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How To Create A Blog For Your Small Business
Creating a blog is fun and entertaining. However, creating a blog for your small business requires real effort. Blogs are a fantastic means for businesses to market themselves on the internet. When written well, a blog about your business can attract more customers, increase interest in your business and increase profits as a result. While blogs are more freestyle than professional marketing tools, you do want to keep in mind these tips for successful business blogging.
1.Watch, listen and learn. Before starting your own blog, follow the blogs of some of your competitors or other companies in your industry. See how their blogs are doing, how customers react to their blogs and what works and does not work for them. By watching other blogs in your industry, you will find out who the key bloggers are and how they use blogging to promote their business. You will also begin to notice the specific blogging etiquette for your industry and learn from the mistakes of your competitors.
2. Host your own blog at your website. If possible, use your own website to host your blog so that you have complete control. BlogSpot is a great website for bloggers; however, having your blog on your own website has more advantages. If you host the blog as a sub-directory of your main website, it will help increase search engine optimization. Furthermore, if other sites link to your blog it will increase traffic to your main site and give you a boost of consumer confidence.
3. Be helpful and informative. Determine what your audience wants and write with that objective. Consumers want information they can use and information that is valuable and worthwhile. No one likes to waste their time, so do not waste your reader's time filling your blog with worthless tidbits of information. Focus on being helpful, informative and providing a service to your readers.
4. Write from a personal point of view. Let your own unique voice and personality come through in your blog. While you need to be professional (never use profanity, always spell check for typos and grammatical errors, etc.), blogs are the perfect vehicle for introducing yourself to your readers and putting a "face" on your company. While you do not want to simply ramble about things not related to the business, carefully weaving some fun, personal information throughout the blog is a good way to personalize the business (i.e. celebrating an anniversary, special promotions, celebrating an employee's retirement, etc.).
5. The internet is not forgiving. Remember that whatever you post in a blog has two outcomes - - to enhance your business or detract from your business. Treat your blog as if it were a direct line of communication between you and your customers and keep your standards high. Everything published on the internet is there for eternity somewhere.
6. Use multimedia in your blog for variety. Do not be afraid to use pictures and video in your blog to make the blog more interesting to clients and customers. People surfing the internet love to see pictures and watch cute videos. Just make sure that the multimedia items you choose relate to your business or the industry and are not there just to "catch" traffic.
7. Do not be afraid to link to other sites. You do not want to promote your competitors site, but you do want to help customers, so do not be afraid to link to sites that offer valuable information or help. Customers will remember that you were the one that helped them find an answer to a problem the next time they need assistance or are ready to purchase your products.
8. Be interactive. Set up a policy for moderating comments and post that policy before you begin your first blog. Thereafter, be interactive with your readers by answering questions and replying to their comments.
9. Stay away from ads. Do not use your blog to make money by placing countless ads on the blog. This annoys readers when they get pop-ups for various advertisements. Furthermore, the blinking, talking and irritating ads distract your reader from the real reason you want them there -- to read your blog and buy your product or service.
10. Post regularly. Posting every day may be a little too much for readers to keep up with. However, you do want to post on a regular predictable pattern to keep readers coming back for more. Try linking and incorporating your blog into your main website by announcing new posts with a link to the blog. You can also offer discounts in your blog by using links to your website for specials.
More from this contributor:Sophie Walton - I am a bankruptcy paralegal working for a busy law firm in South Carolina. I have been a paralegal for over 20 years with experience in real estate, family law, probate and now bankruptcy. I have been a ba...
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