What's a Blog and Why Should I Have One? - Using Blogs to Generate Business
by Chris Malta
The easiest way to start a blog is with a free commercial service, like Blogger.com or BlogSpot.com. All you have to do is just set up an account and start blogging. To create a blog that sits on your website, you can go to SixApart.com and choose from several software options.
It takes time to build a loyal base of readers, but you can start guiding traffic to your site by linking with relevant blogs. Go to Technorati.com and find blogs whose content ties in with yours. Link only to blogs with content that's useful and entertaining to your customers. Request they look at your blog and consider linking back to you.
For your product sales site, you don't have to blog about your product itself. Blog about things related to your product. If you sell camping gear, blog about the country's top camp sites, your hiking trip in the Appalachians, or the best time of year to visit Yellowstone.
According to Anthony Perry, of BlogAds.com, "You can make your customers feel empowered if you inform them to make their own decisions, as opposed to just beating them over the head, saying, 'This is a great product! You should buy it!'"
3 Benefits of Blogging
In addition to educating your viewers, your blog provides you with several advantages:
1. The familiar tone of blogging creates a window for buyers to see there's a real person behind your site. The internet's an impersonal selling medium, but the personal nature of blogs creates an element of customer trust and loyalty to your brand.
2. By sharing your valuable knowledge, you're giving your customers a reason both to stay and to return. It's a proven fact that the more time a user spends on a site, the more likely they are to purchase something. The more your readers return for your expertise, the more you increase your sales.
3. Get feedback on your products, your site, and your customer service. Let your users leave comments, and find out what changes they'd like to see or what products they'd like you to carry. Says Perry, "Blogging's a tool that lets you communicate with your customer base in a way that's far more intimate than a monthly e-newsletter."