August 28, 2009

Online Marketing Blog - Benefits of Business Blogs

August 28, 2009

Online Marketing Blog - Benefits of Business Blogs

Online Marketing Blog - Benefits of Business Blogs

Businesses can increase their web presence, engage with their customers, and improve web traffic and search engine rankings by blogging about their industry.

What is an Online Blog?

First, it's important to take a look at what exactly a blog is."Blog" is short for weblog. It is a type of website which is regularly updated with commentary, reviews and descriptions of events, graphics, video, news, and other content. Readers of the blog can usually post comments and thoughts about individual blog entries.An online blog is comprised of individual blog entries, which are listed from the most recent to the oldest on the page.

How a Business Blog can Help You

So, how can blogging help to promote your business? A successful, regularly updated business blog can get leads, allow you to get involved with potential and current customers, position you as a leader in your industry to consumers, and boost your search engine rankings. Blogs allow you to interact with and get to know potential customers (and current clients) on an individual level via blog comments and feedback. An interesting blog entry can encourage readers to find out more about your business and click through to your main website.

A successful online business blog is:

  • Engaging. An online blog relies on readership. The most successful business blogs have a loyal following of regular readers. The copy and topic of each entry engages the target audience and encourages them to read more. A business blog should provide useful content to readers.
  • Interactive. Visitors can post comments on blog entries. Successful business blogs encourage readers to provide feedback and opinions and reply to readers’ comments. This provides great opportunities to get to know your customers and target market on a more personal level.
  • Optimised for search engines. Search engines love blogs and optimising an online blog for search engines like Google can often be a much simpler and more streamlined process than optimising a static website. A little SEO effort can go a long way and before you know it, you’ll be getting visitors finding your online business blog via Google, Yahoo!, or Bing.
  • Organised. Blog entries should be structured in a way that’s easy to read and it should be easy for visitors to get around. Proper use of blog entry categories, tags, and internal links can help users to get around your blog and read more content.

A successful online blog is not

  • One big ad. Content of business blog entries should not be one giant ad for your business. Blog entries should be useful and interesting to readers. A blog, while a promotional tool, is not an advertisement. Your blog is there to encourage readers to want to find out more about what you do and to click through to your main website, to increase your business’s visibility. It’s great to mention your business once or twice in a blog post and to use your logo in your online blog design, but the topics of your blog entries should not read like an ad copy. If you run a flower shop, for example, consider writing about different types of flowers, about flower gift ideas, or even about growing flowers or decorating your home with flowers.
  • A static website. You don’t create a blog and leave it to run on its own. A successful blog needs to be updated with fresh content on a regular basis, whether that is daily or weekly.

Online Blogs and Search Engines

Search engines love fresh, unique content. One of the best ways to publish unique content and improve rankings is via an online blog.A blog’s core functionality is built around frequent, fresh content updates. It is common to see new blog posts shoot up in rankings for several days before being replaced with other, newer, blog posts. This creates a great opportunity to get traffic to your business.

How to Start an Online Blog

There are many different types of blogging platforms which make it easy to post new blog entries to the blog. From Blogger to Wordpress to TextPattern, various content management systems streamline the blogging process. Wordpress is one of the most popular, SEO friendly, and customisable blogging platforms.

An Online Blog Suits Any Industry

Businesses in virtually any industry can benefit from having an online blog. Whether you’re selling life coaching services or solar panels, there is always interesting information to be found, engaging blog entries to be written, and leads to be generated from readers. Every business should consider starting its own online blog. The monetary cost of running a blog is minimal and the benefits blogs can provide to businesses are worth the time investment.

Getting the Most out of your Online Blog

All you need to start your own blog is web hosting, a domain name, and one of the many free blogging platforms available. Install your blogging platform and you’re good to go. However, to really get the most out of your business blog and increase your blog’s visibility and readership, consider hiring a professional to maintain your blog for you. This can include anything from doing your installation, copywriting, and search engine optimisation to branding and social marketing. Business blogs can produce great results, but to get there you have to invest the time into learning how to run a successful blog or, alternatively, hire someone who does.