5 Benefits Of Blogging For Your Business

5 Benefits Of Blogging For Your Business

If you run a small business, chances are you are wondering if blogging is worth the time and effort. The short answer is a resounding YES! Blogging on a frequent basis is a relatively easy, inexpensive way to enhance your inbound marketing efforts, drive traffic to your site, and attract more perspective customers.

Statistics from Hubspot’s Inbound Marketing Report highlight the importance of blogging. According to the study, 57% of companies who have a blog reported acquiring a customer from their blog. In that same study, a survey of marketers revealed that 81% of businesses say that their business blog is useful to critical for their business.

The Case for Small Business Blogs

Here are some of the most important benefits of having a blog for your business:

1. Develop Relationships with Potential and Existing Customers

Blogging allows you to connect with your site visitors. This can be accomplished by asking your readers questions at the end of your posts to get the conversation going or by simply allowing comments and feedback. By reviewing and responding to readers’ comments, you can create a rapport with your audience, build trust, and gain valuable insight into what your customers are looking for.

2. Establish Your Business as an Industry Leader

No matter how small your business is, you can build trust and clout within your industry by providing valuable, expert information in your blog posts. Over time, you become a “go to” resource for helpful, informative content, which can ultimately lead to higher customer conversion rates. This is especially important for small businesses looking to gain credibility to compete with larger companies.

3. Connect People to Your Brand

Blog posting allows you to show a personal side of your business that perspective and current customers won’t see through outbound marketing techniques. Blogging gives others a sense of the corporate standards, vision, and personality of your company.

4. Create Opportunities for Sharing

Every time you blog, you create an opportunity for your audience to share your blog with others. Whether they link to your blog post, tweet it, or email it to others, it’s free marketing and it further validates you as a credible business.

5.  Boost Search Engine Optimization

Search engines love fresh content. What better way to provide frequent content than with blog posts. By blogging consistently, you give Google and other search engines new content to index and you create opportunities to plug in those all-important keywords to increase your visibility on search engine results pages (SERPS).

From a practical standpoint, blogging just makes sense. With minimal effort and expense, you can build credibility, boost search engine rankings, increase website traffic, and foster relationships with potential and current customers. This is an opportunity no small business should pass up.

What is a Mind Map and Can It Help You Organize Your Small Business

What is a Mind Map and Can It Help You Organize Your Small Business?

A mind map is essentially a diagram used to visually organize information, designed to help businesses improve brainstorming sessions, as well as collaboration and communication.

A mind map can be used by businesses to brainstorm thoughts and ideas organically. By plotting ideas into a diagram, you can turn often complex, monotonous information into an organized, colorful and memorable centralized format.

There are hordes of mind mapping tools available to small businesses, designed to enhance project cooperation, collaboration, clarity and efficiency.

Apps like MindMeister, MindGenius, MindManager and Creately, allow businesses to use diagram templates or create from scratch to craft visual cues designed to ensure teams process and retain information better.

By visualizing ideas, concepts and information, mind maps help people follow conversations and contribute in meetings for efficiently and effectively. Mind mapping is increasingly being used as an alternative to more traditional ways of presenting, such as using flip charts or PowerPoint.

Increase Productivity

By allowing the free flow of ideas in a controlled manner and creating easy visualization, mind mapping can reduce the completion time of different tasks, thereby significantly boosting a team’s productivity.

Research by specialist Chuck Frey, reveals businesses that the use of this tool for meetings, presentations, planning and more, increased productivity by an average 25%.

Many advocates also claim that 20 hours of work can be accomplished in just six hours simply by using mind mapping software.

Enhance Meetings

As well as increased productivity, using mind mapping can be a vital tool in enhancing meetings. For example, mind mapping shows keywords and important points instantly, meaning meeting participants are less likely to miss anything.

This visual type of presenting helps others visualize, which can improve memory, meaning participants are more likely to remember important points raised at a meeting.

Optimize Project Management

From coordinating multiple, often remote teams, keeping on top of workflows, and ensuring every part of a project is communicated and collaborated so that deadlines are met, and products are finished on time, project management essentially deals with organized chaos.

Mind mapping can be used to simplify tasks and create simple to-do lists. Advanced mind mapping tools enable users to insert specific task information, making project management easier and more efficient.

From ‘professional doodling’ that enables employees to present and discuss plans with a colorful, visualized diagram, to task delegation in which an entire map or perhaps just one or two branches represent which team members are responsible for different tasks, to brainstorming sessions and being used as a note-taking tool, mind mapping software is an invaluable tool in helping small businesses get more organized through optimized project management.

Improve Collaboration and Communication

Collaboration and communication can also be improved through mind mapping.  Using online tools can be an effective way for teams to collaborate, communicate and share ideas and concepts, particularly for teams that work remotely from different locations.

Mind Mapping for Creative Thinking and Innovation

Creative thinking and innovation are two of the most important requirements for sustained small business success. With spatial layouts and image and icon libraries, producing a mind map is an effective way for businesses to come up with creative, innovative ways to brainstorm an issue, deliver a marketing campaign, develop a new product, or make a pitch.

By transforming huge lists of often tedious and complex information into a highly organized, memorable and colorful pictorial representations, mind maps help stimulate ideas and nurture creativity and innovation within a small business.

Mind mapping is not difficult for businesses to master and, once they have, this form of visual outlining, provides a powerful tool to create greater organization, efficiency, productivity, creativity and innovation.