Can a Blog Really Help My Business?

Small business owners often wonder how powerful a blog can be. After all, a blog is just a Web site that lets people write about whatever comes to mind. How can that really target a new clientele or keep the current one satisfied? The answer is all in how you do it. Done correctly, a blog can create a community of people who are devoted to your goals and your vision.

Thus, the question is not whether you should start a blog, but rather how you should maintain it. Think of a blog as a diary that is accessible by current and potential customers alike. It allows people to get to know your business: the people, values, interests, goals, services, and products. A good blog answers the question, “Why is this business important?” A phenomenal blog answers the question, “Why is this business important to me?”

A blog has the potential to be the most interactive method of public relations known to the business world. It is better than a static Web site because it invites people to visit and revisit. There are several ways to invite people to visit your blog. Here are the top three ways:

1. Search Engines
Consider a plumber who has a blog that provides tips about how to fix minor plumbing problems. If someone searches for “how to unclog a sink,” his blog can come up as one of the most relevant results because he answers that question. The plumber gives out some free advice, but he also increases his clientele because some people who visit his blog will keep him in mind the next time that they have a serious plumbing problem. His expertise is evident in his blog, so people are inclined to trust him. This principle can apply to any business venture. Writing about things that people search for is the best way to be noticed online.

2. Social Media
It takes literally one minute to post a link to a social media site along with a little blurb to get people interested. The best thing about social media is that it operates entirely on the basis of useful, interesting, or humorous information being highly contagious. It spreads more quickly than you’ll ever imagine, and all of the recognition will go to your business.

3. RSS Feeds
Provide an RSS feed so that visitors can bookmark your feed and be updated automatically whenever you post a new entry.

By using a blog wisely, you can expand your clientele and gain trust in the community. The power of a blog is entirely up to you, the business owner, which is both sobering and empowering.

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