Why Your Business Needs a Blog – Free Traffic & Passive Income

I’ve been blogging for 2+ years, and it opened doors that I would never have imagined. Heck, I’ve earned business opportunities & even a digital marketing job mid-pandemic because of this blog.

But is blogging still relevant in 2021? Or is social media better? To me, they all have their pros & cons. I use it all for different purposes.

In this article, I will cover the benefits of having a blog that’ll include:

  • The pros & cons of a blog over social media
  • How a blog gets you free organic traffic that will last for YEARS
  • Earn money from placing ads & affiliate marketing
  • Blogging is a powerful way to personal brand yourself

Let’s start with the differences between a blog & social media profiles:

Blogging Vs. Social Media Vs. YouTube

DifferencesBlogSocial MediaYouTube
PurposeAll traffic should point back hereAnnounce your content & engage with your followersIt’s a great way for your personality to shine!
ProsSEO articles will continue to drive you free traffic for YEARS.Short-form content that tickles the audience’s emotions can go viralGet organic traffic, & can earn ad revenue
ConsA blog costs money to run & can get quite technicalGetting organic traffic is proving to be harder and harderNot everyone can or want to make videos
Table of comparison between a blog, social media & YouTube

Whatever I do, I’d make sure that all of my traffic flows back to my website. Here’s a visualization of how that looks like:

Let’s address another common follow-up question:

Should I Start a Blog or a YouTube Channel First?

Find out which feels more natural to you, and start with that. 

Killing 2 Birds With 1 Stone: I usually start by creating a blog post. I then use that as an outline for my YouTube videos. Then, when the video is published, I embed it at the top of the article. Here’s an example:

My Wahed Invest vs Stashaway comparison, I embedded my video review at the top of the article:

Great, now let’s dive a little deeper into the benefit of having a blog that I realized over the years:

Blog Benefit #1: Organic Reach (SEO)

When you post something on social media, the platform will limit who gets to see your posts because they want you to pay for ads.

Example: Neil Patel, a renowned Digital Marketing expert with 1M Facebook page followers, only have about 50 engagements for each of his post. That’s a depressing 0.005% engagement rate:

Neil patel - 1 million folllowers, but only 50 engagement.Facebook killed organic reach
Neil Patel’s Facebook Page

This is what can happen if you rely too much on social media. The platform can get greedy and decide to change how things work to benefit them financially. If you only have a Facebook page, you’re at their mercy.

If you have a blog and publish enough helpful articles, Google will start to trust your blog and rank you higher on search engines. 

You’ll slowly build steady free organic traffic to your site (this can take a few months to maybe years). Here’s my blogging traffic in the past 2 years:

Balkoni Hijau blog traffic in 2 years
My free organic traffic growth

A quality blog will have most of its traffic organically (people clicking from Google search results). 

So if any other social media platform decides to follow Facebook’s greedy footstep in the future, you won’t be too worried.

Now that you have steady traffic to your blog, you can earn additional income. The 2 most common ways are by placing ads and affiliate marketing:

Blog Benefit #2: Earn Money from Placing Ads

The easiest way to earn from display ads on your site is through an ad network. 

Register with an ad network, & they’ll automatically place ads on each page of your blog that will be relevant to your viewer. Here’s an example:

Ads on Balkoni Hijau blog
Ads on my blog

You’ll get paid for impressions and clicks on the ads. For beginner bloggers, there are 2 popular ad network options:

I started with Adsense but moved on to Ezoic after a blogger friend recommended me to them. Ezoic’s customer service is pretty good, and they took care of everything during setup.

After a couple of days, you can see your daily ad revenue in USD:

Ezoic display ad income on Balkoni Hijau blog
A sample of a week’s ad income in USD through Ezoic

Nice, this is as close to passive income as it gets! But wait, there’s another way to make money from your blog:

Blog Benefit #3: Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing is when you promote other people’s products and services through a unique link, and you’ll earn for each sale coming from your referral. 

The best way to promote other people’s products is to create honest review content.

Here’s an example of my review of the Xiaomi robot vacuum (I use it every day & love it).

Look at where I place my affiliate links on my YouTube videos & blog:

Affiliate marketing in action. Balkoni Hijau youtube video reviewing Mi Robot vacuum
Affiliate links on my YouTube video
Affiliate marketing in action. Balkoni Hijau blog article reviewing Mi Robot vacuum
Affiliate link at the bottom of my blog post

If anyone clicks on these links and buys something, I’d get a cut (typically between 1 to 7%). Pretty neat!

You can register with any affiliate marketing networks out there, but I use Involve as I find their dashboard to be the most user-friendly for beginners.

Pretty sweet! Here’s a peek at my affiliate marketing revenue for a blog with less than 10,000 users a month:

Affiliate income through Involve

Not much, but hey, it’s something. If I were to scale up and publish more SEO content, I could increase my organic traffic and ultimately my ad & affiliate marketing income. Nice!

Blog Benefit #4: Powerful Personal Branding

In my opinion, the best reason to have a blog is for personal branding

When you have a blog and an about me page with your face on it, what you’re doing is personal branding yourself as an expert in a topic.

Take a look at this blog. What’s your first impression?:

Why is personal branding important? Well, having this blog opened up so many new doors that I would otherwise never access. Let me share with you my experience:

Connect With Influential People

I have several bloggers and Content Creators that I admire. Surprisingly, they also enjoy reading my blog.

Contacting them for business or personal agendas is much easier as I have portrayed value through my writing & YouTube channel.

Brand Sponsorships & Collaborations

From time to time, as your content ranks organically on search engines, more people will discover you, and companies could approach you for brand sponsorships and collaborations. For example:

People contacting Balkoni Hijau for colloboration

Without a blog, you’d have to approach brands to work with you. But with the blog, some companies might be contacting you instead. That’s the power of personal branding.

Easier to Sell Your Own Product or Services

If you are launching a new business from scratch, you’ll notice pretty quickly that selling to strangers (cold traffic) is hard.

People don’t know you exist, let alone trust you enough to purchase your product or hire your services. A blog is a perfect medium to warm up cold traffic to show how you can solve their problems:

For example, if you’re a solar panel installer, creating helpful blog posts about how solar panels work and their benefits can get people to discover you on Google search results.

The more content you create, the more people will move down your AIDA sales funnel:

Image source: Hubspot
  1. People will know that you exist
  2. People will start to trust & like you from your helpful content
  3. Hopefully, people will contact you when they want solar panels.

Change Careers in a Crisis

Here’s a story where having a blog saved my career & finances. When my Airbnb business went bust right before the whole COVID lockdown in March 2020, I didn’t know what to do next.

It was a terrible time to start a new business (I wanted to set up a car wash business), and most companies weren’t hiring. But I noticed that there were many job ads with the title: ‘Digital Marketer.’

It seemed like something I’m interested in, so I applied to a few jobs online. Most were unsuccessful because I lack any Digital Marketing experience.

So I rebranded this website into a personal finance blog and documented my blogging journey.

Using my blog post as proof of my marketing experience, I convinced a company and got a full-time position as a digital marketer, mid-pandemic.

All thanks to this blog. Consider this blog as my online CV of what I can contribute to the world.

Start Your Own Blog

There you go. I’ve shown you the importance of having a blog for your business and you personally.

You can register your website name and get your web host with Shinjiru (that’s what I’m using). They cost around RM 200+ a year. They work great if most of your audience is in South East Asia.

But if the majority of your audience is from the US, Blue Host is a great option, starting as low as USD 2.95 a month.

If you need help picking out your blog’s niche (specialty or topic), check out my over-the-shoulder guide here:

Let me know in the comments if you’ve found this article helpful and if you have any comments about blogging.

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