Do you blog for your business yet? If the answer is no then it is certainly something you need to consider doing. In this article we are going to explain just why that is and the best way to go about starting, and then maintaining, a successful business blog.
What Can a Blog Do for My Business?
Even though blogging has been popular for a several years now the advantages that a business can gain from maintaining a blog only keep increasing. Here are some of the biggest of them:
A blog is a stream of fresh content - Years ago a business website was a static thing and that was OK. That is no longer the case. These days whatever your business happens to be, whether yours is an online business or one that operates offline, you need to be found - and found easily - in the SERPs (search engine results pages) when people are looking for products and services like yours.
Ranking well in the SERPs is not easy, especially since the search engines, especially Google, do change their algorithms often and things that worked last year (or even last month) simply do not work anymore.
One thing that is a constant though is that the 'search bots' that are sent out 24/7 to crawl the web indexing and ranking websites are attracted to fresh, original content. The more a website can "feed" these bots with what they are looking for the more often they will come back. A business blog is one of the most effective ways to do just that.
Become a Business Authority - People do not just use search engines to find places to buy products and services they are looking for information, and entertainment, as well. A business blog can be both while still promoting your offerings. By becoming known as a company that offers this kind of information you will be setting yourself up as an 'authority' in your field - an amazing way to build your all important business brand.
Feed Your Other Marketing Efforts - Another area that most businesses are at least beginning to make use of for marketing and promotion purposes is social networking. Social networking is not all about the hard sell though, so simply posting and tweeting product and service details every day is not going to be effective. Sharing your blog posts is a more effective way to get information about what you have to offer out into the social media world (although they are not the only things that should be shared).
Getting Your Blog Started
One of the reasons that some small businesses have yet to start blogging is that they are not too sure just how to get started the right way. What blogging platform should they use? Should they hire someone to create a blog for them or try to do it themselves? And who is going to write all of that content?
WordPress - WordPress is the world's most popular blogging platform and is actually so useful that many people are now using it to create entire websites. People love WordPress because it has a relatively easy learning curve and because it is open source people from all over the world (geek type people) create new plug-ins, themes and tools everyday and a lot of them are completely free to use.
There are two options available for those interested in using WordPress. WordPress.com provides anyone with a free to use, free to host blog but that is often not the best option for business as the tools available are limited and you cannot use your own URL. Branding is very important and a free site does not always make the best impression.
WordPress.org is the self hosted version of WordPress. You can pay an annual fee directly to WordPress to host your blog but what some business owners do not always realize is that most Internet Service Providers actually offer WordPress free and it is relatively easy to just add it to your existing site (call your ISP if you need tech help)
Tumblr - Tumblr is a newer blogging platform that is free to use and quite flexible. You can add a Tumblr blog to your website but you will have to consult with your ISP for their policies on doing so as they vary from company to company.
One advantage that Tumblr does offer for a business is that it is essentially a social network as well as a blogging platform, which may mean you can reach a whole new audience.
Other good blogging platforms include Blogger, Typepad and Posterous Spaces.
What to Blog
Once you have your blog set up you actually need to start creating content. What can you write about? The answer is almost anything. Share ways to use your products, news that relates to your industry and how it affects your customers, customer success stories, reviews, the possibilities are almost endless!
How Often Should You Blog?
How often you should blog is a matter of ongoing debate. Some people feel that once a month is OK while others prefer to blog daily, there are no real hard and fast rules. The one thing you should be though is consistent.
Blogging for business is not as hard as you might think, so if you haven't given it a try yet, today would be a good day to start!
Koehler Home Decor is a supplier of wholesale home decor accessories and unique gifts. Source quality wholesale merchandise at KoehlerHomeDecor.com and find tips for promoting your business on our blog.