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Blogging for Small Business

May 30, 2008
Don't have a blog? You are late to the party, but still lots of time and opportunity. Here are a few eye popping statistics:

Over 12 Million American adults have a blog
Over 57 Million Americans read blogs
Just over 20% of the most popular websites are blogs

and the most important, over 50% of blog readers also shop online.

Having a blog changes your website from a passive brochure into something much more interesting. Blogs are always updated and always changing, giving your browsers reason to come back. And, rather than just passively looking at what you choose to show to visitors, blogs allow visitors to interact with your site, leaving comments and discussing your posts among themselves online.

In this way, you build a community around your business and a ready audience.

The value of contact and feedback from your web visitors and customers cannot be under-estimated. Conversations with your customers are a goldmine for getting to know them, new product ideas, and problems with existing products or services.

Blogs make it easier for your clients to reach you. Even though the Comments form on the blog, where browsers can fill in their comments, is very similar to the contact page on your site, the difference is that with a blog, browsers can interact with you on their terms. When browsers go to a contact page they are confronted with a web form and nothing else for them to do -- either they fill out the form or go somewhere else. With a blog, browsers can look around, browser articles and information and then leave a comment on any number of articles of their choosing, or leave multiple comments.

Blog postings will help your search engine rankings like almost nothing else.

Blog postings rank high and rank often.
Contributing regularly to your blog increases the size of your site and the breadth of you keyword coverage which the search engines loves.
Blog postings and Blogs in general attract links from other websites.

With the open and 2-way communication that blogs give small business, you can react fast. If you have a difficult few months, and clients become annoyed, you can explain fully on your blog what happened and why and what you are doing about it. Obviously, it is better if things go smoothly, but if they don't you have an outlet.

Blogs are a great way to establish your reputation as an authority in your area, and at the same time, a great soft sell tool.

Very few people will purchase your services on the first visit to your website. However, if browsers can see a large library of material you have written, they have a chance to assess your style, opinions and ideas. Blogs allow browsers to look around and get a general feel for how it will be talking and working with you before they contact you.

Not only does this increase the number of sales or leads you get from your site, but much more importantly, it will increase the quality of leads, since they are already pre-sold before they contact you.
About the Author
Brian Stocker is a writer, editor and online marketing specialist. Visit his website for more information about article writing and blog writing services
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