Jesse Willms: Blogging To Grow Your Business
Posted by Jesse Willms on April 06, 2011
In recent posts, I’ve spent a bit of time talking about different ways to help build your business through online media. The Internet is a rich marketing resource that allows for many different ways to get your ideas across, and you should take advantage of as many of them as possible.
Today I want to talk about one of the most effective, yet least used, ways to expand the power of your marketing message: running a personal business blog.
A business blog is different from other types of promotional efforts. It’s not about creating a sales pitch for your products or your company. Instead, it’s about letting people know who you are and generating trust. Trust, as I’ve written before, is one of the most important aspects of any Internet marketing strategy. You don’t own a physical store where people can meet you and size you up. Therefore, you need some other way to let people get to know you.
Running a business blog is a great way to do this. It lets people see how you think and get to know you as a person. Over time this builds up confidence in your image, which translates into increased trust in your products and services.
But, you need to understand that running a business blog is a long-term investment and not a short-term one. You can’t simply dash off two or three blog entries and forget about the blog. You need to update it on a regular basis with new and interesting content.
Creating that content is where many people fall short at business blogging. Simply put, they just don’t know what to blog about. First off, write some entries explaining to people a little bit about yourself. Then, do a couple entries about some things you’ve learned while you’ve been in business. This helps to establish your expertise.
Whenever you get a new idea, write a few paragraphs about it. People will enjoy getting a snapshot of what’s going on in your head. Don’t spend a lot of time trying to find the perfect words; blogs are informal by their nature. You aren’t trying to write War & Peace- you are just trying to give people something interesting to read about.
One thing you need to make sure of is never, ever to have a sales pitch in your blog. If you do so, people will stop reading right away. They get enough sales pitches during the course of their day, and don’t want to read one on your blog.
Instead, just write about what you know and what interests you and try to make it as informative yet laid back as possible.
Obviously, you also want to get people to find your blog and read it on a regular basis. That isn’t too difficult to do. You simply have to find ways for it to bring in a good search engine rank. One way to do that is to use your Twitter account to build links to your blog. Another way is to get in touch with other business bloggers in your industry and offer them a link on your blog roll if they will give you a link back.
Finally, try to write about topics that are currently popular online. This will increase the likelihood that people will either retweet the links to your blog or create links to your blog themselves.
All in all, creating and managing a business blog should only take you two or three hours a week or less. And, as long as you keep to it every week or so, it will build long term benefits for you and your brand.
It’s a great long term marketing strategy that can put you ahead of the game.