A blog is still the most important social medium for small businesses. It is here that you prove yourself and your company as a thought-leader, gain trust and relate to your visitors on a deeper level than promotional text on a website ever could. I have compiled a few frequently asked questions that small businesses ask about blogging. And if I missed your question(s), please comment. I would love to add them in!
1. What platform should I use?
WordPress is my recommendation. It is a little more complex and takes more to integrate, but with this, it allows for more customization and great plugins to integrate diverse functionality and features. There are two paths to take with this: At WordPress.com, you are presented a platform, URL (www.yourname.wordpress.com) and hosting for free, while WordPress.org supplies the platform for free, but you need to find and pay for your own hosting and domain name. GoDaddy is a great place to purchase a domain.
Blog about what you know! The blog is a great place to share new announcements about your company, staff, etc. However, it’s also important to make sure that your blog helps your readers and provides value. Write about what is going on in your industry — give your opinion and unique points of view on a hot topic.
Give advice. Provide value by giving your readers some free knowledge about what you are an expert on. Address a few frequently asked questions that you consistently hear. If you help a potential customer out with an issue (for free via your blog), there is a good chance they will come back when they need help on a larger scale, possible seeking your business out for (paid) assistance.
And finally, encourage interaction. Ask for opinions of your readers, and let them join in the conversation.
6. Who should be blogging?
Everyone! Encourage everyone on your team to contribute, as everyone has different expertise and opinions. Download a plugin like Author Exposed to allow viewers to learn who the authors are and their role in the company.
7. How often should I blog?
As often as possible. This becomes easier as you incorporate more of your team into the process. Aim for twice a week. Be consistent though — the more often you post, the more often your readers will check for updates, add your site to their blog reader and recommend it to others. Also, the more you update a site, the better it looks in the eyes of the search engines!
Now you’re ready to get started blogging! What other questions do you have?
*Photo by Annie Mole. Used under Creative Commons.