This is a guest post from Vincent H. Clarke.
The blogging platform has really taken the business world by storm in these past couple of years. Slowly but surely I’ve seen topics at entrepreneurial conferences shift from simple “email marketing” and “lead generation” to massive “blog subscriptions” and “wordpress plugins” seminars.
Love it or hate it, blogging is everywhere nowadays and will probably be around for the long haul.
So how does this affect your small business? Should you stop everything and pick up blogging? Or should you just ignore it as a trend since it wouldn’t really fit with what your company does anyway?
It’s different for every case. But for this article, I’ll go through the important things every small business should know about blogging, including why so many companies find it to be a worthwhile business platform, and what to expect if you decide to start your own blog.
Create Quality Content
People love great content. Search engines follow people. Therefore, search engines also love great content! The more of it you produce, the more love search engines will give your website. It’s that simple.
The problem is that most ecommerce sites and other small business websites don’t have much to say or add after they’ve written out their company profile, contact information, and product/service descriptions.
Blogging provides the perfect platform for you to give your audience some useful, engaging, fun, exciting content that will make them respect and admire your company. Web designers for example, could have a blog about tips and tricks for web development. Ecommerce companies that sell computer parts and supplies can write blog posts covering the latest trends in technology and software development.
Blogging is the perfect way to keep adding fresh, engaging content that will attract visitors. Search engines will then prioritize your site pages in their search results and your gain even more online traffic for your business.
Help Establish Your Brand
If you haven’t taken the time to build authority and trust in your chosen market, customers simply won’t buy from you no matter how good your services and products are.
You can use your blog to publish tutorials, white papers, case studies, and other articles that establish you as an authority in your industry. In addition, you have a chance to communicate with your readers through comments and forum replies. This type of engagement is great for establishing trust from your customers and word-of-mouth advertising.
It’s All Up to You
If you’re a small company that’s just starting out, you’ll find it may be hard to build a large audience at first. There are so many blogs on the web in so many niches that it’s virtually impossible to build a successful blog with little to no effort.
Luckily, everything you need to know about making a great blog is available online for free! There are countless tutorials, guides, ebooks, videos, posts and even entire blogs dedicated to helping you succeed. Most people completely quit when they’re just about to reach their biggest growth, so it’s incredibly important that you keep the good work even if you’re not seeing any immediate progress.
What you put into blogging will directly affect what you get out of it. One great way to add something extra to your blog is to give it a level of transparency. If you’re a one-person entrepreneur, don’t be afraid to add some personal stories and experiences. Man vs. Debt, for example, is a highly successful blog that shares financial advice to its readers. The owner takes it upon himself to share the ins and outs of his finances because he wants his readers to see the progress he’s made in his own battle with debt.
As an ecommerce company it probably wouldn’t be wise to share your finances with the public, but you may add a level of transparency by writing about the owner and staff. Maybe cover company events or birthdays. Add a little personal touch that no other company can replicate. But remember to provide some form of value to the visitor besides talking about your company and what you have to offer.
We’re living in the age of free information exchange. Give something to the public that they can use and value for free. Keeping this in mind, blogging can be a lucrative, outstanding platform to elevate your small business to an unprecedented level of success.
Vincent H. Clarke is a marketing analyst and blogger for USB Memory Direct, a wholesaler of custom promotional products. As someone who works in marketing, he enjoys learning and blogging about content strategy and personal productivity.