By Rieva Lesonsky

You probably know that blogging can raise your company’s profile, attract customers, improve lead generation and boost sales. But did you know just how easy it can be? HubSpot, an Internet marketing firm, conducted a poll of 7,000 companies in its “Marketing Benchmarks” study. The results showed that with very little effort, a business blog can lead to huge improvements in lead generation.

Here’s what HubSpot found:

  • Companies that blog as little as one or two times a month generate 70 percent more leads than companies that don’t blog at all.
  • Companies that previously posted three to five blogs a month nearly doubled their lead generation when their posting frequency increased to six to eight times a month.
  • Companies with more than 200 blog posts on their websites generate five times more leads than those with 10 or fewer. HubSpot’s study of lead generation was based on an analysis of data collected from more than 7,000 of its customers during July and August.

Of course, blogging isn’t necessarily right for every business. As HubSpot’s data suggest, if you own a dry cleaner or auto repair shop or business that depends on local customers, it might not be worth your time. But if you are seeking to generate sales leads—for instance, if you sell a service to businesses and need to develop a reputation as an expert source—blogging should definitely be a tool in your arsenal.

Blogging can be time-consuming. To keep it manageable, develop a schedule for how often you’ll post. Yes, you’ll get better results by posting three times a week or more, but as HubSpot’s figures suggest, even blogging a couple times a month is better than nothing. Brainstorm with your staff to come up with a list of topics or types of posts you can cover, including:

  • Announcements about news, services or products at your businesses
  • Tips for your customers
  • Your take on a current controversy in your industry

Tie your posts to things you want to promote or sell. For instance, if you’re an accountant, November is a good time to post about year-end tax tips that will encourage prospects to call you if they have questions or need help with their taxes this year.

Setting a up a blog on your website is simple to do with popular blogging software such as WordPress. If you don’t have an IT person (or IT-savvy person) on staff, enlist help from your local SCORE or SBDC office to get started. It’s simple and can reap huge rewards. What are you waiting for?