Improving Your Brand Online: Start your blog and/or website
On the internet, the old adage: “if you build it, they will come” does not necessarily apply. You can build it. That does not always mean that they will come. Curiosity is not always enough to bring people in on the web. You can build a website and set up a blog every day of the week if you want, but that does not mean that users will come to them. At least not initially. Getting visitors to your website or blog requires work.
Blogging is good for business
It is believed that businesses that utilize a business blog gain more leads than those that do not utilize one. Blogs are readily available and easy to set-up online tools that can help drive traffic to online stores and even brick and mortar stores. Today we are an information driven society and people are looking for information. Consumers want information. Give it to them.
Unfortunately, this tool that can also hurt your business if not utilized properly. A business blog should be clean, maintained, and aesthetically appealing. It should complement a business’s website, not detract from it. Your business blog should also be reflective of your brand both online and offline.
How good is blogging for business?
Statistically speaking, the odds are in your favor if you blog consistently. You do not have to blog a lot to see improvements, you just need to be consistent. You could…
“…nearly double [your] sales leads by increasing blogging frequency from 3-5 times per month to 6-8 times per month.”
If all it takes to almost double your sales leads is to virtually double the number of blog posts you make per month, the efforts almost seem worth it. It is almost a one to one return on investment for your time and effort. Keeping it in perspective, 6 blog posts per month is less than 2 per week and 8 blog posts is approximately 2 per week. That is not a lot of time investment.
Why should you invest the time?
Aside from the fact that you have the potential to increase your sales leads, the most compelling reason to take the time is because you could be seen as a trusted source of information in your industry.
“…81 percent of US consumers trust advice and information from blogs.”
We are an information driven society and we get the bulk of that information off the internet. Where do you stand in the industry? Are you a trusted source of information? Do they go to your competitors for information?
If that is not enough reason to take the time at your next conference meeting to plan out your topics for your next 6-8 blog posts on your business blog, I do not know what is.
A blog helps increase your search engine placements and thus helps make your company easier to find when people go looking for you. By default, a blog provides a constant source of fresh content. The key is to make sure that it is a consistent source of fresh content. If your blog is connected to your business website, your website will naturally come up higher in search engines due to its constant flow of fresh content. Content is still king on the internet. The key is to make sure that your 6-8 new posts per months are quality and relevant to your company. Make it count!
Your website and your blog should be unified and consistent in both look and feel. The same rules for web design apply to your business blog as do to your business website. Make it shine! Your brand matters and it should be uniform across all media formats.
Where to blog or not to blog
There is not right or wrong way to blog in my opinion. I think you should do what is right for you. There are some blogging platforms that are easier to set up and use than others.
The question always becomes – free or paid? I will almost always tell you to go with a paid option with your business blog. Why?
Get your own domain
Your business should have its own domain name by now – if you are serious about it at least. If you are using a free service, it is much harder to use your business domain name.
If you need help obtaining a business domain name, I can help with that. It only takes a little while to get set up with a domain name and hosting that is adequate for your needs. Once that is done, you can have a blog and/or website set-up in fairly short order.
Your domain name helps give you credibility. Use one. Improve your brand and build your credibility while blogging happily with the most flexibility and options.
Now…go plan your blog posts and start blogging!
See also: Have a brand, Start your blog or website, Create your content, Making Social Media Work, Making social media efforts matter, Share!, Email marketing, More on content, Give something away, Online marketing is not a one time deal.