I am still surprised when business people ask me why I bother writing a blog. Why would you not blog? You find me a marketing tool that is as cheap and easy to do as blogging and I will give that a go too. Small and micro businesses don’t have the money to splash around on advertising so we really need to be looking at alternative ways to promote ourselves. It costs next to nothing to set up a blog on your website and you are then able to promote your business world wide.
As I see it, the main benefits of blogging are:
1. Fresh content on your website.
We know that search engines like sites where the content changes on a regular basis. By posting on your blog at least weekly you will help to boost your search engine rankings.
2. Build or establish relationships with your customers.
Blogging is a much more personal approach to connecting with your potential customers than advertising. A good blog is interactive, building conversation between you and your readers. It gives you the opportunity to get to know each other and allows your readers to build up a level of trust in you. How much easier will that make it when they are deciding whether to order or not? You turn readers into customers. They find you; you don’t have to go searching for them.
3. Build your brand and reputation.
Often businesses can all look the same. Their ads are the same; they are promoting similar products and targeting similar markets. Blogging allows you to show your point of difference and position yourself as an expert in your chosen area. Over time you and your brand will become associated with your particular niche. Just remember that to do this you need to keep your blog focused. You can’t build a brand or reputation by blogging about anything that springs to mind!
4. Get direct feedback from your readers.
Blogs are very flexible and allow you to interact with your readers. You can ask for comments, run surveys or polls and even conduct competitions. Once your blog has been going for a while you will have no trouble in gathering opinions from your readers. What a great way to help you decide on a new product or direction than by consulting with the people you hope to sell your products or services to.
5. Extend your creative outlets.
Small business owners are often creative and entrepreneurial creatures. Day to day business can become a grind and you lose the opportunity to use that creative ability. Blogging gives back that opportunity. I think this is one of the most overlooked benefits of all. Writing may not be your strength but it doesn’t have to be. Your passion, enthusiasm and flair are what will make your blog attractive to readers. Use your blog to float ideas and designs. Use it to record your plans. Use it as you need to use it so that you can keep that creative edge that you had when you started your business.
If you don’t have a blog at the moment then why not consider adding one to your website? Remember, though, that you will need to keep the content fresh for it to work. As you start attracting readers you will enjoy it more and more. It costs very little to give it a go, and there are many blog communities around that can support you along the way.
See you on your blog!