For starters, what is blogging? Many people ask us this question. For some business owners we speak to, it’s not truly clear to them what blogging is, how it should be gone about or how it’s used in the marketing process.
The word blog is a contraction of the words web and log and is a discussion or informational site published in the web. It consists mostly of entries or posts typically displayed in order from the most recent post to the oldest post. The majority of blogs allow users to leave comments and sometimes even to message each other. This interactivity is what helps to distinguish the blogs from other static websites. A blog writer or business owner can get instant feedback through comments on their blog.
Blogs can be a form of social networking, an online diary of sorts, or most popular as of late, online brand advertising of a particular service or product. Blogs can share opinions, graphics, product information, product reviews or any number of details about a company or person. A typical blog contains text and images, as well as links to other blogs, web pages and other related media. Blogs can be shared in numerous places on the world wide web through all the social media channels available. Blogging has become extremely popular over the last few years and continues to be a way that most businesses use to get their information to the general public and their customers. In February 2011, there were over 156 million public blogs in existence worldwide. Some of the more popular blog hosts include Tumblr, WordPress and Blogger.
So how can blogging work for your business?
Here are a few suggestions to get those creative juices flowing:
As a business owner, you can relate to answering certain questions, time after time. Why not use a blog post to expand on those questions? If you leave the commenting area open for comments, it is quite possible that you could receive other questions and ideas to answer as well.
Showcase your product or services by sharing pictures daily instead of writing. While this might not be appropriate for every line of business, it can be of help to some and can be used to showcase products without seeming to be overly salesy.
Showcase new product ideas or ask customers how they feel about possible new products, product lines, etc. The key thought here is Market Research – blogs can be a great way to informally conduct market research.
Having a big Summer Sale? Offering a BOGO (buy one get one)? Put it in your blog. This is a great way to get readers to follow you. Let’s consider for a moment, people like to do what with special offers or sales? Share them of course! By including these offers and sales you would be surprised by the new business you will gain.
Content, Content, Content In creating a blog and posting regular blog posts, you will never run out of great things to post to your social media accounts. Once certain blogs, topics and ideas hit the social media (Facebook, twitter, etc) they can even go viral and bring much exposure to your business or product.
While this is certainly not an all-inclusive list of the ways that blogging can be used to increase business, these are some ideas to get you started and thinking. Sometimes, a basic explanation for those who don’t consider themselves to be super tech savvy can help you to understand blogging and how it can assist your business in reaching its marketing goals.
As you can see from this blog post, which is shared with you through the power of WordPress – blogging has become a power tool to market and promote your business. Blogs are very user-friendly to your consumer, they can be quickly indexed by search engines and with just a smidgen of creativity, can easily be started, shared and expanded upon to give the average consumer much more information about your business.