May 23, 2011
Niles Nerd

Boost Your Business with a Blog

Every company should have a blog. Consumers have come to expect it from you as a demonstration of the pulse of your business. Without a blog, or with an infrequently used blog, your customers can write you off as out of business and move on to one of your competitors.

Engaging your customers with a blog can increase repeat visits to your site as well as bring in new traffic as your content works its way through search engines. Here are simple tips for starting a blog and populating it with content your customers will value and come back for.

Jump Right In
There are a number of shortcuts that even somebody with very little online experience can use to get started fast. Services like WordPress or Blogger are tailored toward people new to blogging. These sites offer a number of attractive layouts you can use for free and have easy-to-use word processing interfaces for writing posts.
If you are more experienced online or have a computer savvy family member, you can setup a hosting account and install blogging software there. Your blog will be hosted on your own website and you will have more control over its appearance and behavior.
There are pros and cons to each, but either way you will now have a direct line of communication to your customers.
Provide Content
The first thing you will realize about your blog is that it is a great place to post news about your sales and latest products. While you definitely want to do that, people will not come back if that’s all they will find. Customers need your blog to provide value that keeps them coming back.
Write articles about the latest developments in your industry. Give your customers hints and tips on how to use your products. Answer questions, post photos, and engage your visitors with polls.
Providing content that educates will show your expertise and help build a reputation with your customers where you are seen as an authority and resource. A side benefit is the more content you have the more visible your site will become in search engines.
Update Regularly
As someone operating a small business, it may be tempting to forget about your blog and concentrate on higher priority items. To many customers your blog is your pulse. If it is neglected your customers might think you are not present. Avoid this by posting regularly.
If you know you will be too busy to update in the future, write your posts beforehand and schedule them to go out later.
Finally, Provide Links
There is no point in having a blog if people can’t get to it. It also isn’t as effective if there is no way to get from your blog to your site. Make sure to link in both directions; from your site to your blog and vice versa.
That way people that find you in web searches can find your business and products, and people on your site can consume the content in your blog.
To get started on your company blog, check out our Web Hosting and Web Site Creator services!

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