One of the most common complaints that new writers have about weblogs or blogs is that they are too personal or informal. It sometimes seems like the majority of bloggers are teenagers writing out their angst, non-foodies writing about their meals, and parents writing about their kids. But it is very possible to have a business and still use a weblog to get more promotion, more pageviews, and more customers.
Why Blog for Your Business?
Blogging is very popular. And having a business weblog that provides good information for your customers while being timely and fun can add a new dimension to your website and your products. By putting a face and a name behind your products on your blog, you give your customers someone to identify with rather than a faceless corporation.
Blogs are a powerful tool for marketing and content promotion. Because the entries are short, and often full of links, they are more keyword heavy than standard articles often are. Blog posts are easy for your customers to read (and you to write), so they are more likely to come back often to see what you might have to say or what has changed on your site.
If your company is very formal, a blog is a place to show your customers that it is made up of people just like them. You can do this without becoming too personal or diary-like. In fact, sometimes just putting out articles with a name and a face attached to them can make your formal company seem more personable.
Using a Blog for Business
There are lots of ways you can use a blog on a business website:
- Frequently Asked Questions
If you get a lot of mail to your webmaster account, you can post the common questions up on a blog. This will provide your customers a place to go to see questions and answers, and as new questions come in, you can post them to help more people.
If you do promotions every week or few days, you can use a blog to highlight them. Many bloggers give things away regularly. This can keep customers coming back. And the giveaways and promotions don’t have to be major expenses for you, but they should be something that people would actually want. Providing a free whitepaper might not have the draw that a free wallpaper might have.
Like promotions, regular contests and games are a great promo in a blog. They are fun, and bring your customers back.
- What’s New Pages
If you add lots of new articles, information, or products regularly, sometimes it can be difficult for your customers to find out what’s new. A quick blog entry can show them what’s updated on your site.
- What’s Coming
You can use a blog to peak interest in future products or projects. It’s also a great way to keep notes about what you’re planning for your customers, the entries are archived so nothing is lost either for you or your customers. Plus, if your blog tool has a comments feature, you can use that to judge interest before it goes live.
- Photos and Images
Rather than writing, you could put up a daily photo for your customers. A photo and a short description can be very compelling.
- Developer Notes
If you’re a software company, this can often be fascinating for your customers, to see what the software developers are doing and how new projects might be moving forward.
The most common use for business blogs is news, usually about the specific topic relevant to the company.
The key thing you want to remember is to keep updating your blog. There is nothing quite as sad as a blog that has five entries from ten months ago and then nothing. The best blogs have regular updates, whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly. Get in the habit of adding something to your blog regularly and your customers will appreciate it.