A fundamental shift on how we market our business.
Blogging has been around since the beginning of the Internet but only since the past few years has this phenomenon gained the recognition that it deserves. The pioneers of blogging were Open Diary, Live Journal, and Blogger.com back in the 90s. However, it was only when Google announced the purchase of Blogger.com in 2003 that the potential of blogging was revealed.
You see most Internet technologies stay under the radar until there is potential to commercialize from them. As the world’s largest search engine, Google took the initiative to push forth policies and procedures to focus primarily on website content for rankings. They continue to replenish the powerful algorithm guarded by trade secrets to drive traffic to websites based on quality and unique content. So when an Internet super power such as Google acquires Blogger.com, it is indicative of the next big thing that will drive user traffic.
The question is: Should you have a blog for your business?
My team at 2WebDesign.com often gets asked this question and my quick and simple answer is YES, you should definitely have a blog. That being said, what does having a blog really mean for a business and what does it entail? Following are 3 main reasons why should have a blog:
If your business is specialized in a specific sector or industry, an online blog gives you the platform to easily and quickly post information about your expertise and the unique value proposition your customers can expect from you. It creates a casual environment to communicate details about your business without being as “salesy”.
Having a blog is probably the most cost effective marketing tool you can have for your business. It does not take much to setup and the primary investment you have to make is the time and effort to keep it up to date. Ironically though, this is where excuses such as, “where would I get the time to update a blog?” or “I am not a writer, I can’t do this” come to mind. As a business owner if you can get a significant return on the time invested for running a blog, there is no doubt that you should take the initiative and make the time investment. If you do not have the time then have someone else do it. Try it and be persistent, soon you will realize how it can snow ball in to a powerful marketing tool for your business.
Saskatoon today has the highest proportion of people online in Canada. It makes sense to connect with your audience as they are already doing their research online. A blog also provides a platform for users to post comments about any articles that you have posted. This interactivity can engage your audience at different levels and gives you the opportunity to present a good image for your business.
Now that you have decided to implement a blog, the question is “How?”. Simply go through the following steps to setup a free blog in under 10 minutes:
To customize your blog, the free blog sites will give you a vast array of design templates to choose from. However it is strongly recommended that for branding purposes you get a template designed that is stylized with your logo and website color scheme for brand consistency.
For a more professional environment I do not recommend having your blog on the free blog providers, but rather you can download a blog script and have it installed on your hosting server. Once it is setup you then need to interlink the blog with your main website so you can retain your audience.
To view a good example of how a blog can be integrated right in to the website with consistent branding, have a look at one of our recent client projects: Scrap’n with Flair. To see an example of a stand alone blog, check out our 2 Web Design blog. Here you can also subscribe to our blog or online newsletter to get tips on effective Internet marketing strategies.