Blogging for Business
Blogging is really hot and yet many people still have no idea what it is or what it’s for. I usually get one of two responses when I tell people that I recently launched a blog: ‘A what?’ or ‘Great, where can I find it?’
It seems people are either completely aware and involved with blogging or unaware of its existence. Don’t be left behind and miss out on a fabulous opportunity to connect with more potential clients and partners.
Some people have heard about blogs and have a negative impression of them. Yes, there are people who have blogs that consist of nothing more than an on-line diary that documents their ordinary, daily life activities. This is not what I am talking about. I want you to use blogging to promote your business!
Highly respected business leaders and writers like Debbie Weil, Tom Peters, Seth Godin, and Malcolm Gladwell as well as large corporations have blogs, so why not you?
How blogging benefits your business:
- Gain additional exposure to prospective clients and the media
- Drive traffic to your website
- Positions you as an expert and your business as the solution
- Start reading interesting blogs
- Comment on others’ blogs
- Begin your own blog
Reading BlogsThink about authors of books you like and see if they have a blog. What about your industry, who are the leaders? Do they have a blog? You can search technorati.com which is a search engine similar to Google which is specifically for blogs.
So how do you know when the blogs you like have new information for you to read? You can download software to your computer although I recommend two other options.
One is a web based ‘reader’ which simply entails going to a website (newsgator.com and bloglines.com are examples) and signing up and then selecting blogs you are interested in. The other option is to receive notification of your favorite blogs via e-mail by signing up at each blog you like. You can always do a combination of both.
Commenting on BlogsAfter each entry on a blog there is usually a link at the end that says, you guessed it, ‘comments’ and if you click on it you can type in your thoughts on the topic.
Some blogs allow you to post your comments immediately and others preview your comments before posting.
When you write interesting comments to blogs, you gain exposure because you ‘sign’ your comment by adding a link to your website, your e-mail address, or to your own blog.
Start Your Own BlogThere is a ton of free information on the internet about how to start a blog so I won’t go into the details here.
Trust me, I’m no technical wizard so if I can do it, you can too. You don’t have to design anything, most blog hosts provide a wide selection of templates you can choose from.
You can choose a free blog host like blogger.com or wordpress.com. I chose an inexpensive paid blog host, Typepad.com, because it is important for me to have access to technical support.
It is critical to decide on the focus of your blog and stick to it. I love Typepad.com’s tag line, “Inform. Influence. Inspire.” What could the purpose of your blog be?
Ideas for the focus of your blog:
- Specific aspects of your business that are not covered on your website
- Case studies, tips, or articles
- Trends in your industry
Think about it, how often do you update or change the information on your website? Probably not often even if you are able to make changes yourself. Many business owners rely on a webmaster to make changes which makes the process even more complicated.
When your blog is ready, be sure to tell people about it and add it to the blog search engines which are easy to find on the internet. You can also add a link to your blog on your website, e-mail signature, and business cards!