When you’re first starting out as a blogger, finding a kick-ass business phone service probably doesn’t make your to-do list. Just as important as your social media profiles and domain name, you want a phone number that is easy to remember.
At this point, choosing a top WordPress theme, wrangling stubborn plugins, producing killer content, and finding effective ways to monetize your blog have higher priorities.
However, as you become more professional as a blogger, you should consider investing in a solid business phone service, with a separate business number. Often, this is an invaluable step in establishing your blog as a serious business.
Why Should Bloggers Bother with a Business Phone Service?
To begin with, listing a contact number on your website is required by law in some countries. Even if it isn’t, Google’s ranking algorithms see a phone number as a huge plus in terms of transparency and trustworthiness.
Surveys have also shown that customers are much more likely to trust online businesses if they have the option of contacting them via phone, which remains the preferred method of business communication for 61%.
Having a professional business phone service saves you from handing out your private number for any of this. This makes it much easier to handle calls – especially unwanted ones, which business phone services are incredibly adept at blocking.
Since most modern business phone systems are cloud-based, using Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology, they can also integrate seamlessly with your website. Having click-to-call buttons, for example, can quadruple your conversion rates.
What’s more, VoIP phone services are available on any internet-enabled device. This means you can use your business number anywhere – no matter whether you’re working from a co-working space, your patio, or trekking through Bali as a digital nomad. Plus: You won’t have to get a separate business phone.
In addition, most modern business phone services don’t just stop at voice calls. Instead, they offer a wide array of additional communication channels and productivity tools. Many include video calling, live chat, email, and text messaging, allowing you to save on subscriptions to various separate services.
Finally, integrations with other platforms such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems or project management tools like Trello are also often part of the package. And such integrations are invaluable assets in increasing efficiency and saving time.
Overall, the right professional business phone service can take your blogging business to the next level.
That said, there is a broad offer out there. To get you started, here are the five best business phone services for bloggers, and the most important things you have to know about them.
1 – Nextiva
All in all, Nextiva offers the best deal for bloggers. Reliable service, a broad range of handy additional features, outstanding customer service – and they’re on the lower end of the price range, with plans starting at a monthly $19.95.
Nextiva’s offer includes voice and video calling, conferencing, and messaging. It can also boast nifty features such as voicemail-to-email and voicemail-to-text, call transcription, and advanced call management. These are a definite bonus when you’re on the go – or not particularly keen on taking a call.
What’s more, Nextiva’s proprietary NextOS platform provides in-depth analytics insights, powered by artificial intelligence. They also offer a team collaboration platform, Cospace, that might come in handy if you’re collaborating with freelance writers, graphic artists, or web designers scattered across the world.
An uptime of 99.999% (‘five nines’) makes Nextiva one of the most reliable services out there. If you ever do end up having problems, their award-winning customer service is available 24/7 via email, live chat, and phone.
Finally, apart from offering their own CRM and proprietary apps, Nextiva also has native integrations for platforms such as Zendesk and HubSpot.
2 – 8×8
8×8 is a good pick for bloggers who are operating internationally most of the time (digital nomads, anyone?), or who are based entirely outside the United States. That’s because this provider’s offer includes local numbers in over 75 countries, and toll-free numbers in a whopping 110 countries worldwide.
If you’re only after basic features, 8×8’s Express plan is one of the most economic options out there, at $12 per month. This includes voice and video calling, HD videoconferencing, screen sharing, and team messaging. Higher-level plans also include features like omnichannel routing and social media integrations.
Like Nextiva, 8×8 also has native integrations for a wide array of third-party business platforms, from Salesforce to Slack.
3 – Grasshopper
Grasshopper makes the top three of the list because it is another amazing service if you’re constantly on the move and operating your blog on a mostly mobile basis.
Entirely app-based, Grasshopper provides voice and video calling, as well as messaging features. Included in the offer are also headache-saving features like call screening, online faxing, call blocking, and advanced routing.
Another major plus is Grasshopper’s support, which is available 24/7. No matter which time zone you’re in, you can get someone to help if you run into difficulties.
The only two drawbacks of Grasshopper? First: With plans starting at $26, and going all the way to $80 per month, this provider is a little on the expensive side. And second: No direct integrations with other platforms.
4 – OnSIP
Reliable, low-cost, and targeted at small to mid-size businesses, OnSIP is another great choice for bloggers.
With plans starting at $18.95 a month, it offers voice and video calling, messaging, and their sayso click-to-call service. At the click of a button on your website, this service will route users’ voice and video calls directly to you. The best bit? The standalone sayso service is available in a free plan.
In terms of integrations, OnSIP offers native solutions for connecting to platforms such as HubSpot, Zendesk, and Slack.
5 – Ooma Office
Ooma Office’s big plus is its flexibility. Starting at $19.95 it’s not too expensive – but unlike most other phone services, it’s always billed monthly, without annual plans. If you’re operating on a tight budget, this might be a definite advantage. This makes it a perfect fir for new stay-at-home entrepreneurs.
Voice calling, messaging, online fax, and advanced call management are all included in Ooma’s plans. This provider also offers easy number portability. So if you’ve already got a local business number, and are now looking to take off for a bit of globetrotting (oh the flexibility of a blogging business!), Ooma makes sure you can keep your number.