In my last post I pointed out the differences in blogs vs websites and offered my preference between the two for your business. So if you are running a local business in your area, you should definitely consider maintaining a blog (short for weblog) to share your business news and expertise with your clientele. Local business blogging gives you a great opportunity to reach out to a broad audience and help build a strong sense of community among your employees and patrons. If you are thinking that your not sure because of technology or the time involved, re-evaluate this kind of thinking. Blogging has become so readily available lately it is as simple as navigating some of the social networks you’re probably familiar with.
There are many blogging platforms available online like Drupal, Blogger or WordPress (The preferred system of most) that can easily be set up to meet your needs. A blog can complement an existing website or stand alone and act as your new website. When you want to update in any one of these platforms, which are based usually on content management systems, you just log in and enter new posts or entries and make any changes you want to as needed. No need for a fancy web designer or a code writer or computer programmer to come to your place and update the blog like so many IT professionals we’ve had to deal with in the past. All businesses need to have an online presence and be visible to the search engines and to the folks that use them.
Blogging has been proven time and again to be a great method of ranking online. This means more pages in the search engines, which in turn means more potential for people to visit your site and learn about your company and the services you offer. Search engine traffic generation is an economical way to market your business. This means you can further save money on your advertising by having a blog. When you want to rank for certain keywords or keyword phrases, marketers that specialize in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can assist you in the best way to go about it. It is becomming commonplace for companies to enlist the help of professionals for the online marketing and publicity aspects of their business.
Blogging about information regarding your particular local business or area of expertise will not only offset and reduce the need for some advertising expenditure, it will help you foster more trust and interest in your company and create an open flow of communication. Another great aspect of a local business blog is that you will lower the cost of your overall online marketing greatly. The blog will help you to ensure a needed internet presence with the updates you will be putting to your blog at your descretion. You can communicate changes about your company, major news, promotions, sales, specials, and any other information you see fit. This improved communication with your clientele will surely contribute to a boost in your sales.
It is also of benefit to share news about your industry with other professionals in your field or those related to your field. Many local businesses complement one another so you can gain further strength and momentum by staying in touch with others online and creating networks and support systems. Having a blog also offers the possibility to create a newsletter and implement email autoresponders which will mean you can easily reach your customer base with updates and broadcasts through this useful effective form of communication. This can be done through email programs or mobile phones and devices.
Just having a site on the internet is not enough anymore. Interaction with your visitors and potential customer base is crucial and creates an openess and transparency you should strive for, a blog is one of the ways that makes this possible. Your updates will be read when they are available and then your visitors can leave feedback which keeps you in touch and enlightened about ways to grow and improve your business services. Now is the best time to start blogging and it only involves getting a web host, choosing a blog platform, and getting some assistance in getting started. I’ll soon be posting about some preferred hosting plans and blogging platforms which make it extemely easy to get started in blogging for your local business.