Blogging is quickly becoming a standard small business marketing tool. What started as a way for the geeks among us to inform each other of their own work and personal shenanigans has evolved into a venue for everything from world news and politics to keeping up with the grandkids. From a small business perspective, adding bog to the venture’s website is an inexpensive, effective way to reach current and prospective customers alike.
Adding a blog to an existing website is a fairly simple process. Most website software includes a tool for adding a blog, complete with decent templates and color options that keep the bog consistent with the rest of your site pii_email_ca406694fa91d858906c . If your business does not yet have a website, tools like WordPress allow anyone to create blog sites with a few mouse clicks. Of course, it is far preferable to post your blog on your business domain – that way those pages are indexed and counted towards your site.
Once you find a home for your blog, you need to figure out what to write about. An effective business blog is not just one blatant advertisement after another. Rather, they should be used to educate and inform, introduce the unique aspects of your venture, and build a rapport between you and your customers. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t market your business, but balance raw advertising messages with content that will keep the traffic coming back.
Depending on your particular business, the content of a good blog will vary. If your business relies on your own personal image and reputation, it can be good to include personal experiences, observations, or thoughts on the blog. In most cases, you will want to avoid topics that could alienate your target market (politics and religion are oft-avoided topics), and stick to subjects that a majority of your market would likely find interesting.
Frequent blogging about personal stuff is akin to starring in your own reality show – it is easy to get too comfortable and write something you might rather keep to yourself… or at least out of the office. Be careful to manage your information by only posting stories or thoughts that are relevant to what your customers should know about you. For example, a wedding planner should probably leave out the details of the wild bachelorette party you attended…potential clients want to believe their professionals behave professionally!
If your business is purely product or service driven, and your persona is not a direct factor in the success or failure of the venture, you may want to stick to general, industry-related blog topics. For example, a hardwood floor installer with several crews is not likely to benefit from blogging about his hunting dogs on the business website, whereas a travel agent specializing in hunting expeditions might. The hardwood floor company would benefit from blog postings about new products, the differences in types of wood, the advantages of wood floors, and anecdotes from recent installation jobs. Use common sense in selecting blog topics, and try to keep it interesting and informative.
Schedule time two or three times a week to write new blog posts. They do not need to be particularly long or involved, 150 to 500 words is enough. They are the short-attention-span theater articles for web surfers. But, if you provide good content, some people will repost or Tweet your blog and drive even more traffic to the site.
Keep in mind that anything you post on the business website reflects right back on the business. Watch your grammar and spelling – those types of errors really leave a bad impression. Image is important no matter what business you are in, and a well-written, informative blog can help establish you and your company as industry experts and trusted professionals.
The purpose of a blog started out to be a page where news about the website could be updated and comments could be made by visitors. It quickly moved to a way to generate some cash when someone figured out you could use the space for ads. Now blogs are also used to review products, for a fee. You can add photos, videos, audio, flash, RSS feeds, etc.
You could say that blogs have become a sort of mini-website. You can now require log-in to view and comment, password protect it, and all sorts of other things. The social media networks can be accessed through there, so updates are instantly sent to the networks you choose. The evolution of the simple blog is truly amazing.
Given that so much can be done with a blog, one would think that most people would have at least looked at someone’s blog along the way. It is surprising to find there are a good number of people who have no clue about blogging. While one used to be required to know html code to be able to put a blog together, it’s pretty simple now.