If you are currently a small business owner or are planning to be in the near future, you must start blogging as part of your marketing strategy. Wait, did you think that blogging was old news? Do you think that it can’t really contribute to your bottom line? Well, I’m here to tell ya – you’re w-r-o-n-g. 2018 could be your year to start blogging.

You’ve heard that old saying slow and steady wins the race. That’s how a¬†blog strategy works. A strong and consistent one, that is. When you invest just a little time (smartly) you can reap the results and successes that you so desire. Don’t believe me? Here are five reasons to start a blog for your business this year.

Start Blogging to Give Your Brand a Voice (and Some Personality)

You have an amazing product or service. Deep in your heart of hearts, you know that. But the reality is, people, don’t just buy products anymore. They buy stories. Stories help your¬†potential customers to connect with your brand on a personal level. If you don’t have a blog (or at least a website) then how are you telling your story?

It might feel a little silly but try to think of your brand as if it were a person. If it were, would it be a man or a woman? Would it have unique hobbies, morals, and ideas? What type of people would they be friends with? Your business is so much more than the products or services it provides. Thinking about your business more dynamically will help you to figure out your brand voice and effectively market it to your target audience.

Start Blogging to Stand Apart from Your Competition

An acquaintance recently asked me about what she should do to get more people to buy prints from her Etsy shop. She’d tried Facebook and Instagram advertising to no avail and she had given up on it. So I asked her where she was sending her potential new customers. As it turns out she was just sending them straight to her Etsy page.

There are literally thousands of shops on Etsy that sell cheeky wall art and prints that are just like my friend’s. So how can she stand apart from all of her competitors? Start a blog, I say. Determine your voice, your target audience, and come up with a few blog topic ideas. Even if you only commit to one blog post per week, you are creating a space where you can show your potential customers how to display your prints in their home or even which ones would make great gifts. Help them visualize your product in their lives.

Start Blogging to Create Value for Your Customers

When you go to a party and someone asks you what you do, what do you say? Do you skip all the niceties and talk incessantly about your newest product? I hope this is not what you do but you’d be surprised to know that this is actually how many people approach not only social situations but also their brands. News flash, you can’t just tell people how awesome you are. They won’t believe you. Show them, and it’s a whole other ballgame. Create value for them and they will keep coming back for more. A blog is a great way to do this.

Start Blogging to Amp Up Your Existing Strategy

One thing I’ve learned the hard way is that there is no magic fix for bringing more customers your way. Many people in the industry say things like if you just got on social media or if you only started a blog you’d see all the dollar signs. They lie.

The only way you’re going to see even a smidgen of success with your blog is if it doesn’t exist in a silo. Connect it with your social feeds, do some minor keyword research, or consider your PPC campaign. Use a blog to leverage your existing strategy and that’s how you’ll see results.

Have you been thinking you should start blogging for your business this year? What’s stopping you?