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Jun. 30, 2012

Blogging Matters!

How Blogs and Blogging Can Help Your Business

Blogs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. A blog can be a web log, a daily pulpit, a collaborative space, a breaking-news outlet, a collection of links or an online public diary or journal that is written for others to read. Your blog is whatever you want it to be. There are millions of them and there are no real rules. In simple terms, a blog is a website where you write informative articles (blog posts) on a continual basis. Most recent entries show up at the top so your visitors can read what's new. You can even set up your blog so your visitors can comment or link to it.

Businesses can use blogs to promote their company, establish brand recognition and drive traffic to their website so visitors will buy their product or service. Blogging is also a great way to help your company or individual company leaders establish an identity as an “industry expert” by discussing relevant trends, news, events, etc.

As a marketing tool blogs are full of potential, have truly unique characteristics and are easy to use. (If you can update a WORD document you can operate a blog). Blog posts can be added or updated at any time and from virtually anywhere there is Internet access. Blogs also have long shelf lives, as they exist on the internet until you decide to remove them.

The cost of generating organic search traffic is much lower than traditional advertising. Search engine optimization has the lowest cost-per-lead and the highest return on investment (ROI). U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, estimated that the cost per lead was $0.29 for search engine optimization, $1.18 for yellow pages advertising, $2.00 for banner ads, and $9.94 for direct mail. Thus making search engine optimization the clear winner in ROI for marketing strategies.

When implementing an SEO campaign most SEO experts will tell you “content is king” and you must have relevant, fresh content on your website in order for search engines to continually index your site. Adding a blog scroll to the homepage of your website is a great way to accomplish this. You can also add keywords and tags to your blog posts making it easier for search engines to serve your blog when those keywords are searched for.

Additional Tips:

  • Add social media plugins to your blog allowing visitors to quickly share your blog with their followers to help grow your brand organically.
  • Visit industry related blogs and comment on them in the posts. Establish yourself as an industry expert in these blogs and create dialog with other readers.
  • Keep your business blog frank and with relative topics. More than likely your readers visit your blog for specific information. If you are a computer chipboard manufacturer keep your posts related to this industry. You would not want to write about the cosmetics or fashion.

A few common mistakes businesses make when blogging are listed below:

  • Not blogging on a consistent basis. People will loose interest while waiting for you to update and this loss of traffic may not return.
  • Poorly written content will make your blog unprofessional. Readers are looking for you to be the expert, so make sure your information is accurate and not full of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.
  • Allow comments, even negative ones (which should be left and addressed for all to read). People love to have the option to voice their opinion.
  • For SEO purposes and branding, your Blog must link to and have the same URL structure as your website.
  • Use keywords but don’t over use them. You don’t want your blog post to sound like a sales pitch or just be viewed as another piece of marketing material but as interactive communication.

Finally, have fun! Blogging is a great way for you to express yourself and show the world why your company is the best at what it does.

Happy blogging!

[image: ThinkStockPhotos]

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