Thursday, May 5, 2011

Business Blogging and Building Your Audience


04-18-11 - Posted By: Brent Barnhart in Social Media

You’ve probably heard the phrase “content is king” in reference to having a strong website that ranks well in search engines. While perhaps it sounds a bit cliché, there’s some truth to it. Take into consideration Google’s recent Farmer Update. This update rocked the search engine world as changes to Google’s algorithm punished a number of “content farms” and other sites with poor, spammy content. What happened? Those sites’ traffic went down significantly. On the flip side, sites producing fresh content on a regular basis via business blog marketing saw a boost in traffic.

What’s the lesson here? Content is crucial. It’s how you get found online, plain and simple. Having content, let alone good content, goes far beyond simply having a site that’s considered “well written.” Think about the sites you visit. What keeps you coming back? What compels you visit them more than once? New, fresh content. Additionally, search engines such as Google absolutely love sites that are consistently putting out new articles and information, and they’ve said it themselves. Your small business can get your own share of this love through effective business blogging or a home business blog.

You may think that your small business or your industries aren’t worth blogging about. Think again. Regardless of your niche and regardless of your business, there’s always something to say. Think about news and issues affecting your industry. Think about how new legislation could be impacting small businesses such as your own. Consider challenges you’ve faced as a small business owners and how you managed to overcome them. Whether they’re readers within your industry or simply other small business owners, your audience exists.

Because your audience exists and will relate to what you have to say, they will therefore be inclined to both react to and share your content. This creates a conversation, and this conversation results in more exposure for your business online. You can gain further exposure by sharing your content through Facebook and Twitter, which will incline even more people to do the same. This ability and tendency to share content represents the beauty of blogging, as business blogging is essentially free advertising that gets people talking and makes your business’ site look great in the eyes of search engines.

With all of this in mind, however, writing doesn’t come naturally to everybody. If writing is a challenge to you or you simply don’t feel that you have the time to blog every day, don’t fret. A few times a week, say three, is sufficient to maintain a following. Besides, you don’t want to stretch yourself for new content and write about topics that are boring or irrelevant. You shouldn’t have to write for the sake of writing, but rather write because you legitimately have something to say.

Your actual blogs don’t need to be much longer than a few-hundred words. Typically, longer is better in the eyes of search engines but make sure not to stretch too much. Lists and how-to guides are particular popular in the business blogging world, so if you’re hard-pressed for ideas of what to write about, those are great places to start. If you’re new to blogging altogether, WordPress and Blogger (by Google) are two of the most popular blogging platforms that’ll get you started.

There are plenty of resources out there to help you build your own small business blog. Read other blogs within your industry to better understand what others in your world are doing in terms of business blog marketing. With a bit of Social Media training and knowing best practices of business blogging, you’ll be well on your way to growing your small business’ online presence.

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