co Blogging 101, What's a Blog and Does Your Small Business Need One |

Blogging for small businesses can be a useful way to reach you loyal customers and tap into new clients.

Blog, blog, blog. You’ been told again and again, but who’s got the time?
And what is a blog, exactly?

We throw out that word as if everyone knows what it means. The truth is that many small businesses are too busy with orders, customers, and community business to hang on the computer all day. But a blog doesn’t need to monopolize your time.

A blog is short for weblog, and it started out as an online journal of sorts, mostly for individuals. It didn’t take long for this great marketing idea to catch on.

Today, the term blog is almost interchangeable with the word, “short article.” I say short because most blogs are between 250 and 500 words.

The good news is that you don’t have to pay a “techie” to set up your blog. It’s easy, and after you get the hang of it, it’s enjoyable.

There are two important factors to consider before you start typing a blog post.

First, who is your target audience, and what is your primary focus?
By answering these two questions, you can then determine what to name your blog. Your blog name is very important. It will be used by Google and every other search engine out there that will help drive traffic to your site.

For example, if you own a carpet company, you probably want the word, “Carpet” in your title. Because you can sell carpet to commercial companies and residents, you might want to consider your wording. Titles can be the name of your business, but many businesses choose to name their website their company’s name, and it’s more important that your blog focuses on a subject–home and office design might be a good choice for the carpet blog. If the company offered carpet repair services, it might be wise to include the word, “renovation,” or “home repair” in the title. Try to make your title catchy and easy to remember.

The second important factor to consider is focus.

While a personal blog can flit from a rant about breaking up with your boyfriend to what you thought of last night’s Survivor episode, business blogs are focused. They help you sell your products or services, but that’s not all. The “how” is is the key to a successful blog.

Consider your blog an additional service for your clients (as well as a way to promote your business to new clients). If you do it right, your customers will grow to rely on your blog and return to read your posts. You can list information about your product, various uses, related topics, common questions, helpful information, contests, and even customer comments. At first, you may wonder what you’ll have to say on a blog. It gets easier over time, and once you begin to see results, you learn to get more creative in your approach as you learn what works best.

The best part of blogging for a small business is that it’s free. It takes only your time and effort to make blogging a successful part of your small business marketing plan.