How to Blog Your Way to Business Success
Blogging Your Way to Business Success
By Catherine Kaputa
1. How can a blog improve a businesses' bottom line?
Blogs have evolved from geek venue to “instajournalist” log to cutting-edge business tool. Today, blogs are the ultimate branding and business generation tool for a business. The minute you print a brochure, it is out of date. Plus, production is expensive and distribution is expensive. A web log or blog is a powerful and inexpensive way to create awareness of your business among prospects and create a community of loyal brand fans, also known as customers.
2. How can a businessperson start a blog?
Blog companies like Blogger provide free startup software online to start your blog and will even host your blog for free. What can be better than that? Best of all, blogs are much easier to set up and use than setting up a website. You don’t need to know html code. Nor do you need to contact your web designer to add new information. You just focus on writing while the blog program dates and archives your entries and automatically produces a blog.
3. What is the best business content for a blog? (advice, sales notices, new product announcements, etc.)
People flock to blogs for fresh viewpoints and information not available on company and industry websites. To get people flocking to your website, try to be a news source and offer advice. If you attend an industry conference or are aware of new trends in your industry, use your blog to talk about what’s going on.
4. What are 3 tips for making your blog effective?
Tip 1. Link. Link. Link. Blogs are all about linking. Anything you read in the trade or business press that you find interesting for your business, chances are your clients and prospects will too. Blogs are a convenient way to send out all the articles you used to mail to customers and prospects. Just write a couple of sentences about the article and link to the original source so your blog’s readers can read the entire article.
Tip 2. Post frequently. Post at least once a week, or ideally two or three times a week. What’s cool about blogs for readers is getting updated on the latest postings through an RSS feed that “pings” you every time a blog you selected posts a new message. The more pings, the more people will think about your business.
Tip 3. Convey personality. People like blogs because they’re interesting and engaging. Use color, design, graphics and your writing style to create a “brand” personality that’s distinct from others and reflects who you are.
5. If you could only give one piece of advice to a business person considering starting a blog, what would it be and why?
Don’t use a blog to “sell” product. Use your website to sell your company’s products and services. Use your blog to “sell” your ideas and expertise on what’s happening in the industry such as new products and trends. This approach will get people thinking of you and your company when they do business anyway. But, most important, it will keep them tuning into your blog and telling others in the business about it because it’s not trying to sell them, it’s trying to tell them.
Catherine Kaputa is a brand strategist and author of U R a BRAND! How Smart People Brand Themselves for Business Success (www.urabrand.com). She is founder of a brand consultancy that works with companies, products, and individuals (www.catherinekaputa.com). You can sign up for her entrepreneur newsletter at www.brandespresso.com and her self branding newsletter at www.selfbrand.com