Are You Using a Blog to Explode Your Business Like Everybody Else?

Business week cover on how blogging can help your business{This is the updated version of the The Benifits Of Incorporating A Blog On Your Website post. If you reach this one first go back and compare to see the difference that a little formatting and better copy can do. At the conclusion of this post I explain the things I did in order to improve the post and capture readers attention.}

In my professional opinion, if you aren’t harnessing the power of a blog in your business, you’re missing a HUGE opportunity! You’re pretty much just flushing money down the toilet.

How Business Blogging Can Explode Your Business

People Want Fresh Content

The Internet provides information at your fingertips. But people want more than that . . . people want the freshest newest information at their fingertips! And that’s what blogs are all about!

Great for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

A blog is a great way to keep fresh keyword rich content on a website. Although it is sort of a mystery as to exactly when the spiders come to your site, generally the more you update your content the more often the spiders crawl your site.

It is a great way to do link exchanges with non-competitors in the same industry. It is not unheard of to actually have links with your competitors.  Bottom line is Google loves links especially those that are to sites with relevant content and ideally you want to get a link from a site that has a higher page rank than your site.

Gives People a Reason to Come Back to Your Site

Blogs keep people coming back to your site looking for your next post. You are in business to make a profit, right? Well, the amount of money you make from your site is directly related to your sites traffic. If people keep coming back to your site, you’re in good position to convert them into customers.

Become a Renowned Expert

The blog author or team of authors in some instances gain clout through the info they provide in blogs. Just like someone gains clout when they write a book. They get to be known as experts in their field.

Traffic ,Traffic ,Traffic.

Blogs have so many ways to bring in traffic. I receive more traffic to the Arcimedia Blog than to the main part of the site, and it will probably stay that way.

If someone subscribes to your blog, BAM! You have a new way to market to that person. If someone is a regular reader or subscriber to your blog, they usually have no problem receiving other marketing materials from you. Newsletter anyone? Sales ad anyone? Email is still the cheapest way to market anything. (By the way . . . we have a bunch of books in the Arcimedia store that can get you started on blogging)

Easy to Manage and Update

You as a business owner do not have to be a web developer to maintain a blog. Most of the blogging platforms offer many resources (usually plug-ins) to add increased functionality to your blog.

You may need to hire a web designer or developer to “customize” your blog. Customization can range from matching the design of the blog to your existing site or adding features that are unavailable as a plug-in.

Overall though, blogs are pretty much ready to go “out of the box”.

I could go on, but those are the main points. I do not believe its right to give all these benefits without adding some of the drawbacks of having a blog.

Drawbacks to Having a Business Blog

1. It’s Work!

You can not just throw a blog up, and then be done with it. As with anything it will be what you make it.

To be successful you must do everything you do with your regular website and more. You have to market it. It will not magically get to your target audience. It has to be Search Engine Optimized, and perhaps unlike your regular site ( which may have keyword rich content that does not change very often) this is something you have to consider each and every time you write a post. You have to post consistently. A blog that has infrequent or long droughts where no new content is added is a dead blog. That will probably need to be buried and laid to rest or extra work will have to be put in to revive it. You have to “user optimize” it.

I do not want to go to in depth about building and maintaining a successful blog so as not to stray from the original topic. I will create another post specifically on building a successful blog soon.

2. It’s Competitive out There!

The World Wide Web is vast and competitive. To stand out you must be creative. I will discuss this more in depth as well in the forthcoming post Building a Successful Blog.

3.The Learning Curve

You must learn a new skill. Make no mistake about it blogging is a skill. It is a skill that can be mastered with practice and study. If you are a good writer, that will give you a head start when you start writing a blog.

Is Your Blog Growing Your Business?

Given that blogging takes so much effort. You must make sure your work pays off. What I mean by this is if you are using it as a business building tool it should bring you a return from your work. Ask yourself the following questions. If you cannot answer yes to any of these, than your blog is not growing your business.

Does it further establish your brand or company in the marketplace?

Does it generate traffic to your website and/or brick and mortar store?

Does your blog profit from the sale of yours or other business’s products straight from your blog? ( This could be as simple as getting paid to post or advertising revenue.)

Does your blog generate leads to capture future customers?

For many entrepreneurs, blogging may seem like one extra thing on a plate that is already full. However, if you master it, blogging can EXPLODE your business.

When starting a blog as a business building tool use these questions as a guideline to make sure you are receiving a return on your investment. I am not saying to give up if at first these parameters are not being met.

As I have stated previously, blogging is both work and a skill. You may need to rethink your strategy, examine how much work you have actually put into it, or continue to develop your skill as a blogger before you start to see results.

Now I will explain the steps that were taken to improve the post.

Changed The Headline

The headline was changed from The Benifits Of Incorporating A Blog On Your Website to Are You Using a Blog to Explode Your Business Like Everybody Else? Obviously the new headline has a better chance of drawing the readers attention. Your headline is the most important element in trying to draw an audience. You should give it a great deal of consideration when writing your posts. If you want a good book to assist you in writing headlines read The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan Kennedy .

The Picture

Although the picture was included on both posts, I want to elaborate on the importance and formatting of pictures. Let me begin by saying every post should have a picture. People are visual by nature they will always look at a picture before they read text. The picture should be placed where it looks best in relation to the text and always “above the fold” (meaning you do not want the reader to have to scroll down to see the picture) on your post. Always include padding around your pictures so that the text is not touching the picture. Having the picture to the left is usually the best option as people generally read from left to right and the picture can pull them in immediately. However sometimes  because of the layout of the text the picture may be better suited placed to the right.

For The Main Points We Added A Bold Heading And/Or A Number.

There are two types of readers. You have your scanners that will skim over your post looking for something that will make them want to read more and you have the reader who reads from the top to bottom, line by line. In adding these elements you are able to cater to both types of readers. It is worth noting that the scanner is the most common type of reader. These elements allow the scanner to find your main points and then decide if they want to read more. If you do not include these elements the scanner may not even look over your post even if it is filled with great content. Formatting your post in this way also makes it much more visually appealing.

White Space and Margins

Adding extra white space and margins assisted in accenuating the key points and breaking them into “bite size” portions. This makes the post much easier to read.

Use Of Bold Text

Bold text is good to use anywhere you want the reader to have an increased focus on. Bold is not just for headlines, you should use it to highlight specific points within paragraphs as well. You can even experiment with adding different colors of bold text to further accenuate key areas. Use caution and do not overdue the use of colored text. Usually one different color and in one or two places is plenty anymore than that and your post starts to loose its visual appeal.

These formatting tips should be enough to get you started. I will be posting a general html lesson soon that will teach you about hand coding tags, font styles, inserting links, and adding pictures. This will further increase the control you have over your posts formatting. Also look for a blog post on getting traffic to your blog that will be posted soon as well.

About Doug Greathouse (aka Captian Arcimedia)

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