As I was bouncing some ideas for the presentation off of my wife, she asked, "Why don't you blog about blogging? I bet that would be helpful to a lot of small business owners."
Since the cobbler's children have no shoes -- that is, I rarely post on my own blog -- it's about time that I take some of my own advice that I give to small business owners: post on a regular basis!
One very common question I get when I speak to small business owners is, "What benefit is there for my business to have a blog?"
Here are five of the major benefits.
Blogs increase traffic. If you write about topics that interest your customers, they will keep coming back to the blog -- which is hopefully part of your business website -- to read more. That will keep your business on their minds. And when blog posts strike a chord with them, they'll post a link to your blog on social media, thus attracting their friends and family and followers to your blog. This will create leads, and it will also help convert leads into sales.
Blogs establish your expertise in your field. When you discuss topics relating to your area of business, your customers will soon see your passion and expertise. Customers prefer patronizing businesses where the employees know what they're talking about. Blogs help establish that sense of authority with your own clientele.
Blogs are cheap advertising. What you post on your blog stays on the internet forever. When you post an article about widgets and use good search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, your blog post will come up in the results an online search for widgets. So a year from now, two years from now, 10 years from now, someone needs a widget. She does an online search to learn more about widgets and where she can get one, and your blog post comes up in the search. She clicks on it, learns about widgets, discovers your business, and patronizes it to pick up the widget she needs. You've got a new customer, and what did that blog cost you? Nothing, if you wrote it yourself. Next to nothing, if you hired a content writer. In either case, it cost you much less than TV, radio or print advertising, and unlike billboards, TV commercials, ads in newspapers and magazines, radio time, etc., your blog will always be there for customers to find.
Blogs give business owners a voice. What do you want your customers to know about your business and/or area of expertise? What do you want them to take away from their interaction with you? What frequently-asked question would you like to address? What new great idea do you want to share with your clientele? Blogging gives business owners a way of expressing what's important to them, thus furthering the image of authority in one's field of expertise, engaging their clientele, increasing traffic, and advertising in a meaningful, inexpensive, cost-effective manner.
These certainly aren't the only reasons to start and maintain a blog for your small business, but they're five of the biggest ones.
What concerns do you have about blogging for your small business?