blogging for your business

When you first start out as a business owner, there are a seemingly infinite number of things you need to take care of. Between registration paperwork, setting up your website, hiring people and, oh yeah, trying to make some money, things can pile up pretty quickly. So, if someone comes along and says you also need to have a blog, it’s easy to dismiss them as someone just trying to make your job harder.

Well, that’s not quite true. They’re actually trying to make your business better. The reality is that as a small business, a blog can be a very valuable tool to help you connect with customers and to grow. To give you a better idea as to why you need a blog, consider the following:

Blogs help with search engines

It’s no secret that many people find out about businesses these days using search engines. They type in what they are looking for, scan through the first couple of results and then make a choice from these options. As a small business owner, you’re probably thinking, “Man, I’d love to be at the top of those search results.”

You’re not alone. There’s an entire industry dedicated to what is known as search engine optimization (SEO). If you’re not familiar with it, take some time to read up on it as it will be a big help to your business. Here’s a pretty detailed guide you can sink your teeth into when you get the chance.

The important thing to remember, though, is that the job of a search engine is to give searchers the most useful content they can find. People try to get to the top of search results by writing about certain keywords, and by trying to get people to link to their site, as this is usually a sign that the content is pretty good.

A blog is helpful, however, because it gives search engines a chance to learn about you and your company. If you have lots of different posts about topics relevant to your business, Google (and other search engines, although Google dominates), will categorize you into a certain area. Then, when you start producing content designed for specific keywords, you’ll have a better chance of showing up near the top of results.

There’s a lot that goes into this process, and it’ll be helpful if you take some time to learn it, but know that having a blog for your small business is a HUGE step in the right direction towards getting your business to appear in search results.

Blogs help you engage with people

To get customers to do business with you, and then to continue to do so, you need to have something that makes you stand out. With small businesses, this is usually the experience customers have with you. Many people prefer small businesses over large ones because they feel as though they are more personal.

A blog is a great way to develop this type of relationship. By creating content that is useful to them, and by working with people to find out what they’d like to see more of, you are becoming relevant to them beyond just the products you sell. Perhaps they come to you for business advice, or maybe you offer great recommendations about what to do in the city where you’re located. Whatever it is, effective use of a blog will help make this connection between you and your customers far more real.

Blogs help you build your brand

It’s important small businesses work to build a brand. Think of a brand as your company’s personality; it’s what makes you you, and it can be very helpful for convincing customers to do business with you, and it also will come in handy should you decide to sell your business someday, as those with a strong brand tend to receive higher offers.

To give you an example, imagine you are running a store that provides printing and design solutions to other small businesses in the area. As a brand, you may want to present yourself as an active member of the community, someone who is there to help other businesses succeed. On your blog, you could post content related to this and then direct customers to it. Make sure your content is great, and soon you’ll find people associating your company with these characteristics. There’s a bit more to it than that, but you get the idea.

And they’re free…well, almost

The vast majority of website platforms (or at least those that are any good) will offer you the chance to create a blog at no extra charge. If you decide to create the content yourself, then the only expense you’ll have to deal with is the time you spent writing, designing, filming, etc. However, some companies choose to hire someone to do this either full- or part-time, or they find contractors who can do it remotely. Either way, the expense is minimal, and the benefits are tremendous.

Final thoughts

A blog is an easy to use and effective tool for helping your business grow. The benefits it provides are far superior to any possible drawbacks, and the best part is that you can get started right away. Make sure you have a plan for your content, but once you do, go ahead and see where your blog can take you.

About the author: Jock is an internet entrepreneur who has been buying, building and selling online companies throughout his career. He got started by turning his personal blog into a business, and since that time, he swore he would always include a blog in any business venture moving forward. Now, he spends a lot of time working with other small business owners to help them grow their business into a success.

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