You may be aware of individuals who make money from blogging, but they tend to be professional bloggers that either charge for their services or run advertising on their blog.
In the wider business community, corporate or business blogging is big news with many companies designating specific staff to this area. In the case of business blogging, their view is the dollar return comes from increased awareness of a company’s products or services, which in turn results in sales.
The fact many large corporate organisations are devoting staff to managing blogs gives a strong signal that they see an end return. This should get you thinking whether your business can benefit from a blog.
I think it’s best to see running a blog as an extension of your marketing, but a crucial point is it is an indirect form of marketing that builds trust with current and prospective clients. It is most definitely not a platform to overtly say “Here is my new Widget, it costs $49.95 and you buy it from here.”
Blogs are more newsy and personal, so are more appropriately used for messages like “as you know we have been working on the development of our new widget for many months and here is a sneak preview of what it looks like – what do you think?”
Business blogging allows you to easily interact with your clients and prospects. They open up lines of communication which allow you to address issues regarding your products or services.
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Instead of doing a sales push, you are asking your audience for their opinion, thus building a rapport and making them feel a part of establishing the product or service offering you’ve developed.
If you give the audience some form of ownership, they will begin to feel a more personal attachment, which in turn makes them feel more inclined to tell others about it. Business blogging provides open discussion, so you can communicate thoughts and ideas on how your products or services can be of use to clients without really selling the offering.
Instead, you subtly sell the solution to them in your blog and this opens the door for the sale of your product/service.
It follows that another business benefit of blogs is they are great market research tools. You can lead your blog readers to answer questions like – do you prefer this colour or that colour? What colours would you like to see it in? A focus group of this kind can provide real value.
Business blogging also serves as a testimonial platform. Clients who blog positively about a product or service often do so on more than just the provider’s blog – some love a product so much they post information on other relevant blogs sites, so this in fact becomes a form of viral marketing.
Your search engine ranking is another part of your business that may benefit from a blog. By incorporating business blogging into your website, you are effectively adding more pages and content to your website and the ‘content hungry’ search engines will give your website a little more weight when ranking your website against similar sites with possibly less content.
Consider how your products or services provide a solution to your clients and then have a think about creating a blog. While you do need to put some time into creating and posting up to date information on your blog, there really can be some benefits.
Has this article inspired you to go forth and blog? Or does anyone have a story to share of how their business blogging boosted business? Tell us via the comments.