Blogging for Small Businesses-A Competitive Edge
You should be. Your competition is writing a blog.
The small business blog can be considered a “best practice”.
You have a million reasons for not blogging, right? Demands on your time, fear of technology, concerns about your writing skills and uncertainly about how to best use a blog. You really can’t afford not to have an internet presence today. Increasingly, people, your potential customers, are searching for answers on the internet. A blog gives your business increased visibility on internet searches. Your name. Your product.
Four Reasons Your Business Will Benefit From A Blog
You can supplement, reduce or eliminate print advertising if you have a blog. Got new products? Write a blog post and link it back to item on your website. Add as many photos as you want (within reason) Expanding your business, won an award, received a great recommendation? Tell readers about new services, share the press release about your award, post customer recommendations. Use your business blog as a platform for bragging about the business.
Establish Your Business Expertise
Whether you sell designer shoes, closet organizers or car tune-ups, you want to establish yourself as The go-to business in your community. In addition to writing about your product you want to offer (a little) free advice or information to readers. Talk about how to organize a closet to maximize space or tell your customers how to get the most mileage from an older car. When you give customers something of value they will be appreciative. We all love to get something for ‘free’ and we often feel an obligation to give back in return, i.e, we want to do business with you.
Visibility, Visibility, Visibility
A blog increases the chances that a potential customer will find your business. If I’m searching for closet shelving and your name pops up on my internet search, I’m more likely to click and read. Your blog post on how to install closet shelves will provide a link to your website where I can either order online or find operating hours and the directions to your store.
Grow Your Customer Base
A blog not only brings readers to your site, but it can be used to grow your customer base. Every good blog should have a ‘follow me’ button or–better–an option for readers to subscribe by email. Invite readers to sign up for your newsletter. You can use this database of interested readers to grow your business. There are several email newsletter platforms that allow you to send customized content to customers. Faster. Cheaper. Effectively. Once you’ve got a base of subscribers the opportunities to promote your business expand exponentially. Send a newsletter talking about new spring merchandise and add a few interesting or useful tips your customers will enjoy. Do a promotion exclusively for newsletter subscribers (and talk about it on your blog, encouraging new sign-ups) and reward your top spenders. The possibilities are endless.
It’s all about expanding your reach.
The goal for you, the small business owner, is to find multiple ways of reaching customers. A static website isn’t going to keep your customers engaged. By adding a blog you increase the amount of time the reader stays on your website. And, if done well, you can get that reader to click through to other sections of your website.
Most blog programs are fairly simple to use. You can do the writing yourself, delegate it to a trusted staff member (more on that in the next post) or you can hire a freelance blogger/writer to help with your small business blog.