So you're new to using the Internet to promote your business. You have a website and you don't see why you need a blog. Or maybe you've been using Facebook and Twitter to let people know about your business, so you figure you don't need a blog. Think again. A business blog can do things that an ordinary website can't – and for certain purposes, it leaves social networks in the dust.
Stoney deGeyter (http://www.searchengineguide.com/stoney-degeyter/how-blogging-can-make-a-big-difference-f.php) first discussed these points back in 2009, and they're just as relevant today. You can only post relatively short updates with Facebook and especially Twitter. If you want to go into detail or share information that loses something when boiled down to 140 characters, you need to write it up in a full-fledged blog post. And believe it or not, blogs still draw huge readerships.
One big benefit to creating a business blog is that it brings in traffic. Of course, you need to have something valuable to say – something that people will want to read. If you're blogging about your business, make sure you know what keywords searchers use when looking for information related to your field. Use those keywords in your blog posts, and they'll be more likely to find you through the search engines. If they like what they read, they may want to keep up with your posts, so offer them the option to sign up for your RSS feed.
Another advantage to creating a business blog is that it gives you the chance to share your knowledge. When your readers perceive you as knowing a lot about your field, your credibility will grow in their eyes. They'll trust you more. As deGeyter notes, “In any industry those that are viewed as the most knowledgeable tend to be the most trusted.” And people are more likely to buy from those they trust.
If you would like to make a difference in the world, a third advantage to creating a business blog is that blogs help people. At the same time that you're displaying your knowledge and building your reputation, you're giving your readers valuable information that will help them in their endeavors. That help makes their lives better.
Of course, one of the biggest benefits to creating and maintaining a business blog is that blogs attract links. When you write something useful, or funny, or compelling, your readers will link to it, passing the URL to their friends. You'd be surprised how far one good blog post can go when social media is involved. As deGeyter notes, “People love sharing information and on the web, information is shared with links.” Need I mention that the more quality links you have, the more Google likes your site – and the better you'll rank?
There's no getting around the fact that creating and maintaining a business blog is a fair bit of work. You need to post regularly, and they need to be good posts, not just throwaways. But by doing so, you'll be increasing your site's visibility and building an audience – an audience that is likely to turn into paying customers. Good luck!
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