Any savvy internet marketing or small business owner knows that blogs can be an invaluable resource when it comes to free and effective marketing. A blog provides an avenue for you to showcase your expertise while providing something of value for free to your customers and anyone else who visits your site. There are a few things that you should be doing with your blog to make sure it is providing optimal value to your site.
Open a Line of Communication
One of the things that really differentiates a blog from most traditional marketing resources is that it can be used to open a direct line of communication between you and your readers and customers. So if you don’t have comments enabled on your posts, change that right now.
Encourage your readers to comment by writing about controversial topics, and respond to their comment immediately. Be prepared to deal with criticisms, and have remarks and remedies prepared. People like to see the face behind the business, and are more likely to buy your products and services if you’ve established a rapport with them. A properly utilised blog is one of the most effective ways to do this.
Personalize Your Product
One of the fundamental truths of marketing is that people prefer to buy from people. Nobody wants to buy a de-personalised widget from a faceless corporation. This is why successful companies spend so much time and money on branding – making their products more relatable.
Thanks to blogging, you can do the same thing for little or no cost. Take an informal tone with your blog, and allow people to see the human being behind the product. They’ll thank you with their business.
Drive up Your Search Rankings
You should absolutely be using your blog to optimise your site for search engines. Search engines reward sites that are regularly updated, as well as sites that contain a lot of relevant and well-research content. Blogs thus give you an unparalleled opportunity to optimise your site. You can update your blog as often as you like, and since you can write about whatever your heart desires, you have a lot of leeway to include relevant keywords, and to write about controversial subjects which will be commented on and linked to.
Stay on Top of Your Game
This is an almost incidental benefit of blogging, but a sizable benefit nonetheless. When you’re blogging on a daily, or even weekly, basis, you’ll constantly be doing industry research. Whether this is reading other bloggers, following industry leaders on twitter, or keeping updated with podcasts, you’ll be learning tons of new information about recent developments in your industry.
The internet can change overnight, and if you’re not constantly following the changes, you can become a dinosaur surprisingly quickly.