Blogging for small business success

There has been an exponential rate of increase in blogging in the last couple of years. Although there is a danger of a new blog getting lost in the mass of postings, blogging can be a key factor in business success.

The wonderful people at Cobweb Information for Business give some useful tips in their latest free e-newsletter, which I have included below. I believe the key to success is having a passion about your area of expertise. I remember soon after starting this job trying to convince Michael North the owner of the Olive Trail in Bloomsbury to start a blog on Olive Oil as he had such an incredible knowledge and enthusiasm.

1. Blogging takes commitment and time. You’ll have to dedicate your time to providing customers and other site visitors (and this may include other bloggers) with new information. There’s nothing more off-putting for readers when they visit a blog only to find stale, old content. This doesn’t mean you have to type forever – some of the best blogs are short, pithy entries that the reader can view and understand easily.

2. The content must be relevant. Blogs can help to position you as an expert in your field if they’re written the right way. They also enable you to promote your products and services with the personal touch, as you can link to news articles, pictures etc, to keep the content fresh and inspiring.

3. Links are important. It’s easy to forget the business behind the blog and get lost in the blog’s content. Build links to the site from other websites related to your business or your expertise. More links generally mean more traffic and a better search engine position.

4. Blogs are interactive. Readers can normally post their own comments to your blog entries. This allows existing and potential customers to comment on your product or service, or the process involved in buying that product or service. Bear in mind that it might take some time for someone to comment on your entries, so persevere. Install a site counter or check your website statistics to see how many people are viewing your blog. Blog Patrol has free blog counting tools you can download.

5. Is there a call to action? Does the blog link through to a special offer or service you’re currently running? Calls to action will help you win new customers or encourage existing ones to try out new products or services.

6. Can you make cash from your blog? For instance, is there advertising space on it which an organisation could use to market to your audience? Is there an affiliate programme you can join? Post some affiliate links within your blog and you could earn money when a reader clicks through to the affiliate site and buys a product.

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