It’s not that long ago that we kept diaries. They were deeply personal, keeping our darkest secrets and crushes away from other eyes. Kept locked away and often buried at the back of a closet or buried in a dresser drawer.
Oh, my – how things have changed with the Web. Nowadays, your diary of thoughts, insights and observations – posted on the Internet – could give your business a boost.
Web logs, or “blogs” have become the way for you to engage with readers, family, customers and potential customers.
A blog is a journal on a website. Some people see websites as being boring – the information isn’t changed very often – but when there’s a blog, that’s completely different. Your blog will have regular updates containing news, opinions, ideas and brainstorming sessions. It could be linked to other information sources, such as social networks, other websites and blogs.
Most blogs have a section for comments, inviting readers to give feedback on what they’ve read. The comments page opens up conversation. It saddens me when I see blogs with “Comments are closed” because the owner either doesn’t want to know what readers think or has left the blog.
Okay, blogs aren’t to everyone’s taste, but how about as a business tool? Check out these five business objectives:
1. Expose a new or little-known product or idea
Richard Harvey (not his real name) knows that blogging makes a lot of sense on many levels. He operates a business that provides streaming video email and related video communications products. Not many of his prospective clients know much about video email, so Harvey uses his blog to provide specifics.
“I started blogging to get established in the technology,” Harvey says. “It can have a positive impact for business. Internet-savvy prospective customers are always on the lookout for more ways to discover information about companies and for ways to interact.”
That can lead to the customer being better informed and a faster sales process. Instead of using time to pitch your product or service to a client who might not need it, a blog replaces you as the source of information. If a prospective customer contacts you, that’s brilliant. If not, you haven’t wasted any time explaining something that doesn’t generate anything in return.
2 Improve your search engine rankings
Blogging puts you in touch with prospective customers in other ways. Visitors that come via Google, Bing and any other search engines can create numerous leads. If your blog allows readers to post a comment, all the better because search engines like natural links.
When blogs allow comments, every new post and every new comment becomes an additional webpage filled with additional keywords that are picked up by search engine spiders.
3 Position yourself as an expert in an industry or field
Blogging can be an effective marketing tool to establish yourself as an authority in your field. Not only can that generate leads, but it also does wonders for your cred in the marketplace and it gives your business a face and a personality. That’s rare when most people hide behind their computers.
4 Influence public opinion
Having a blog allows owners to bypass traditional journalistic routes, becoming the publisher of their own thoughts and viewpoints. Blogs have become a powerful influence on public opinion.
5 Openly engage in a forum with your customers
Blogs that solicit reader comments can give a sense of immediacy to your customers. In one way, it’s a source of feedback on what you’re doing right and what you need to improve.
Blogs are a fantastic way to keep in contact with your present and future customers. They give both sides the opportunity to have conversation, negotiate, and to improve customer service.
How are you going to use your blog?
What areas of your business do you think your blog could improve?
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