What is a “blog” and how can it improve your business?

in Social Media Marketing

A “blog” (contraction of web log) is a type of website that provides a continually updated journal or communication of “posts” from the blogger (source) to an audience (subscribers or followers) over the Internet. Personal blogs are the most common, providing a continuing diary or commentary from an individual to whoever may interested. Corporate or Business blogs are either private (internal company distribution and access only) or public to whoever is interested. Blogs are a core part of ‘Web 2.0’ and Social Media Internet technologies. Blogs provide the audience with capabilities to comment on individual blog posts and engage in a written dialog with the blogger and between themselves.

Blogs typically focus on a single topic reflecting the expertise or interests of the blogger. While many personal blogs have small followings and work fine for the individual, there is no reason to have a business blog unless you can attract a sizable audience of followers. The purpose of a business blog is to draw attention to your business via the valuable and useful information on your blog. The only way you’re going attract an audience of consequence for your business blog is to write about something that interests the type of customers you want to attract. The blog provides you with another channel to attract customers to your business.

Let’s take an example – assume your business is auto parts recycling – you dismantle scrap vehicles to reclaim the usable parts to sell. You have a website with great information about your business and catalog of available parts. Let’s assume that you have a big interest in rebuilding classic cars from recycled scrap vehicles. You could write a blog about tips, techniques, guidance, ideas, etc. related to rebuilding classic cars. You know there are 100,000’s classic car enthusiasts and you could attract some of them to your blog if you provide valuable information. You can now subtly market your auto parts recycling business to these people reading your blog, creating a whole new audience of potential buyers for your business.

The possibilities are endless, but it’s not a matter of throwing something out and seeing if it sticks. Business blogging is a high potential marketing tool if you develop a viable business plan covering the various aspects of your blog strategy.

How to use this information to benefit your business

  • Blogs open up a whole new marketing channel to reach your existing customers and/or new audience of potential buyers for your business, using a different medium.
  • Stay focused on one topic. Thoroughly research potential topics related to your business that a relatively large audience would be interested in following.
  • You must have solid expertise and experience in your chosen topic. If not, your audience will see through the façade and never materialize or leave after a short time.
  • Provide valuable information that will benefit your audience and keep them coming back.
  • Post regularly – at least one per week.
  • Keep blog posts reasonably short – 350-500 words.
  • Make an informed decision on the blog system before you start. Make sure the blog system you choose will work for you long term.
  • Don’t change the URL (Internet address) of your blog – you’ll lose your audience and search engine indexing. Use your own domain for your blog – e.g. blog.yourcompanyname.com or www.yourcompanyname.com/blog.

See the ‘More ideas for Blog topics’ article for developing individual blog topics.
Copyright © 2009 Ingistics LLC and Marketance™ www.marketance.com

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