To blog or not to blog, is the question? The answer is that as an entrepreneur, this is a great opportunity to establish yourself as an expert in your industry. If executed effectively, this can be a smart online marketing strategy and an affordable way to grow your business. Blogging is ‘big business’ among entrepreneurs, writers and those who just want to express themselves thru electronic communication. Blogging is fun, easy and free! Yes, FREE!
What is a blog?
A blog is a Web site that contains an online personal or business journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer. It gives your business a personality and facilitates the voice between you and your customers, in essence, it establishes you as an expert on a topic and is a brand extension tool. Programs such as www.wordpress.com, www.blogger.com and www.typepad.com are all free and easy to use.
Are you blogging? Why? Why not?
More and more businesses are blogging as they realize the benefits. If you have yet to start a blog, here are SIX reasons you may want to start blogging, today:
1. Build a following = potential client.
As you post relevant content on a regular basis, you build a loyal group of followers. Be patient as it takes time. As your followers get to know you, they will feel comfortable in passing on leads and referring you to potential clients. Remember the old saying, people buy and refer people that they know and trust. So, be persistent and consistent with your efforts.
2. Get paid (YES I SAID PAID) for hits.
If you write good content, build your following, as you can get paid by advertisers. Many bloggers publish their blogs mainly to earn revenue. For example, you can be compensated for a paid review, writing articles, a ghostwriting gig or simply posting ads on your blog site. Many advertisers look for bloggers with a large following.
A few sites that can help you:
- Google Ad Sense. This is a free program that enables website publishers of all sizes to display relevant Google ads and earn. http://tinyurl.com/ygt6y2h
- Link Share. A leading provider of full-service online marketing solutions specializing in the areas of Search (SEM), Lead Generation and Affiliate Marketing. Link Share pays for affiliate marketing. http://www.linkshare.com/
3. Promote your blog.
If you are writing a blog, why not promote it? There are many ways that you can promote your blog. With most sites, all you need to do is sign up and become active. Here are a few that I’ve found to work:
- www.technorati.com. Technorati is an Internet search engine for searching blogs. By June 2008, Technorati currently tracks 112.8 million blogs and over 250 million pieces of tagged social media. Recognized authority on what’s happening on the World Live Web, right now.
- www.problogger.com. An opportunity for bloggers to come together to collaborate, learn and network in a private forum and to add income streams to their blogs.
- www.work.com. A new service from Business.com, the largest business-to-business search engine and directory. Business.com and Work.com help small business decision-makers solve their most pressing business problems and realize their most compelling opportunities.
- www.pajamamarket.com. Small business blog marketing. This site reviews small business blogs and small business blogging suggestions.
4. Get involved, join message boards.
Join groups, forums, and message boards that pertain to your blog topic and post your articles. Help others and they will in turn, help you. Decide how much time you want to spend doing this, but it is useful to post daily. Actively participate. Always leave a link to your blog in your signature.
5. Publish your blog articles.
There are several online sites where you can submit your articles for publication. Here are a few:
- www.ezinearticles.com – Expert Authors & Writers are able to post their articles to be featured within the site. The searchable database of hundreds of thousands of quality original articles allows email newsletter publishers hungry for fresh content to find articles that they can use for inclusion within their next newsletter.
- www.associatedcontent.com – Associated Content enables anyone to participate in the new content economy by publishing content on any topic, in any format (text, video, audio and images), and connects that content to consumers, partners and advertisers.
- www.articlesbase.com – Articles Base is a free article directory where you can submit and find articles. You can publish your articles for free or find content for your website, ezine, or newsletter.
6. Post your blog on Social Media Sites.
For entrepreneurs using social media as a marketing strategy is a great way to build your business-h minimal to no investment except your time and effort.
- Facebook – Create a Facebook profile and add the “My Blog Application.” Again, join groups that pertain to your blog topic and interact with other members. Write on walls, start discussion topics, and participate in ongoing discussions and leave the link to your blog.
- Twitter – Twitter allows you to post updates (called Tweets) as often as you want (and limited to 140 characters). When people follow you, they see your tweets. So, by posting the link to your blog, your followers can follow the link back to your blog. If they like the content, they will retweet it.
- LinkedIn – LinkedIn’s edge is the fact that it’s tailored for businesspeople, unlike other social networking sites that also attract a great number of general users. You can use LinkedIn to network with people or groups, or answer questions that other members ask, thus, providing a link to your blog as a reference.
- Digg – The ultimate social media site; it’s become notorious for producing traffic waves so massive that they can have a DOS-style impact on smaller hosts.
- StumbleUpon – Helps members discover and share great websites. As you click Stumble, the site delivers high-quality pages matched to your personal preferences. These pages have been explicitly recommended by your friends or one of 8 million+ other web surfers with interests similar to you.
- del.icio.us – A social bookmarking website; users can mark their favorites with del.icio.us and share them with each other; making it onto the front page of the “recently popular” section on del.icio.us will send a decent amount of traffic so long as the category you’re tagged into is popular.
There are many ways that you can get the most out of promoting and marketing your blog. By incorporating blogging as part of your internet marketing strategy positions your business to be found in the search engines by those that are interested in your product or service.
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Sylvia Browder is CEO of Browder Consulting Group, a virtual small business consulting and coaching firm. She is currently employed as a Project Director, business coach and consultant for the Women’s Business Center, Inc., a non-profit economic development organization with a mission of empowering women to start and grow successful businesses. She also serves as a volunteer SCORE counselor, an organization dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and the formation, growth and success of small business nationwide. She is also a Technical Assistant Provider for SBA’s Community Express Loan Program. For FREE weekly articles go to Sylvia Browder’s Blog for Women Entrepreneur’s, www.sylviabrowder.com. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org..
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