If you don’t want to grow your business please stop reading now, as what I have to say will be like water off a ducks back for you and a waste of your time.
Any good business needs to be continually testing new ways of getting business or modifying approaches, deliveries and products. And by testing and improving you can grow your business further, faster.
After all as Peter Drucker says, “Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation.”
You’re reading this post so you understand the innovation in the Internet world over the last 2 to 3 years is the blog. A post can be read by anyone around the world. More importantly for companies your customers and your prospects can read your blog.
And of course the power of the blog is that it allows a two-way conversation between you and your prospects and customers. That means it becomes a powerful way of communicating the reasons why you do things, your own values, the values of your company and a way of providing customers and prospects with added value and giving them a human side to your business.
Blogging In Action
To see an example of a business blog in action check through other postings on this blog. They’re provided to help businesses grow. Other businesses use blogs to communicate the status of company issues or provide behind the scenes insights or provide a free ebook on topics that interest their clients. The list of what you can do with a blog is almost endless.
Blogs can be used for a completely off-the-wall purpose. For example I started a blog with Rob Baker from Artisan called Manchester Blog (www.Manchester-blog.com) purely to post about absolutely anything we could think of about Manchester. You’d think only rabid and loyal Mancunions would read such a blog. Not so, we get readers from all over the world and different parts of Britain too.
Coming back to the business blog…
Reasons To Blog
The reason pretty much every business needs a blog is as follows:
- You provide prospects with a human side to your business
- You provide clients with more information about your business and its personality
- You can attract leads you would never have thought of, purely because people can see you in action
- Unlike a website it’s easily updateable
- You can make money from it
- It can boost your Google rating very nicely thank you
- And it’s a door to business with the rest of the world, whether your business is in Monaco or the USA
It’s simple to get started blogging as you can use Google’s own free, very good and very popular bloghosting service called www.blogger.com where you create your own blog and start posting your thoughts almost immediately. The only real drawback is that most people choose to use the default blogger domain which always has the form www.xxxx.blogspot.com, where xxxx is the name you choose to make your blog identifiable. And that means that if you want to transfer your blog to your own domain in future your links and popularity may drop for a while.
Another very powerful and free blog hosting service is called Squidoo. Its terminology is slightly alien in that blogs are called lenses and there is no real concept of posts as you can write as much as you like, or as little, in text boxes. If you’ve heard of Seth Godin he is the man who set Squidoo up. Interestingly they share their advertising revenues between all the active lensmasters weighted according to the lens’ own advertising, I believe.
Finally, a business only free blogging service based in the UK and hosted by BT is Bttradespace.com. I am on it but I’m not really sure if it has any any real advantage over Blogger or Squidoo and so I wouldn’t recommend it for a British business at all.
WordPress, Maybe The Best Blogging Software
There are plenty of ways to get your feet wet. However, if you decide to make blogging one of your strategies to get clients my recommendation is to buy your own domain and load it with particular blogging software called WordPress.
And the reason for doing so is that WordPress software has an enormous range of well-written and free plug-ins that extend the usefulness of the software. Plugins can:
- help you improve your search engine optimisation
- allow you to link a series of posts together
- enable you to offer multiple ways for your readers to get new posts
- help you write posts more easily
- enable you to run Google Ads more conveniently
The Best Post Writing Software
Blogger and WordPress and pretty much any blogging software offer a fairly good editor for posting text, photos and video.
However, you need to be online to use these editors. I prefer to compose a posting offline using an offline blog editor. After much experimenting there are two I recommend. The first is Elict, which is very powerful and comes in to its own if you’re posting to several blogs over a few days. The downside is you pay for it.
The second is now my preferred choice of offline blog editor. It’s Microsoft’s free tool called Live Writer. It has a range of plug-ins that extends what you can do with it.
Basically it provides a Word-like interface that is highly intuitive to use and allows you to quickly and easily create posts for any blog that you run.
There is so much you can do with a blog. And as I said there are a number of ways you can make money on it.
I intend to cover those in a future post, so keep reading! For the impatient amongst us John Chow is renowned for having a major money making blog so check that out for further ideas.