If you’re business still doesn’t have a blog, you’re missing out. Blogs are a great sales tool: they prove your expertise in your field and bring in new customers from search engines, social media and links.
It’s getting harder to find a company that doesn’t have a blog, and that’s a good thing. Each company (and even each employee) has a different voice, and one worth contributing to the blogosphere. Blogs have many benefits:
Improve your website’s SEO
Establish your brand as an expert in your field
Provide useful content to potential customers
Introduce your products to customers who wouldn’t find them otherwise
Show you’re web savvy, which gets a lot of respect from consumers
And if your blog is really good, other blogs will link to it, thus boosting you up in search engine results karma.
What It Should Look Like
The purpose of a blog is not to promote your company. It is to provide useful information on your industry, as well as news updates and announcements on your brand. So for example, if you own a real estate company, you should blog about the industry as a whole, including any government stimulus news, as well as info on your local market (the housing market in Atlanta has seen a boost this month, etc). If your company adds new products or wins awards, these make great blog posts. You can occasionally talk about your products, but if you do so too much, it’ll turn people off.
Getting the Most Out of Your Blog
Writing the blog isn’t where it ends, I’m afraid. You have to get readers to it! The first step is making sure there is an obvious tab or button on your website’s home page leading to the blog. Other ways to share your blog include:
Setting up an RSS feed to Twitter and Facebook so that all posts automatically go there
Include a link in your email signature to blog
Send announcement to your contacts when blog launches
Include links to most recent posts in your monthly newsletter
Share each post through social bookmarking sites. The ShareThis widget for WordPress makes this easy.
If you’ve got some sort of analytics set up for your website, it should be easy to see how much traffic your blog is sending to your site. You may even be able to track how many sales you get as a result of someone reading your blog.
The key is to be patient. It may take 6 months to a year of heavy content (try 2-3 posts per week) before you see significant traffic to your blog. But it’ll be worth it in the long run!