10 Big Benefits Of A Busy Business Blog: (And How To take Advantage) | WebReference

10 Big Benefits Of A Busy Business Blog: (And How To take Advantage)

10 Big Benefits Of A Busy Business Blog (And How To take Advantage)

By Matt Jackson

About blogs, what can be said that hasn't been said before? In all truth, very little, but there's still a lack of businesses willing to take up the "challenge" of running their own blog. Those that have done so often report their findings and invariably they have positive reviews of both the blogging process and the results of their business blog. In a bid to hammer the point home we've compiled a list of ten advantages of establishing and maintaining a business blog.

It's important to note the word "busy" in the title of this article. It isn't there simply because it begins with a B and lends itself perfectly to the alliteration in the title. It's meant to outline the fact that a blog is at its finest when it's regularly filled with quality content. A blog with no content is just a template.

1 - Quick And Easy

Two words that every business owner and manager loves. A blog is simple to set up even for the technologically challenged. There are a number of free blogging services, and while these aren't ideal for a business blog they offer a way to start. Setting up a blog isn't like setting up a Web site. In the worst case scenario you'll have to install a software application on your Web site and tinker with a few settings.

2 - Inexpensive Setup

The only word more popular than quick and easy is inexpensive. To integrate a blog into the page of your site costs little, especially since someone within your organization can usually do it. Even outsourcing the task will cost only a couple hundred dollars. A blog could become one of the most powerful marketing weapons you have in your arsenal and the money you spend might just pay a salesperson for one day's work.

3 - Provides Easy Access To Company News

A business blog can be written in one of numerous styles, or a combination of these. One huge benefit is the ability to inform your customers of any changes, new products, latest offers and much more. This, in turn, can lead to direct sales. People love to frequent blogs and pass their time reading the same ones on a regular basis. Captivate your audience with compelling content and you'll receive a growing list of market leads. Remember that individual blog readers generally prefer a personable style but if your operation is a business-to-business one then you'll need to vary your style accordingly.

Typically, companies have used newsletter and e-newsletters to offer this kind of regular contact with their customers and potential customers. Using a blog is easier and it can be updated more regularly than when offering a weekly or monthly newsletter.

4 - Search Engine Friendly

Search engine optimization is a particularly beneficial form of online marketing. It can be used to gain search engine traffic for given keywords or search terms. Your blog offers the opportunity to promote your Web site for hundreds or even thousands of different keywords. Search engines particularly like promoting blogs because they offer a large amount of content that is updated and added to on a regular basis.

5 - Appear Accessible

It doesn't matter whether you are not, but you and your company will appear to be more accessible especially if you allow freedom for all your visitors to post comments. Accessibility is often a stumbling block for many potential customers that still prefer to deal with companies offline. A blog makes you more approachable and so alleviates this concern.

6 - Appear Authoritative

The appearance of authority is also important to online businesses. Customers will be much more likely to use your service or purchase your goods if they see you as an authority on a particular subject. Give your views on the latest events in your industry, offer reviews of related items and comparisons of several items. Do anything, within reason, that makes you look like an authority on your topic area.

7 - Brand Awareness

The more a customer hears the name of your company the greater the chance of remembering it. It takes, on average, around seven items of direct communication between you and your customers to make a sale. A blog with hundreds of posts gives you the opportunity to mention your company name and ensure that your readers think of you next time they're looking for a particular product or service.

8 - Relationship Building

Another difficult aspect of building a relationship with your customers online is building a rapport with them. A blog enables you to speak more freely and in a more informal and personable style than your Web site does, and your readers will soon feel like they know you. The more they know, like and trust you the more likely they are to visit your main site, click your links and purchase your product.

9 - Gain An Insight Into Your Customers

A business blog enables you to gain insight into your customers. It does this in several ways. Predominantly, by allowing your customers to leave comments on your posts, you get a sense of how they react to what you say. You can also track which posts are being read more often and which generate a greater number of clicks, emails, and much more. As far as market and customer research goes this is important information.

10 - Reduce Calls And Emails

You can use a blog to pre-empt questions that customers might have. By sending readers to your blog you can gain all of the above benefits and you may reduce the amount of niggling questions that you get asked by customers. Of course, you might also receive a lot more orders by email, but nobody wants to reduce those emails.

Maintaining A Successful Business Blog

While there are free blogging services available they generally offer ad-supported blogs with a restricted amount of templates and options. To truly take advantage with a business blog your best bet is to use a commercial application or pay for a commercial service. These enable you to integrate the blog into your own domain incorporating your own design. This ensures that you offer the full benefit to site visitors while making it easier to point blog visitors toward the appropriate pages of your site.

Regular content is imperative to the success of any blog. This content needs to be informative, accurate, and written in a way that will appeal to your visitors. Every blog demands different content and by producing the right content on a regular basis it will pay dividends.

In some posts you should try to find an opportunity to link to at least one page on your main Web site. Try not to get carried away by placing too many links or linking from all your posts but if you mention a particular product, link the name of that product to the corresponding page on your site. Alternatively include a paragraph at the bottom of the page that includes a link to a related resource (on your own page, or an affiliate link). If you're using a blog to make money through affiliate links then you should be careful to only use affiliate links in a relatively small proportion of your posts.

About The Author

Matt Jackson is a blog writer, Web site content copywriter, and a big fan of alliteration in article titles. Through his Web site, WebWiseWords, he offers a full blog writing and posting service for businesses of any size and industry.

Created: March 27, 2003
Revised: December 11, 2006

URL: http://webreference.com/authoring/bus_blog/1