Why should you blog? Because it is a key marketing tool now for businesses of all sizes.
In general terms if you blog you are perceived as an expert – important for PR and brand building. You can create a dialogue with your customers and you can impart news and industry information.
Blogging improves search engine rankings and can help a site rise to a high position on Google. This is because search engines love new, relevant content and a blog is just that.
For maximum effect add in links to your website, place a keyword in the blog title and, critically, add your website address, Twitter feed, LinkedIn address etc to the blog.
Blogs are great for customer feedback. Run a poll – it is free market research. Invite comments and dialogue from customers. Invite your customers to talk to each other!
Create brand advocates who are free salespeople for your business. Link your blog to a networking group such as ecademy.
Make sure the content contains gentle, consultative selling – not a blatant sales pitch. Use your blog
to inform not sell. Choose one specific topic per blog post. Think quality of content – not quantity!
Be controversial if possible on relevant issues or recent events (e.g. The Apprentice) – after all you
want to get a following!
Blogging is great for free Public Relations. Use your blog to become an expert and write on a topic that you can be interviewed on by the media. Use it as the basis of a story; include quotes and contact details.
Reach a new, wider audience with your blog. Blog regularly – once a day for two weeks at first, then blog little and often.
To make it easier prepare a series of blogs to get in the flow of writing them. Get professional help if necessary – just ask us.
Do add a picture – your own preferably. Use third party images for free if necessary but you must add a copyright line showing the copyright owner and/or original source. Better still, open an account with istockphoto.com and buy images royalty free for a few dollars.
Add video – your own or suitable third party ones. If that is too difficult, add a link to a video on your website or on YouTube, Flickr etc.
Remember, blogging is a great way for small businesses to save money on advertising – after all blogging is usually free (on wordpress.com and blogger.com). It enables you to talk directly to your target audience and to create demand at the grass roots for your product or service.
Finally, remember that blogging is fun! So go enjoy!