NB: This is step 5 of a 5 step series – Step into 2008 with more fun.
Everything I’ve outlined in the previous steps in this series points to the evolving small business concept of “marketing as a conversation.” Well, few things are as effective at pulling this concept together as blogging. (Click to see the entire series)
In an effort to get your attention for this post I’ve even added a curse word to the title. I know it’s a rather tame one, but my parents never cursed around me so if one slipped out I knew they were serious – and yes, I’m very serious about the fact that every small business should have a blog. I don’t care if you’ve grown tired of hearing about them. A small business blog may indeed become one of your most effective marketing tools.
You must start and grow a blog in 2008!
1) It makes it very easy to update your web presence – easy is good because easy gets done
2) Locally you can use a blog to gain exposure that your competition can’t
3) Search engines love blogs (still) and will reward you with better search results when your prospects go looking
4) The daily and weekly chore (that may be how you initially view it) of producing written content will make you a much better communicator, marketer and salesperson – it’s the killer activity
Here’s how to get started
1) Read blogs – go to Bloglines.com and search for blogs in your industry and subscribe to them for free – then read
2) Get the software – even if you just mildly techie you can set-up a TypePad or WordPress blogging tool. Personally, I use WordPress on this blog and love it, but I’m also watching the new MovableType Community Solution to see how it evolves. (Search on the TypePad or WordPress sites for design and technical help if you need it.)
3) Start writing – keep a journal or use a service like Jott to send yourself notes every time a good idea for a blog post pops into your head. Once you start thinking this way, content will reveal itself all around you. Don’t forget to use the questions your customers and prospects ask you throughout the course of business as content for blog posts.
4) Start networking with other bloggers – Link to sites in your posts, write relevant comments on the blogs you read (including those of the journalists you have targeted), and create a list of the blogs you like with an eye on trading links
5) Get your community involved – think about ways to get your customers reading, subscribing to and commenting on your blog. Invite your best strategic partners to create guest posts. Re-purpose some of your blog content into other marketing pieces.
- Lee Odden’s 25 tips for marketing your blog
- Nice list of 40 blog related blogs
- NY Time article on small business blogging
And, some resource reading:
- 3 blogs I recommend on blogging
- Blogging Tips – multiple authors and lots of handy tips
- ProBlogger – best source for moneymaking blog tips
- Chrisg.com – the business of blogging and some good technical hacks
Tell me the top 3 blogs you would recommend!