If you don’t know what a blog is (then I’m not sure I can help), it is effectively an online journal/diary. You can log in update it as often as you like and then share it with everyone.
Now I know about blogs, but even I didn’t know where the name blog comes from (it actually comes from ‘Web Log’)
The real power of a blog is that compiled carefully and effectively it can become an extremely important marketing tool for your business and gives your customers and prospects critical information and feedback as to who you are, what you do and how you do it in a way that starts when all the corporate wording of company websites finish and real talking people start.
You will be surprised how many buying decisions are made by ignoring the corporate speak and reading the reviews and real words of employees and previous clients of your products and services.
A blog will promote your business, it can also;
- Help attract more visitors to your website
- Increase your sales
- Generate a new income stream from advertising
- Become part of your overall customer service package
Blogs are generally more informal and have a conversational style missing from most websites, they encourage interaction from readers (they can comment on each page) they can be chatty, informative, opinionated and often humorous, and it’s this more human factor that makes them more attractive to real people.
Initially blogs were seen as more personal writing, a diary that the writers would share with the world, but that is no longer where they fit, now they have become a valuable part of an over marketing strategy for most companies. They allow companies to take their products and services to a wider audience, increasing their website traffic, leads and sales.
There are a few ways that a blog can improve your online presence.
- They will humanize your business.People like to deal with people, you can write your blog in your ‘own voice’ and you can become a more human face for your business. This really helps reassure prospective customers that your business is real and that there is a real person behind the website who can help them. It also allows your personality to shine through so much more than most websites will allow.
- Improve your customer service.So many customer questions can be answered by an interactive and regularly updated blog, they can include frequently asked questions, holiday opening times, or by allowing your customers to submit questions and you to answer them (once posted these comments and answers are available for reference by any future customer. Don’t believe me? Try Googling “How do I…………(insert question)….” I can almost guarantee that you will be offered either a you tube page or a blog page as the most popular option from Google, this is because blogs rate so well with Google when it comes to specific requests. In addition you can also you can also provide product updates, how-to articles, and other information of relevance to your customers.
- Ensure your target market gets the information they require. All blogs have an automated filing and archiving feature, usually by date and category, this make it an incredible content orientated management system. It’s easy for you to post new information on a regular basis, and it’s easy for your visitors to find the information they want. With a well-written, regularly updated blog, you can build a following of loyal readers who depend on your content. These people will undoubtedly be your best prospects.
- Drive traffic to your sales website.If you already have a website, a blog can give your traffic levels a real boost, most small businesses may have a website with 12 active pages, write a blog once a month and you can double that in a year, include strategic keywords and links to specific sales pages to dramatically improve the search engine rankings of both your blog and your main website.
- Become an authority in your industry.You can give your corporate credibility a real boost by becoming an industry expert sharing information and offering real quality regularly is the quickest way to becoming an expert in your subject area, and allow your visitors to feel much more comfortable buying from you. Anybody who searches and finds the relevant blog page can’t fail to be impressed and will consider you an authority in your field. If this was the only benefit of a blog it would still be worth doing.
- Generate extra income.Whilst not my favourite reason for writing a blog (hence it is last on my list) There are now several advertising programs available, such as Google AdSense, that allow you to monetize your blog and generate an extra revenue stream, be careful however as you will be sending people away from your blog and onto a third party’s website, which reduces the overall point of your efforts.
I hope this blog has given you the encouragement you need to write your own, it doesn’t take long, be honest, be funny (if you can) and most importantly be yourself.