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Old 14th May 2009, 06:17 PM   #1
KirkEisele
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Default Should Your Business Have A Blog?

I wrote this post for my blog and thought it might fit in the forum here too... Here is is:

Should My Business Have a Blog?

The answer? Not necessarily! Most of the writing online right now about increasing exposure, internet marketing, etc. all would tell you that you must have a blog. It isn't always the case that you need one. Let's talk about why they are so often recommended and how to decide if you should invest the time and energy maintaining a business blog.

First, it is absolutely true that Google likes blogs. Or, more accurately, Google likes fresh content on websites and blogs are supposed to do that. If you don't regularly post to and update your blog, you don't get any points from Google. The search engine positioning potential of blogs is also very good since they generally do a lot of things for you automatically that work well for SEO and each post can be a little keyword targeted webpage. Also, since you can create one using free services such as Blogger, Wordpress, or LiveJournal there is an assumption that it is free so why not? Well, lots of reasons... but there is one that really stands out.

Time! Look, running a business doesn't leave a lot of free time laying around. So, anything you decide to spend time on means you aren't spending time on something else. It's just like money in advertising. Dollars in one place mean fewer dollars someplace else. So, here are some things to think about when considering if a blog is worth the time investment and potentially dollar investment for you business.

-Do you or does someone in your company have time available to create and work on the blog?
-How much competition do you have for the search terms you would like to be found for online?
-Are your customers active online or are they offline types? (How likely are they to see your blog?)

The answers to these questions will help shape your decision. If you are buried right now just running your business and adding anything else to the mix means you neglect core operations, don't create a blog! You don't have time. Focus on systemizing your business, delegating, etc. When you have room to breathe think about taking this on.

Also, if you have almost no competition in your community for the terms you care about and are positioned well just off of your basic business website you might not be in much of a hurry. On the other hand, if your customers are active online a blog might be a great way to make closer connections to them so maybe it is worth it anyway. It's all about finding the balance of sacrifice vs. return that we all face in running our businesses.

A blog is never going to hurt you and can even be fun. (Well, it can hurt you if you embarrass your business with horrid writing or controversial opinions.) If you have time you should create one just based on the idea that it will likely increase in importance in the future as a hub for your social marketing efforts. It doesn't necessarily deserve to be a top priority. There are a lot of other concerns that may supercede it so take the exhortations online to "create your blog now!" with a grain of salt. Do it if/when it makes sense for your business!

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Old 28th May 2009, 03:04 AM   #2
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i think blogs are just a plus... it's a way to get your business out there... there's no harm in creating a blog for your business... but i agree, it's not absolutely necessary...

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Old 28th May 2009, 07:14 AM   #3
Tom Young
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Here is a twist that I have not seen covered or mentioned before.

I have two Word Press blogs that I use regularly for my business.

Each day I take a few minutes to see what key words or phrases have driven traffic to my blog by checking the Stats. This is valuable information if it is used. Otherwise it is of little value.

I do a Google search for the keywords to see what else comes up. This is a great way to keep tabs on your competition.

Tom

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Old 28th May 2009, 12:43 PM   #4
Tom Lindstrom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KirkEisele View Post
I wrote this post for my blog and thought it might fit in the forum here too... Here is is:

Should My Business Have a Blog?

The answer? Not necessarily! Most of the writing online right now about increasing exposure, internet marketing, etc. all would tell you that you must have a blog. It isn't always the case that you need one. Let's talk about why they are so often recommended and how to decide if you should invest the time and energy maintaining a business blog.

First, it is absolutely true that Google likes blogs. Or, more accurately, Google likes fresh content on websites and blogs are supposed to do that. If you don't regularly post to and update your blog, you don't get any points from Google. The search engine positioning potential of blogs is also very good since they generally do a lot of things for you automatically that work well for SEO and each post can be a little keyword targeted webpage. Also, since you can create one using free services such as Blogger, Wordpress, or LiveJournal there is an assumption that it is free so why not? Well, lots of reasons... but there is one that really stands out.

Time! Look, running a business doesn't leave a lot of free time laying around. So, anything you decide to spend time on means you aren't spending time on something else. It's just like money in advertising. Dollars in one place mean fewer dollars someplace else. So, here are some things to think about when considering if a blog is worth the time investment and potentially dollar investment for you business.

-Do you or does someone in your company have time available to create and work on the blog?
-How much competition do you have for the search terms you would like to be found for online?
-Are your customers active online or are they offline types? (How likely are they to see your blog?)

The answers to these questions will help shape your decision. If you are buried right now just running your business and adding anything else to the mix means you neglect core operations, don't create a blog! You don't have time. Focus on systemizing your business, delegating, etc. When you have room to breathe think about taking this on.

Also, if you have almost no competition in your community for the terms you care about and are positioned well just off of your basic business website you might not be in much of a hurry. On the other hand, if your customers are active online a blog might be a great way to make closer connections to them so maybe it is worth it anyway. It's all about finding the balance of sacrifice vs. return that we all face in running our businesses.

A blog is never going to hurt you and can even be fun. (Well, it can hurt you if you embarrass your business with horrid writing or controversial opinions.) If you have time you should create one just based on the idea that it will likely increase in importance in the future as a hub for your social marketing efforts. It doesn't necessarily deserve to be a top priority. There are a lot of other concerns that may supercede it so take the exhortations online to "create your blog now!" with a grain of salt. Do it if/when it makes sense for your business!
I would say you MUST have a blog these days, a normal static website just won´t do the job anymore.

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Old 28th May 2009, 04:19 PM   #5
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A blog can help in ways you might not think. I had one of my posts get picked up by a popular family magazine. This drove considerable traffic to my site for awhile.
Sometimes, with the correct post, it may become viral on Digg or some such site. It can also show authority in your niche.

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Old 31st May 2009, 12:54 AM   #6
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Writing blog is also a useful method to promote business and know what the customers need or think. Customers idea will help you to find the existing problems .

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Old 1st June 2009, 03:32 PM   #7
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We have been writing blogs for quite sometime and have great success with t. We are now getting into video blogging.

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Old 2nd June 2009, 03:44 PM   #8
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Thanks! I think I will try this!

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Old 3rd June 2009, 03:14 PM   #9
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Sadly, I'd suggest that some businesses need a blog, simply because their potential clients expect them to have one, and get a bit 'narked' if they don't.

For us, our blog has been an interesting experience; it takes time to write and so on and it hasn't resulted in an increase in interest in what we do... far from it... it might have been responsible for a slignt decline. However, it means that the people who do contact us already know more about us and our style, so the conversion rate is a lot, lot higher....

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Old 5th June 2009, 08:18 AM   #10
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Long tail of search … I have a somewhat different take on this point: build contextually relevant links into your company’s main web site. If your company sells home yard and garden equipment, then links from a lawn mower blog (which you create) gives you main web site a boost in the search engines for that category.

The search engine long tail is certainly a powerful source of targeted traffic and one big reason why small businesses should enhance their website with a blog. My blog is 10 months old, and in the first 5 months just 6% of my visitors came from search engines. On the second 5 months, that percentage jumps to 40%. Moreover, that 40% comes mostly from long search phrases, which tend to bring more qualified visitors.

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