Thursday, 4 August 2011

Internet Marketing Blog: Will It Help Grow My Business?

Writing your very own blog can be a fun and rewarding way to bring more attention to your business whilst also establishing yourself as one of the internet's authorities in what you do. Some people run a blog as a business in its own right, using the popularity of their content among regular readers and on search engine rankings as a way to make advertising revenue and to also promote and sell things via affiliate marketing schemes. If a writer on a blog is popular, they can also write and sell ebooks through the site. Generally though, blogging for business purposes is used as another internet marketing mechanism, being another way to promote what you are doing and draw traffic in to your own ecommerce sites.
While blogs are free to set up (though there can be costs if you want to host it on a new domain) and the publishing and maintenance processes of the common free blogging platforms like WordPress and Blogger are easy to learn, actually writing a blog can take up a lot of your time, as can promoting it. Some questions to ask yourself if you are considering starting up a blog, are:
How much do I have to say?
If you have a lot to say about your industry, then a blog could be a great way for you to boost your credibility as a business person and become a trusted expert in your field. People will come to your blog because they know you write interesting stuff, and they will buy from you because they like and trust you. This can be very powerful. If you don't deal in the kind of market that lends itself to that and all you really want your customers to know about you is what you sell, how it can help them and how they can buy it, then an ecommerce site is going to give a better return on investment than a blog.
Do I have a natural audience?
If you do something quite niche, it is easy to think of things to write about and identify the people you want to come and see your blog. If you are running more of a "pile them high and sell them cheap" kind of operation where your products don't fit any specific category and your customers could be anyone, anywhere, then a blog may not be as helpful in getting you more customers.
Could I outsource it?
If you think a blog would be good for your business but you don't like or aren't good at writing, or don't have the time or the knowledge needed to create and regularly update and promote a blog, then can you outsource it? There are many internet marketing consultants and freelance writers who would happily undertake the population and running of your blog, often for less than you might think.
The key to a good blog is search engine optimized content, so people can find it, regular updates, so people know it is an active blog and you are an active business, and a good promotional strategy using sites like Twitter to spread the word.

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