Blogging is a powerful part of a business’s marketing and customer communication programme. It allows you to communicate better with stakeholders of all types fromcustomers to suppliers and from partners to employees.
A blog can be particularly beneficial in.
- Differentiating your business, products and services
- Attracting prospects and developing new business opportunities
- Promoting your business through the media and online public relations
- Acting as a central element of your search engine marketing
- Researching and developing new markets, products or niches
- Developing communication channels to your market
- It provides the opportunity for you to be seen as an expert in your field, enhancing your business reputation
- Helping to enhance and build your visibility and brand
- Improving internal communication
From the above you can see that blogging is an effective business tool and also is very cost effective as well.
A typical blog combines text, images and links to other blogs or websites. The modern blog evolved from the online diary, where people keep a running account of their lives. There are approximately 200 million public blogs in existence and it can be another free means of marketing your business.
How do you get started? There are a number of blogging platforms that will host your blogging site for free or you can opt to pay. I opted for the free options and utilise Blogger.com, part of the Google Empire and WordPress.com. Both of these sites provide you with a selection of free templates and your own address, i.e. http://www.davidholt1.wordpress.com. There is no requirement for any technical expertise, no web designer required, to write a blog, your pages are added through a Windows type interface. All of your blog posts have their own individual address for ever so that you can refer and direct people to them in articles, emails, newsletters etc.
Once you have decided on which blog platform to host your blogs it is very simple, just enter your details where it states create an account and then you can start blogging by adding words, videos and pictures. When you have finished your blog, you can opt for allowing people to comment or not, preview your work and then when you are ready hit publish and it is live. With hosted blog platforms they go onto domains that already have good page rankings, so your blog gets picked up and ranked very quickly by the search engines. Your blog should not be one long sales pitch, your aim should be to focus on helping others, so if you are a catering establishment provide your readers with new recipes and if you sell wine provide your readers information on the different types of grapes and backgrounds to a wine of the month. When writing your blog, you should remember your first audience is the search engines, so mention your subject as often as possible in the first paragraph as this will help your search engine rankings. You should be personal in your blog as blogging is informal by nature, so there is no requirement for a poetic master piece, but be aware that the biggest fear of business blogging is someone will judge your business on a misspelt word or grammatical error.