Remember around 2002 or so when everyone and their dog had a blog? All you would ever hear was “Check out my blog!” It became so ubiquitous that it wasn’t even that exciting anymore—unless you were lucky enough to get high dollar book and movie deals. But when it comes to small businesses, having a blog can actually give you more advantages than the satisfaction of merely blogging about your cat (not that we disapprove of this. Maru we love you!). Read below to learn why you should consider starting a blog about your business and following blogging best practices.
The biggest reason businesses start blogs is to create a sense of community for their readers and customers. A company blog offers you opportunities to create a dialogue with your customers through the comments they post. Instead of sending one-way marketing messages, a blog keeps the relationship, and the line of communication, open both ways.
Build Your Reputation
Once you’ve built relationships with others, your reputation will grow. Clients like to do business with companies they feel like they know. With your blog you can help people get to know you as a company. Post blogs about charities you’re involved with, share customer testimonials or share solutions your services provide to common problems.
The more your customers know you, the more loyal they become. If you feature new products within your blog, your loyal customers will want to try them out. You can even give back to these customers by featuring them in your blog. Offer a subscription or RSS feed to your blog, so that you know your customers will visit your blog when you post new content.
If all your prospective clients see is your portfolio or a menu of your services, they might not be that inclined to do business with you. But with a blog, you are able to build authority through blog posts and your responses to comments. By building authority and credibility, you’re allowing potential customers to get to know you, your skill set, and the solutions you provide your customers.
Blogs help you with your search engine optimization because they provide fresh content for search engines to feed on. Because a lot of websites tend to be fairly static, a regularly updated blog provides keyword-rich content that search engines love. This means that your site will be ranked higher in search engines, making it more likely to be viewed by more visitors, which will ultimately help boost sales.
Build Yourself as a Brand
When visitors stumble onto your blog, they find out more information about you than they would with just a website. This is where you can sell yourself as a brand but also show your potential clients a little bit about the real you. You’re sharing yourself, not being a marketing droid, and your audience will catch onto that and should respond favorably—as long as you adhere to the following tips.
- Inform readers about your products and services. Make sure your readers know what exactly you do. While we may blog about issues that are pertinent to all small businesses, we always let you know how our services and vendors alleviate these issues.
- Use a professional voice. You want to be authoritative and credible. Try to steer clear of slang and curse words. You can be informal but professional at the same time.
- Edit, edit, edit. You should always read over your posts before publishing. You want your posts to be free of typos and grammatical errors or it could hinder your credibility.
- Be personal. You don’t want to be a robot. Have personality and flair!
- But not too personal. Don’t over share or say anything offensive. You always want to remain a professional.
- Keep opinions and beliefs to a minimum. Again, you don’t want to offend anyone.
- Treat readers courteously. If someone leaves a comment or question, respond to it! You’re building a community, not just writing blog posts.
- Link to social media. Make sure people can find your blog. Write about interesting topics and post often, and then link your blog to your Facebook and Twitter accounts so that people can find you!
While building a website using a website builder or a professional can help you become a credible business, starting a company blog can propel your company forward. In addition to promoting your website, you might want to also look into other helpful marketing tools, such as email marketing services, which can help keep your readers updated about new blog posts and other updates to your website.