Just like a complete toolkit needs more than just a hammer alone, a successful blog uses a variety of “tools,” each with their own purpose. These purposes make up the reason you’re choosing the topic, time, and place to write that particular post. They help with planning, and give your blog a path to support your business goals.
A purpose is one of the elements of a successful blog and now we’re going to go deeper, to share an idea of the many purposes a blog can fill and give you ways you can leverage your blog to meet your business’s needs and goals.
What is the purpose of a blog?
Before we get into more specific blog purposes that individual posts have, let’s quickly review what every blog post should do:
- Establish your expertise so your readers see you as a source of knowledge in your field. A great blog post doesn’t need to teach readers how to do what you do, but it should show off what you know and sell why you’d be a great partner to work with.
- Generate a catalog of content that can be shared via email, social media, or any other digital alleyway you use to share your knowledge with others. The name of the game now is about generating content that additional marketing channels can be built around to drive traffic back to your website.
- Build trust by helping people hear your brand voice and show how capably and competently you address questions that your prospects and clients have. This builds trust that turns into loyalty.
[Related: If your blog has purpose but you need support to write regular content, consider hiring a professional marketing writer to help.]
Specific purposes of an individual blog post
There are many different types of posts you might write, so here are some of the more specific purposes you might keep in mind as you shape your editorial calendar. Giving it deeper purpose helps ensure your blog generates strong ROI for the time and energy you put into it.
1. Answer basic questions your prospects and customers have—this saves you time from having to respond to numerous inquiries for frequently asked questions. Instead of having to answer the same questions constantly, you can direct people to a blog post that summarizes all the info someone might need to know. If you’re unsure about what this looks like, here are a few examples of posts we regularly send out to help prospects and clients gain a deeper understanding of the services we offer, and why we recommend them.
- Which social media platform is best for your business?
- What can you expect to receive for your investment in a Strategic Marketing Plan?
- Small business email marketing: three reasons to get on board.
- How long does it take to see marketing results?
2. Showcase the benefits of your product or services—this doesn’t have to be (and shouldn’t be) a hard sell, but through your blog post you can identify with your clients’ pain points and paint a picture of how wonderful it would be to have them solved. At the end of your blog, invite them directly to reach out and contact you or make a purchase to take action on this feeling—with a direct link or other simple way to do so.
3. Build cornerstone content—this is the foundation of your blog. Cornerstone content pieces are typically longer (1200-2000 word), comprehensive articles that consist of the most important information you can offer about a specific topic related to your business, services, and trends. This type of content helps search engines understand your website better and can help you rank higher for the most competitive keywords.
4. Rank for a specific search term (SEO)—if you’d like to rank higher in search engines for a specific term, blogging is a great way to boost your SEO. It’s much easier than stuffing the keyword elsewhere on the site. By shaping a post entirely around a question or topic that your potential clients are searching for, you’ll increase traffic to that article, and when readers click on your blog, you’ll nab their eyes and then convince them you are a great resource for solving their problems (see #1).
5. Grow your email traffic or social media followers—the lovely thing about blogs is that you can customize the call to action (CTA) to direct traffic wherever you’d like. Whether you want them to subscribe to an email list or follow your social media channels, you are able to make a specific CTA to increase your regular reach.
Pin down a purpose
By writing blogs with a specific purpose in mind, you’ll be able to create content that will display your business, develop trust and share your expertise with anyone reading. In addition, you’ll be able to reach even more readers and continue to grow your audience.