Friday, August 25, 2006

Where Is Your Business Blog?

Where Is Your Business Blog?
by Ellie McFadden

A blog is defined as a “type of website where entries are made (such as in a journal or diary). Blogs often provide commentary or news on a particular subject, such as food, politics, or local news.” I agree with that definition but I also think blogs are involving into great business devices to inform and educate your customers.

Of course it’s fitting for me, as a writer, to have a blog (or two) but you may feel you don’t need one for your own line of work. I couldn’t disagree with you more. I truly believe any type of business can benefit from using a blog.

A blog is an inexpensive (I use and there is no charge) tool to keep in touch with your customers. I think the challenging part for most business owners is figuring out what to write about and continually maintaining the blog, which is extremely important. If your customer clicks on your blog link and there hasn’t been a post since last Christmas, they will click off right away. You want to keep them engaged.

So what do you write about in your blog? First of all, don’t make your blog all about your business and full of ads. The key is to incorporate the products and/or services you offer with information that YOUR customer is seeking. The first step is to think about who is your customer and what concerns/interests do they have?

For example, you are a veterinarian. I’m a customer of a veterinarian and I want to know more about cat care. The vet could use case studies from real-life situations from the office and share that with their customers (via the blog). When a customer at the office asks them a question, for example “We are expecting our first child, what can we do to help make Smelly the Cat adjust to this new arrival?” Blog about it! I would love to hear about funny pet stories as well.

A blog is interactive as well. After you post your entry, your customer can leave a comment. Answer their question or comment as soon as you can. Keep that line of communication open.

The other challenge with blogging is maintaining it. Do you have enough time to write the posts and answer the comments? And does it matter? I think I have answered the second question. It does matter. It’s a way to communicate with your customer and they can communicate right back. It’s a way for your customer to get to know you and your business a little better.

If you personally don’t have time to write your own blog entries, find someone who can write it for you. Remember your business blog is NOT about spilling out your personal feelings. It’s about informing your target market of information, products and services you can provide. You are educating through the use of your blog. A business writer can help you generate ideas as well as write the entries and keep the blog updated. The writer does not necessary have to pretend they are you but simply provide content for your readers. And this content also helps with your website traffic. More traffic equals more customers.

Ellie McFadden is a business writer who specializes in helping businesses with their online marketing, such as blog writing. She writes and maintains two blogs:

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