Blogging for business is a topic that is confusing for a lot of people. Seasoned bloggers know about the tremendous advertising and branding potential of blogs, but many business owners still don't.
In order to help explain how and why blogs have so much marketing potential, I created this business blogging map and article. There's a ton of information out there, and I think this helps organize and explain some of it.
For more details, and lots of links to other great resources, check out the full article.
Blogs, Businesses, and Marketing
The big picture of blogging for business goes something like this. In order to be successful with business blogging you’ll need to put in a good amount of time. Blogs need to be updated regularly, most people say between 3-5 times per week, so there is a lot of writing involved. Also, blogging is a very social activity. This means that you should read and comment on other blogs, as well as network and build relationships with other bloggers. In summary, it takes time and effort.
The result of your efforts, however, can be truly outstanding. A well-designed and frequently updated blog can boost your website to the top of search results (blogs are awesome from an SEO perspective), it can draw in thousands of visitors, and it can help build your image as an authority. A successful blog can serve as branding, advertising, networking, and sales all rolled into one. And they don’t even cost much. For those of you who want more details about exactly what a blog is, check this article out.
Creating Great Content
The foundation of a great blog is great content. At its core, a blog is basically a collection of articles with discussions and subscribers. The quality of the articles determines the quality of the blog, how many people will subscribe, how many new visitors you’ll get, how many links you’ll get, etc…
Writing great content is the key to a great blog.
To learn more, read some these articles written by my fellow bloggers:
Network with Other Bloggers
The second major component of a successful blog is networking. Basically, you’ll want to form relationships with other blogs in your niche. The more friends you have, the better off you’ll be. Your blogging friends will link to you, send traffic, and comment—all of which are important to successfully marketing yourself online. Plus, you might decide you even like a few of them.
Here are the various forms of blog networking you should know about:
Blogs and Social Media
Technically speaking, a blog is a type of social media. In this context, however, I’m talking about social media news sites specifically, and how to get lots of visitors from them. In essence, a social media news site (like Digg, Reddit, or StumbleUpon) is a democratic way of presenting articles. Good articles are voted up to the front page, bad articles are voted down.Going popular on one of these sites can literally send thousands of visitors in a single day (but don’t underestimate how difficult it is).
Here is some more in-depth reading:
Search Engine Optimization
Ah the mystical realm of SEO—which, in reality, isn’t very mystical (or even very difficult) if you’re running a blog. Blogs are almost the epitome of perfection when it comes to getting search engine traffic. A well run blog will naturally have good content, and will naturally get links from other websites. These two factors alone make for a very well optimized website. The only things that aren’t directly inherit to blogging are keyword research and site structure, but both of these can be learned.
Here are some excellent search engine optimization resources:
The Final Result
Blogs are a really good marketing tactic for small businesses. A blog can raise your profile on the internet, attract new customers, build your authority, sell more of your products, and many other great things.
Here’s the question: is blogging worth the time and effort it takes?
Personally, I think it’s worth the effort, especially if you can sell things online. Even in cases where you might only do business locally, or have a single brick-and-mortar store, I still think there is a lot to be gained from blogging.
What are your thoughts?