With the current craze on inbound marketing and SEO being more powerful than ever, you will find a slew of professionals telling you as a business owner that you need to have a blog. But do you really? And even more important, is the time and effort that you put into a blog going worth it for you and your business?

Here is a quick list of benefits of having a business blog to help you make the decision.

1. A blog is a content marketing machine. Pull together a bunch of timely and relevant articles for your target market and you have an in-bound marketing gold mine. If you are truly writing a blog on a topic you know, you will be able to come up with a multitude of articles to answer your customers’ questions and help them to make decisions.

2. Blog = SEO. It’s a given that by now you have keywords on your website and that it is at least somewhat optimized. The benefit of having a blog on your website is that your SEO rankings can improve vastly with the addition with the addition of more keywords, tagged images, rich media and internal links.

3. Blogging shows your smart side. That’s right – you are smart! Whatever business you are in, odds are, you know a lot about it. You can share your expertise and help others learn about your topic. The world of fun-marketing-buzzwords is calling this being a “thought leader.” And as a thought leader, you will have followers that will be looking to you to answer their questions and solve their problems, which is clearly good for business.

4. Blogging and social media go hand in hand.  Sure, blogging is great and social media is great, but having your blog and social media connect and highlight each other is awesome. For example, sending out a Tweet with words of wisdom can be much more powerful when those words of wisdom are linked to an insightful article on your blog that will wow your readers.  In fact, some even consider blogging to be another form of social media.

5. Your competitors are doing it. Ok, ok, I know, that because something works for your competitor doesn’t necessarily mean it works for you.  (Enter the motherly argument that if everyone was jumping off a cliff that doesn’t mean that you should too!) But the truth is that more and more businesses are seeing the benefit of blogs. In fact, in a recent Hubspot report, 25% of businesses cited a company blog as a critical part of their business.

So….. to blog or not to blog?  Is it still even in question?

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