The joy of business blogs…

I’ve spent all morning researching blogs for the St Andrews Skills Academy, and I must admit: I’m quite excited about them.

Lots of marketing specialists have recently been suggesting that one of the best ways to improve a website’s search engine ranking is to write regular entries on a dedicated web log, or ‘blog’ about related topics, linking always to the main website.  When Nick White (manager of the popular Inn at Lathones and a member of the St Andrews Skills Academy Advisory Board) also recommended blogging as a great way to generate extra visibility, I decided to sit down – with a strong coffee – and start reading up on blogging.

The world of blogs seemed, at first glance, to be quite a geeky community; people who like using their computers talking to other people who like using their computers. However, within three sips of my cappucino, I began to realise that a good blog could be a powerful marketing tool.

Here are a few examples of ways in which a blog could benefit your business (please leave comments with ideas of your own):

  • First and foremost – a web presence.  If you don’t already have a website, a blog is a free, simple way to make yourself known. Post information about your opening hours, prices, location and reviews and encourage visitors to your business to leave feedback on your blog about their visitor experiences.
  • A way to attract potential visitors by giving them a feel for your personality and business ethos. If you blog more generally about your life as well as your business, or even if you just write in a more informal style, readers will feel that they know something about you, and this may make them more likely to visit your business.
  • An exhibition space for your expertise; a platform from which to show your visitors that you are passionate and knowledgeable about your business area.  Mention products and business models that you like and how you plan to use them. Perhaps even offer advice for how other people could benefit from them.  So, if you manage a coffee shop, perhaps run a category about different gourmet coffees that you’ve tried, or give tips for making the best coffee at home.  If you run a B&B, share your latest breakfast menus and a few recipes to try at home.
  • A method of keeping visitors informed about how you are updating and improving your service.  Your visitor feedback forms could include a link to your blog address, so that they can follow up your responses to their comments on the web, without having to give you their contact details. Posting blogs celebrating the good feedback you received is a great way to encourage both visitors and your own staff.  Publishing any negative feedback, along with the measures that you have put in place in response to it, may persuade the more difficult customers to make a return visit.

If you’re not convinced, or want more information, check out this YouTube video about benefits and tips for business blogging.

YouTube – How to have profitable conversations 3:Blogging for Business.

Ready to get started? WordPress is one of the most popular blogging sites, and you can set up an account in seconds.

I’ll keep posting in this ‘Web 2.0’ category as I discover more about blogs and other methods of social marketing. If you have a chance, do try using these techniques, then come back here and let us know how it’s going.

Good luck!

For more ideas, resources, and training options, visit the St Andrews Skills Academy.

Explore posts in the same categories: New material, Web 2.0

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