could about a certain product or service before they actually go ahead and make a purchase, blogging can give them exactly what they are looking for which, in turn, will help them make the decision to avail the product or service from you instead from someone else. You have the ability to give personal examples of where you may have used this product or service yourself e.g. are you selling a skin cream that you used on your baby’s eczema?
- Create your own email list.
An email list is one of the most important assets any home business owner should have. Building an email list helps grow your home based business in two ways.
First, it gives you the opportunity to get directly in front of your target audience in case they weren’t yet sure about whether or not they should make a purchase. That way, they are can be reminded about you and your home business so when the time comes and they want to make a purchase, you’re the first one that comes into their mind.
Second, it allows you to stay in touch with those that have already either bought your product or availed of your services. One of the secrets of many successful home based business owners is that they are able to get their customers and clients to keep on coming back to them and even refer them to their friends and family. When they are part of your email list, they will be easily kept up-to-date if you run a promo or have something new to offer them.
- Increase search engine traffic.
Another huge benefit with blogging is that as you create more valuable content with the right keywords, the more your small business blog will be indexed in different search engines. That, in turn, makes your home business more visible to your target audience who may not have heard about you but are looking for what your home business has to offer.
- Small business blogs effectively support your social media accounts.
Social media sites are, by far, the best places to promote your home business especially if you’re starting a business from home on a very tight budget. Social media site users are always on the lookout for really valuable content and information. When they see something that they find content that’s extremely helpful and useful, they would be more than happy to share this to those in their network, providing you free advertising. You can also set up scheduled posts linking back to your own blog, which gives you credibility as well as a regular source of content.
- Less chances for noise and competition.
When your target audience visits your shop in a third-party online store, the site will always default to showing other home business owners that may be either offering the exact same product or service like yours, or something very similar. That means that there is always that possibility that they may decide to leave your store for someone else. This is something that you can control when you create a blog. The moment your target audience visits your blogs, the only thing that they would see is your products and services. No one else’s.
- Establishes you as an authority in your industry.
This is especially important if you’re thinking of starting a business from home that offers some type of service, like a coaching or consultancy business. With blogging, you’re able to give your potential clients a taste of the information and expertise that you can provide them by being able to provide them with content that answers any pressing question that they may have. This allows you to develop trust and loyalty with your target audience, making them more likely to not only avail of your services but recommend you to others as well.
- Gather up new ideas to grow your home business.
Small business blogs not only allow you to share your knowledge, products and services to your target market. The comments section found at the bottom of every blog posts gives your readers the chance to also share their own opinions and thoughts. Aside from being able to develop a relationship with your target readers, the comments that they leave behind can give you fresh ideas for additional products or services that you can offer which would be appealing to them.
- Small business blogs are far cheaper than third-party stores.
Now, you may be probably be thinking, how can that be if I need to buy my own domain and blog hosting service to start blogging when third-party online stores allow me to set up shop for free?
The thing that most stay at home mums that want to start an online business don’t realize is that many of these third-party online stores have a lot of fees that they charge once you start getting order and your home business is starting to prosper.
For example, in order for your shop to be moved up to the top of the list of recommended shops when a potential customer does a search, they would require you to pay a certain fee for them to do that for a short period of time (anywhere between a few days to a couple of months). On top of that, every time that a customer would buy a product from your shop, the site automatically deducts a percentage (which can go as high as 20% of your sale) before they release your earnings. These deductions are payments for, guess what, using their site and their services for your home business.
So let’s say that you get 5 orders for a product worth £20, and the site deducts 10% from every sale you make, that’s £10 that was deducted from you just for that day. Now, say that this is what happens to your business for the next 30 days. In a month, you have just paid the third-party site a total of £300 worth of fees and charges!
Now, compare that to having creating a blog. The same amount that you’ve paid in a month could easily allow you to create a blog of your own with all the premium features to really get things off the ground. The difference is that amount is paid every year. So essentially, you’re just paying about £25 per month. See the difference?
Tips for Creating a Small Business Blog
If by now, you’ve finally seen how blogging really works for home based business owners like yourself and want to create a blog of your own, here are some tips to remember:
- Don’t use free blog sites. Using free blog sites to create a blog for your business isn’t any different from setting up a store in an online store. Also, using a free site for your blog hosting won’t fetch you the same level of credibility from your target market compared to when you have when use a paid blog hosting service.
- Create a free opt-in to attract potential customers and clients. One of the biggest mistakes home business owners make when they create a blog is that they don’t give some type of a giveaway to get their target audience to subscribe to their email list. Think of something that you’re willing to give to your target audience in return for them to sign up to your email list so that you have a way of constantly being in front of them.
- Take time to carefully design your blog. First impressions always lasts, and with people’s atttention span extremely short when they go online, it’s very important to catch their attention immediately. If you don’t have the skill to design your blog, there are a lot of sites out there where you can have your blog’s header and other stuff design for a very small fee.
- Focus on quality and valuable information. As explained earlier, majority of your potential customers and clients want first learn what you have to offer and whether investing in your product or service will be worth their time and money. Making sure that your content provides them with valuable information can make sure that you do just that.
- Look at the long-term. Don’t expect that your home business will dramatically change overnight just because you create a blog. As with anything else, this will take time. But the payoff in the long-term is going to be worth it.