Blog your way to business success

There are some people in business who simply don’t understand how blogging can help them grow their customer base and retain their current customers. Much of this is due to a misunderstanding that blogging is simply an on-line personal diary. While it’s true that in the early days of blogging this was the case, these days blogging means so much more and with the correct resources and strategy there’s no doubt blogging can add value to most businesses.

First of all, let’s clear up a common misconception. Blogging is much more than an on-line diary. As a business tool, blogging can be used to provide news, information-style articles and solutions to issues that are relevant to a given business. Notice that I haven’t mentioned that blogging is a tool to pitch sales? Generally, blogging needs to be used sparingly as a tool to promote your products and services as this can be an easy way of turning readers away.

So what are the benefits of blogging? Think of blogging as a way of developing the image that you and your businesses are experts in your chosen field. It’s a way of developing communication between you and your customers and building the trust that is so important today in business. Also, blogging is a great way of generating traffic to your website, keeping your business at the forefront of potential customers’ minds and improving your website’s search engine optimisation.

So how do you go about it?

For me, integration is the key. If you simply incorporate your blog into your current business website you’re unlikely to realise the full value of blogging. If you have a blog and integrate it with social media, content publishing websites and other mediums, that’s when you can start to see results.

To illustrate, let me explain the process I use. First of all, I’ll write an article, let’s say on the benefits of having a blog for your business, and place it on my website. I’ll then write short posts for my business’ Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts promoting the article and pointing to the full article on my website. And, in addition, I’ll place the full article on content publishing websites such as GoArticles and EzineArticles.

By doing this, I’m not only increasing the chances of my blog being read, I’m driving traffic to my website and picking up some valuable external links along the way, which can help my search engine optimisation efforts.

If you have the time, there are numerous other ways to build on your efforts. For example, press release distribution websites and forums are others mediums you may look at to increase the chances of your blogs being read and drive traffic to your website.

Of course, to make it work it does take effort. You need to be diligent enough to set aside time regularly, preferably every week or so, to write articles and then publish these articles on content websites and in social media. However, it can pay off. The benefits won’t be seen overnight, but if you stick with it you’re likely to see results over time.

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