A recent survey conducted by American Express revealed that only 5 percent of businesses with less than 100 employees have blogs. Does this suggest that you should wait and see what other entrepreneurs and organizations are doing before you start your own blog or should you seize the moment and do it right now? I believe that both the survey, conducted by American Express, and our unique economical times, present us with an exceptional business opportunity. It is a potential way for your company to take advantage of technologies that if done well, will enable you to better market your products and services, communicate more effectively with your customers, suppliers and staff, and allow you to stand out in the crowd.
So what is a blog? Short for a web log, it is simply an online diary that allows you to easily post entries to a web site without the ongoing help of a web master. The entries are organized starting at the top with the most recent post listed first and the rest follow chronologically. Blogs typically display 10 posts per page with the option to click and view previous pages. Categories are assigned to each post, which enables the visitor to browse and explore the blog based on these predetermined categories. Adding a search option box makes it easy to find a particular topic of interest. The posts on the blog are entered by you or other individuals who are authorized to do so. These individuals may be staff members or colleagues whom you trust.
What are blogs used for?
- Enable rapid publishing of content such as text, images, audio and video that reveals your wisdom
- Position you as the expert in your field and create trusted credibility with your company
- Offer fresh content frequently
- Market your products and services
- Help you get hired
- Create a community
- Enable visitors to register (RSS) and automatically receive your posts in a non-spam virus-free mode
- Generate feedback from customers and answer questions
- Enhance your clients’ understanding of your business and topics you talk about
- Gain new ideas for improved offerings
- Attract visitors and potential customers looking for knowledge, tips, analysis and fun
- Create greater trust among your readers
- Feature case studies and other success stories
- Archive of knowledge for easy indexed retrieval
- Create links to yours and others’ articles, whitepapers, teleconferences, videos, web sites, blogs.
- Research various topics
- Summarize other blogs and topics of interest
- Converse with your audience
- Test new ideas
- Open communication between customers, suppliers, staff and other interested individuals
- Announce breaking news
- Deliver and publish surveys
- Reduce dependency on your web team
- Publish your views and what is on your mind
- Leverage events and news from other industries or from yours and incorporate in your own business
- Communicate with your team on project status
- Attract others to comment on your own blog
- Feature guest experts
- Global exposure of your business
- Attract journalists and others to contact you
- See what your competition is doing
- Sell products and services or talk about how they are used
- Open to the public or by membership only paid option
- Attract sponsors, ads and incorporation of affiliate sales opportunities
- Increase Google ranking with frequent and fresh content
- Post anytime, anywhere, on any device even from your cell phone
- Enable multiple authors posting on multiple topics
- Create an easy way to get started with a web project
- Find out what others are saying
- Create interpersonal conversations among others
Who could benefit from implementation of a blog?
- Entrepreneurs such as consultants, advisors, coaches, mentors, attorneys and doctors
- Organizations looking for better ways to market their company, products and services
- Individuals within your organization
- You must be passionate about your business and topics of interest
- You must be honest in your writing
- You need to chose topics people are interested reading
- You and your authors must be willing and able to write
- You must write often
- You need to take advantage of changing technologies to improve and better deliver valuable content to your visitors
Is your organization the type that is waiting for the economy to improve before you make your next move, or are you among the ones and often very fortunate organizations that take risks, progress, expand, innovate and implement new ideas to improve the company, customers and make this world a better place?
A blog is a great tool to add to your Internet strategy in the coming year, to help market your company, communicate with your customers and differentiate you from other organizations.