About a year ago, I got an email from someone at a New Jersey-based marketing company, asking for a quote on a project. When I asked how he found me, he said he did a search for this well-known quote from Harvard professor Theodore Levitt:
People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole.
His search led him to a blog post I had written six months earlier for Web.Search.Social, titled Why That Whole “People Don’t Want a Drill, They Want a Hole” Thing Doesn’t Go Far Enough.
He didn’t use any of the keywords that I try to prioritize as part of my SEO strategy. He wasn’t even looking for a content writer.
But he found me. And hired me.
A couple of weeks ago, I got a call from a guy in Chicago who launched a new online directory. He wanted to generate traffic and convert visitors by adding fresh content. When I asked how he found me, he pointed out that he spends a lot of time searching in order to find what he really needs.
He went through the tabs in his browser and found that he had searched “finding an honest content writer”.
This led him to a blog post I had written about a year ago, titled How Much Does Content Writing Cost? Here’s an Honest Answer.
He was obviously looking for a content writer. He was just trying to get past those shady content mills that lure people in with their dirt cheap rates and produce awful content.
“Content writer” is a term I’ll never rank highly for on its own, but when you add “honest” to the equation, one of my more popular blog posts rises to the top.
So the guy from Chicago found me. And hired me.
I talk a lot about how consistent business blogging helps to build trust, establish expertise, maintain top-of-mind awareness, overcome obstacles, shorten the sales process and boost your search ranking.
However, there are benefits of business blogging that can be gleaned from these two experiences – benefits that are often overlooked.
Regular blogging enables you to rank highly for long-tail keywords that you would never think to make part of your SEO strategy.
All of the keyword research in the world can’t predict every search that will guide valuable business leads to one of your blog posts. There is no way to get inside the mind of every potential client.
But by blogging consistently, you do more than boost your search ranking for well-researched keywords. You also increase your chances of being randomly and organically found in ways you never would have expected.
You never know which of these unpredictable searches – like the two I mentioned previously – will turn into revenue.
Is there anything better than a sale that you never expected?
A single blog post has the potential to generate leads for years.
In today’s age of instant gratification, too many marketers and business owners expect to publish a blog post this morning and receive a flood of emails and phone calls this afternoon.
That can happen. But it usually doesn’t.
However, because blog posts have a permanent online home, search engines can always index them. Evergreen content, or content that’s always relevant and never changes, serves as a permanent example of your knowledge, expertise and passion for what you do.
The long-term business potential of business blogging tends to be more valuable than short-term traffic spikes and social shares.
Think about it for a second. What other form of marketing is capable of providing real business value five years from now?
Nothing helps your bottom line like a healthy helping of gravy, and consistent blogging can provide you with a bottomless gravy boat.