Business Blogs – A Must For Small Business

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Did you know there are over 150 million blogs on the internet? And thousands more are being created every day. Blogs are no longer an option for any type of business – this includes services businesses such as lawn care, pest control or beauty salons, restaurants and retail outlets and the local care repair shop. If you don’t have a blog there is a good possibility your competitor does and they are what local people are seeing when they search online for your product or service.

People love information. Today’s customers want interaction, answers to their questions and updated content. A business blog provides this 24/7 Using a blog delivers value to your customers and shows them that they are valued.

So exactly what is a blog? It is an online journal on topics that you as a business owner are an expert. In most cases, the software used to create a blog is easy to learn. If you are familiar with using a word processor, you can create a blog. You can add your own personality with themes, photos and video. This is a great way to create an online presence and establish you as an expert.

A blog is a great venue to give your target audience and prospects easy access to news and information about your company, products or services. You can share such news items as new product releases, coupons, behind the scenes insider information and much more. Try adding audio and video to make your blog stand out. Think of a blog as an extended newsletter. Much easier to produce and maintain.

One great reason to maintain a blog is that search engines such as Google love blogs because they contain valuable information and are frequently updated. Often blogs will contain links to other websites and information on the same topic which is also valued by the search engines. In general, blogs generate a lot more traffic than websites which also increases search ranking. Google will index a blog almost immediately, as opposed to a website which can take weeks.

In my opinion, the most valuable part of a blog is that it is a relationship building tool. Visitors to your blog can share comments and suggestions with you. This can help you to better understand your potential customers and their wants and needs. Make sure that your customers know about your blog and see it as a great place to get tips and information. Use the side navigation bars to post coupons or specials. However, be sure that your regular posts are packed with good information.

If you are just starting with a blog, you may feel lonely because you are talking to yourself. The only readers that you get is your spouse or other family members. If you can relate to that, here are 6 ways to help you build momentum in your blog.

1. Tag and ping
Use the right tags and ping the blog services to notify them about new content on your blog. Using the right tags will help others find your post, hence increasing the visibility of your content.

Tag pages are created automatically by blog software such as WordPress. They are also great for targeting long tail keywords as they are keyword rich. I bet you’ve found a lot of tag pages ranking very well for moderate to low competitive keywords.

2. Write press releases
Tie in certain news or events with your blog. Announcing that you are creating a new blog is not a news worth telling. There are millions of blogs that are already out there. Use some creativity, and you will bring traffic back to your site.

Press release may get you additional exposure from the media and other blogs. If nothing else, you may get backlinks from authority sites, which in turn strengthen your search engine position.

3. Comment on other blogs
Blogging is about communication and building relationship. Find other blogs within the same niche and start commenting. Leave useful and quality comments because they represent yourself in the blogosphere.

When people like what you say, often they will visit your blog and read more. You may get more subscribers to your RSS feeds or e-newsletter. Again, every promotional effort may lead to discovery of your content. That in turn will expose many opportunities that otherwise are not available to you.

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