Blogging for business
Aug. 25, 2009 – Setting up a blog is an affordable tool for nurturing new and future business.
Aug. 25, 2009 – Setting up a blog is an affordable tool for nurturing new and future business. Compared to website management which is often costly and time-consuming—or e-mailing customers which is often imposing—blogging to communicate has many benefits.
“Blogs give small businesses a chance to share more personalized knowledge and expertise with a large audience,” says Brian Coupland, director of innovation at Staples Canada, a retailer in a prime position to observe business trends. “Direct selling is not the goal or function of a blog, but the building of countless helpful and reliable relationships, is. As importantly, blog software makes the setup and maintenance of this Internet tool, very easy to do.”
A blog, often called weblog, is a one- or two-page Internet location, usually maintained by its host with regular commentary, topic updates, or other material such as graphics or video. Business blogs, while maintaining a personal touch, tend to offer lots of tips, experiences, and related expertise. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, with the ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format.
According to Coupland, here are a few more business blogging benefits to consider:
- It's faster to enter new commentary on a blog versus a website, where you may have to call in your web designer, or do the coding and uploading yourself.
- Low cost. Search engine marketing (for distribution of your blog) generally costs less than putting your messaging in traditional media. For example, on a cost-per-lead basis, analysts say these are typical U.S. dollar rates: $0.29 for search; $0.50 for e-mail; $1.18 for the yellow pages, $2.00 for banner ads, and $9.94 for direct mail.
- More audience. Since consumer tips tend to generate lots of interest, your blog and messaging stands a greater chance of reaching even more people. This is because search results are ranked and listed by popularity. For an even better competitive edge, many businesses invest in search engine optimization (SEO) to improve their ranking on the list as much as possible.
Coupland suggests that if you need some practical information and tips on how make your business a success, be sure to ask about seminars at your neighbourhood Staples. Scheduled free-of-charge on weekday evenings, seminars teach ready-to-apply ideas for marketing, accounting, branding, business planning and more. As many as 4,500 entrepreneurs have already attended more than 400 seminars and more information is also available at www.easy.staples.ca.