For small business owners, blogging is still one of the least expensive and most effective ways to market your brand, product, and services.
Are you blogging tonight?
If you are a small business owner, you should be blogging every day or every night.
The importance of a blog to your business cannot be exaggerated. Small businesses with a blog site are better known and can become more profitable than a small business that doesn’t have their own blog.
The reasons for this should be obvious to anyone with the least amount of social media experience and savvy. Everyone looks at a blog or two each day. Whether it’s about politics, recipes, weather, religion, entertainment, or gardening. Blogs are still considered a valid source of information by many people. And the lack of a blog for your company sends a subtle message to customers and potential customers. And that message is: “We don’t care if you know much about us or not.”
Think about it. When you shop online and run across a small business that has what you want but has no blog or website…do you bother with them or not? If you’re honest with yourself you’ll admit that you don’t bother with that particular business any further. And so they have lost you as a customer. And all because they didn’t take the trouble to create a blog or website.
Which is better, blog or website?
For the purposes of this article, a blog and a website are exactly the same. There are some technical differences between blogs and websites but they are of concern only to tech wonks.
For you, the average small business person, you can call your blog a website with a clear conscience. That’s because everything you need to do to increase profitability and branding can be done on your blog. Calling it a website just makes it sound more professional. And of course, you can blog all you want for free, while websites can run into money.
So how do I start if I don’t have a site for my small business?
Let’s take the example of a fictional small business called Bob’s Widgets. Now Bob knows how to make good widgets. And he’s got some loyal customers. And word of mouth about his fantastic widgets is spreading.
Bob wants more brand recognition for his widgets but he’s so busy polishing, and oiling, and painting his widgets that he doesn’t have time to invest in doing any social media himself. And he’s certainly in no financial position to hire anyone just to blog about his widgets.
But Bob must blog, or perish.
He’s got to have a social media presence. And since Bob is a smart cookie, he looks around at his staff and finds that Sally in inventory seems to have a lot of time on her hands. Which she uses to text and keep up with her Facebook and Instagram accounts. So canny Bob calls Sally into his office and “promotes” her to his social media manager.
She still has to handle inventory, but now she gets to use her social media skills (or obsession) to create a daily blog for Bob’s Widgets. He gives her general ideas about what to blog each day. She in turn translates these ideas into actual posts. Anyone with WordPress experience knows that a simple blog with graphics can be written and posted in a matter of minutes.
Once it’s up and running he’ll test his blog’s effectiveness from time to time by having Sally post 2-for-1 sales or some other kind of bargain for his customers that is only mentioned on his blog. This way he can track his results from the blog. And the beauty part is that when enough articles have been posted, they can start to be repurposed.
And it’s all free to him. He hasn’t had to spend one extra dime.
Get the customers on your site.
Have you ever been to a store that took your picture and put it up on a bulletin board and captioned it “Customer of the Month?” Or have you had a similar experience online? It’s hokey, sure, but c’mon…you loved seeing it!
With your own blog up and running, you are in a perfect position to post positive customer feedback and recognize customer loyalty by asking for a photo and a comment. And then posting the same.
The fact of the matter is this is a gambit that you cannot overuse. If you make your blog about your customers and the benefits they receive from your product and/or services it will inevitably draw more and more views. Because when Uncle Harry gets his photo and comment posted on your blog he is going to brag about it to his whole family and demand that they take a look at it or face his wrath.
Are you convinced?
I hope so. You should be. To reiterate, a site will increase your presence online, draw in more customers, and give your small business an added cachet of permanence and reliability.