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Does anyone actually read blogs? Are you really convinced by them or not?
First I think a separation of the business blog from the personal one is necessary. These days the blog as a personal diary has more or less been replaced by Facebook and Twitter, and for most users it is unlikely to achieve anything much from a commercial point of view. So, unless you are Perez Hilton, it’s probably better to have a business blog rather than a personal one. Although some might disagree.
If you have an e-commerce site, a blog makes perfect sense in helping you to attract more traffic to content that enhances the products. A well-written, relevant blog will help you build a relationship of credibility and trust with prospects, which in turn can lead to sales. In creating high quality content in your blog, you establish yourself as a figure of authority in your niche which reassures potential buyers, and indeed justifies the risks taken by your existing customers to hag around. Most big name brands with a strong online presence have a blog, for example, IBM, Microsoft. There are gazillions of blogs out there it seems, so what’s the pull? Is it really worth it?
Hopefully you will see from the above that the direction of my answer is heading for a resolute ‘yes’. But for any doubters out there, here are some major benefits to grab hold of:
1. Blogs unlike traditional websites are not static
Blogs, on the other hand, are dynamic they are ‘more alive’ than the traditional website. Serious bloggers will make sure they update their blog with fresh, new content is added regularly, even daily. Services such as Posterous (www.posterous.com) which I use make this so ridiculously easy. This commitment to regularly updating a blog generates increased loyalty to the blog by those visiting it. The regularly updated content gives people a reason to visit the blog; for example to learn about new product lines, promotions etc.
Blogs are increasingly used to answer questions from customers; whereby a question about a feature of a product is explained in the form of a blog post. There are many ways to inject creativity into a blog, be it repurposing content or finding new ways to write about a niche. All of this contributes to the dynamic quality of a blog and this is enhanced by visitors being able to post comments on the blog too.
Essential reading : Four steps to a content strategy that really works
2. A blog will help your Search Engine rankings
The reasons why this is the case are not easy to explain. It is likely due to the fact that blogs tend to receive more incoming links from other blogs and websites. It is evident is that, articles and posts published inside a blog seem to obtain high rankings in the search results of major search engines.
The result is a welcome one though. Increased traffic. More so, if you have a well optimized site. For businesses selling a product or service, the focus is then to convert the increased traffic into paying customers…
3. Using RSS on your blog helps visitors stay connected
. RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is in essence a format used to give information from websites and pages that are regularly updated. An RSS document, called a feed contains either a summary or the full content from the blog or website in question. RSS allows people to stay connected with the sites of their choice without needing to log in to them. This means that once you subscribe to a blog’s RSS feed, you will automatically get updates as soon as new content is published.
This technology/feature is important because when a visitor receives content via RSS from a blog he has agreed to become a subscriber of that blog.
4 Blogs make it easier to dialogue with your customers compared to a website
When you sell to a niche, you sell to the people in that niche. Blogs not only make it easier for people to visit a site more frequently, they also allow others to communicate with them and vice versa.
In developing your product marketing, you will have defined who is your typical customer Because of the more ‘informal’, conversational nature of the blog, you can write material that is relevant and interesting to this target audience. You can write to them as individual, using a ‘voice’ that suits and appeals to them.
Blogs enable you to write with personality. If you have a look at the best business blogs eg www.payperclicksearchmarketing.com, you will see how the way in which they have been written affects how you perceive them and their company.
This conversational element of blogging confers on it a greater degree of flexibility to be used under a variety of situations. Yu can be the first with news and opinions. If you solve a problem that is relevant to your customers you can blog about it. .
5. Your blog posts can be easily repurposed
You can easily repurpose (re-use) the best of your blog content into an e-book, or CD. If for example you have conducted an interview, transcribed and then posted it in your blog, you can use the audio version for CD material you can offer your visitors in exchange for their details.
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