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Friday, 16 December 2011

Should my business have a blog?

Think of a business blog as part of your online marketing toolkit. Blogs can really help you to personalise your business and build brand awareness as well as trust amongst your customers.

Business blogs are also not only extremely cost-effective but a great way to communicate with prospects, build long-term customer relationships and generally market your business.

Here’s what blogging can do for you:

  • Demonstrate your knowledge and establish you as an expert in your field

  • Make your business services stand out

  • Attract new business prospects and opportunities

  • Improve brand visibility and search engine rankings

  • Create PR and media opportunities

  • Open communications channels with prospects / customers

  • Generate new leads

  • Show customers / prospects how you can solve you’re their business problems

What should I blog about?

Decide first what you want your blog to achieve. Who are the people you want to reach? Be very specific about this and don’t try to be ‘all things to all people’. The more focussed you are, the more effective your blog will be. Think about what you can you write about that is going to be valuable and interesting to your readers. Remember, a successful business blog is always customer-focussed and never about ‘you’.

Quality and consistency is vital

If you are going to blog, then you need to be consistent and do it regularly to build customer loyalty. Quality is also extremely important; your blog should be ‘brand’ - and ‘reputation-building’. That means you must have compelling, high quality content - for your readers and to boost search engine rankings - that’s spell-checked and factually correct. The design, look and feel of your blog should also be in keeping with your corporate identity and culture.

Invite discussion

An easy way to do this is to ask your visitors for feedback by inviting them to leave comments or suggestions which keep the conversations going. And when people participate, don’t forget to thank and acknowledge them.

Comment on other people’s blogs and social sites

Get yourself known by commenting or guest blogging on other people’s blogs and discussion forums. Try to participate in other social networking channels like LinkedIn, FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube and SlideShare.

By following these tips, you will be well on your way to being a successful blogger.