People need to be reminded about you and your business often. You want them to come back and visit your website frequently. A great way to do this is through a newsletter and a blog. I recommend that you have both a newsletter and a blog. You can use some of the same information on both, but you will find that some prefer to have it arrive in their inbox and others would prefer to visit your blog regularly. The more options you provide, the better your success will be. I have been quite surprised at how much a blog has added to my website and business. I have been amazed that people really care to read what I write. I have gotten so many new regular customers through my blog.
When starting your blog, I highly recommend you read Blog by Hugh Hewitt if you want to have a successful blog. He gives a lot of practical pointers including: Have a targeted focus, link frequently to other’s posts, and post often. A successful blog will not happen overnight unless you are already a celebrity. But, keep posting thought-provoking, relevant information and linking to other people and you will soon have your own group of blog “fans.” Market your business and your products on a regular basis, but don’t overdo it. I probably post a business-related post 2 times per week on average. Truth be told, though I originally started my blog as an extension of the business and it still is, technically, I view it more as my ministry and outreach. I spend so much of my time dedicated to business things that my blog is more my “creative outlet.” Although it has brought in quite a bit of revenue, especially now that I have paid advertising on it (only because I was asked to do so), I haven’t actively tried to make it revenue-producing. I just enjoy blogging, that’s why I do it!
For those who are interested in starting a blog for your business endeavor, here are some random thoughts on successful blogging.
1. Read Blog by Hugh Hewitt. Excellent book for those just getting started with blogging.
2. Link, link, link. Link in your sidebar and link in your posts. One thing which has been very effective in my blogging is to have a part on my sidebar which lists “blogs that link here” (of course, you want to wait until you have a couple to list!). Then, put at the bottom that if someone links to your blog, to let you know and you will add them to the list. Basically all the blogs that I have listed, are from people writing to tell me they have linked to me! I really didn’t
3. Have a targeted subject. (I don’t do a good job of following this one, I’m way too eclectic. Maybe I should re-name my blog “The Eclectic Blog”?)
4. Update regularly.
5. Provide helpful, interesting content. At least occasionally write about “hot” topics or current events. Search the top ten list on Technorati to find out what’s being blogged about most. If you have good content, once people find you, they will want to stick around and become regular readers.