Are blogs really important for businesses? Lots of people think that only big companies need to have blogs, but Technorati says in their State of the Blogosphere report that they have indexed over 133 million blogs since 2002, and that 77% of Internet users read blogs. Of the bloggers surveyed, 56% said that their blog has helped their company establish a position as a thought leader within the industry, and 58% said that they are better known in their industry because of their blog. These statistics show that if you don’t already have a blog for your business, you really should consider setting one up! Here are seven more reasons your business needs a blog:
1) Build Your Reputation
This is especially important for small businesses - you likely can’t afford big splashy television ads or radio announcements, so what better way to get your message out to the masses than through the creation of a blog. Post your success stories, talk about charitable causes you support, and demonstrate how your products will solve problems for your customers, all of these will help to build your brand image and reputation.
2) Create Relationships
Do you know who your customers really are? The more you know about them and their likes and dislikes, the easier it will be for you to find more customers like them. A business blog is a wonderful opportunity to learn from and interact with your customers and potential customers and can be an invaluable market research tool.
3) Customer Loyalty
The closer your customers feel to you and the more they know about you, the more loyal they will become. When your customers feel like they’re being heard and appreciated they will keep coming back to you.
4) Customer Service
As a small business owner myself I have probably struggled the most with customer service. It is one of the easiest things to let slide when a business is taking off and your attention is demanded elsewhere. A blog provides you with an easy way to both give and receive customer feedback.
5) Increase Traffic
If you already have a website for your business, adding a blog that is updated regularly (weekly, bi-weekly, or whatever, it doesn’t have to be updated daily) will increase both traffic and page rank for your site. Because websites tend to stay the same for long periods of time they’re not spidered by search engines as often as blogs are and since your blog will provide keyword rich content about your business to the search engines, your site will benefit in more ways than one!
6) Cheap Marketing Tool
You can start a business blog for as little as $5 a month, where else can you get the opportunity for exposure and a wide open stage for your products and services for only $5 a month? The possibilities to display your products and increase visibility for your business through news, announcements, giveaways and other promotional activities are endless.
7) It’s Easy (and Fun!)
You don’t have to be a computer geek or a technical wizard to run a blog! Your blog can be up and running overnight even if you don’t have a clue about how to setup or design a website, and updating a blog is easy to do from any place you’ve got web access – just login to the blog, type up your post, add a hyperlink or an image by hitting those buttons then click publish.
Check back Thursday for a post on “How to Setup and Run a Blog for Your Business” that will describe all the steps needed to get your blog started!