Saturday, January 17, 2009

Starting A Small Business Blog

Simple tips to get started

If you run a small business you may want to consider starting your own blog to raise awareness about what you do.

There are some basic strategies you can use to start your blog. Consider who your audience is and write on subjects that will make them want to read your blog. Select a blog service that helps you build traffic and sends alerts if a reader comments on one of your posts.

Use an angle that will be compelling to your readers and at the same time be sincere in your views. Provide links on your blog to other sites that are related to your business and read the other blogs to stay informed about events or news that is happening in your field. Eventually other bloggers will start linking to your blog.

Keep your blog up to date so readers don't become frustrated with outdated content and will keep returning to see what you are saying. Keep tabs on your traffic to your site and don't be afraid to try other ideas to capture a larger audience.

Search engines like Google or Yahoo are another part of attracting readers to your blog. To generate traffic, use keywords in your headlines and blog postings that are related to your business.

Use an RSS feed so first time visitors to your blog will comeback again. If you connect readers with your blog's RSS feed your content will be syndicated whenever you write a new post.

Respond to comments you receive about your blog post even if they are negative or offer a perspective you don't agree with. Use your own voice and be honest.

Here is a link for a summary of five free blog services.

If you are not comfortable with writing your own blog you can turn to someone who works for your small business to write for your blog or a family member or friend who knows and understands the business. Also it's not a bad idea to have an occasional guest blogger write a post for your blog for variety and to fill in if you are not available.

Blogging is not just for large corporations it can benefit your small business by helping to create your brand. Even if you don't think you have a brand the truth is you do. Your customers or clients will view your blog as something real that shows how focused you are on the services you provide and can establish your business as an industry leader.

Here are some main reasons to start a small business blog.

1. A blog is an economic way to market your small business and enhance your brand, reputation and sales.

2. Blogs can provide you with immediate customer feedback. If you receive negative feedback look at it as a way to improve your business.

3. Blogs are easier and less costly to manage than a Web site for your small business.

4. Blogs can help attract new customers along with opening up the possibilities for new partnerships.

5. Blogs can help you and others learn and communicate about what your business does.

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