Blogging for Business

Not long ago a blog was simply an online diary. Initially, people decided that blogging was describing, in excruciating detail, how their day went, what they had for dinner last night, and why they spent the whole weekend doing laundry.

Since then, blogging made the transition into the business arena. Now blogs are frequently being used as business journals, tools that can help keep your customers and web site visitors up to date with what is going on with your company. A business blog is an excellent tool to toot your own horn, let the world know about your new products, and tell your target customers why they should do business with you, rather than your competitor.

Don't have a blog for your business yet? No problem! Here is how you can start blogging in just five easy steps:

* Set up a blog for your business. If you don't want to have to set up things on your own, visit Blogger.com. Blogger will host your blog on its server, so that you don't have to add anything to your own web site.

On the other hand, if you'd like to set something up on your own, get blogging software from WordPress.org

* Make your blog an extension of your business identity. The look and feel of your blog should match that of your business web site. Don't forget to include your logo!

* Don't make the blog into a giant ad. Your readers will immediately recognize that ruse and stop reading the blog. Instead, post the items that are of interest to your current and potential customers. Use the blog to post tips and ideas, articles, information about new products, etc.

* Strike a balance between personal and business stuff. While customers like to read the blog to learn about the person behind the business, don't use the blog as a tool to vent, complain and discuss the details of your personal life. You use the blog to converse with your customers, so the blog should be as professional as your newsletter and phone conversations with customers.

It is great to post a story about how you helped a client get an important product out on time, and how proud that made you feel. It might not be appropriate to post a story about an argument you had with a video store clerk over the weekend.

* Leverage your Blog. When you are in business, you realize that many customers have similar questions/concerns. Address these concerns in your blog, and when another customer has the same concern, link directly to the blog entry that answers these concerns.

A blog is an excellent tool to reach potential customers, rank higher in search engines and generate more of the ever-important visitor traffic to your web site.

Biana Babinsky is the online business expert who has helped many business owners attract more web site customers, bring in more online publicity and increase the bottom line. Visit http://avocadoconsulting.com/free_newsletter.html to subscribe to her newsletter full of marketing tips and ideas and join her online business coaching program at http://www.MarketingSalad.com

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