Blogging For Business – Why Your Business Needs To Be Blogging

You may have heard stories of teenagers making a shed load of money from a blog and retiring at 19 to travel the world, or of new Mums starting blogs in their spare time to share parental advice who then go on to land guest spots on prime time TV shows and feature in popular magazines. But what you don’t hear about is the millions of small business owners across the globe who are currently using the Internet to market their business, service or trade online, gain more traffic, secure more leads and engage with current customers.In this modern age every business not only needs to be online with a website, but they need to be consistently adding interesting and relevant content to that site on a regular basis, which is also known as blogging.My business has a website, why isn’t that good enough?If your business is still using a traditional ‘brochure’ style website with no blog functionality, then I’m afraid you are missing the boat my friend. Search engines are increasingly favouring sites with fresh content and reward sites that update regularly. Your stale old brochure doesn’t contain any new content for the search engines to offer potential visitors and that means you get no search engine traffic.Take the following for example:Johnsons carpet cleaning website doesn’t have a blog, just a homepage with some information about the service they offer and the company contact details. The site functions OK as an online business card, a place to direct people to go for some more information but the site was built 2 years ago and there are only 3 pages.Jamesons carpet cleaning website does have a blog as part of their website and they publish a new post every week. Sometimes they write about the types of service they offer, the methods they use to clean carpets, tips and advice for homeowners to keep their carpet clean or feature reviews of cleaning products they use on a regular basis. At any time there is an information packed (and keyword rich) article less than a week old on the site.Now, when someone searches for carpet cleaning service, which website do you think the search engine would see as most relevant to serve up to the user?Regular content is a must for you to get traffic to your website.As you get visitors to your website by whatever means, regular fresh content will also give the visitors a reason to bother coming back ever again. Interesting and useful content gives them a reason to share your website with others, which could lead to viral marketing. Isn’t it expensive to keep updating my website?You need a website design for your business that has a blog built in, built on what is known as a content management system (CMS). This will enable you to have a gorgeous website with all your photos and contact details on the home page just like your brochure site, but most importantly a CMS like WordPress enables you to easily and quickly post new content to the blog section without the need to call in a web-designer each time.WordPress is probably the most popular CMS at the moment… and for good reason, its simple to create new content in the easy editor (its just like writing a word document) and you can publish new content to your site at the push of a button. Can I just use a blog service like Blogspot or a Tumblr?Well you could, but then you would have to send people to something like blogspot.com/MyBusiness – which doesn’t look too professional does it?Some of those free blog platforms do have a feature which enables you to use your own domain name, but you are still using a 3rd party service you don’t control, its possible they could pull the service or change the rules at anytime and all your hard work is gone.If you already have a website but it doesn’t have blog functionality, you could use one of these free services and link off to it in your header navigation. But it wont benefit you much in search rankings as all the juicy content is not on your domain. It would be better in the long run if you converted your site to a WordPress installation so that your website becomes the authority in the search engines. I don’t have time to keep writing articles for a blog – I’m trying to run my business!You don’t have to keep writing articles!Good meaty articles should feature in your website content but not every post on your blog needs to be an article, you can post your latest offers, videos of you working, photos, copies of your latest sales literature, the list is endless.You can outsource article writing for your business blog. Outsourcing article writing is easy, by signing up with a service such as Odesk.com or Elance.com you can find English speaking writers and hire them to produce high quality articles on any topic for about $5-$10 (3-7) – I used a great article writer from Odesk for my first business website and I still employ her now for writing tasks on various websites. As an added bonus the articles you have written for you can also be used offline in your flyers, adverts and brochures.