No matter what your area of business you cannot ignore the power of the blog in today's world of business.
No matter what your area of business, even if it is as seemingly localized and simplistic as a lawn-mowing service, you cannot ignore the power of the blog in today's world of business.
True, the area of social media as a whole is vital but this has become such a daunting subject, deserving of several months of blog posts to even scratch its surface, that it is easier to focus on one area, and the blog is certainly one effective and very doable area in which businesses can market themselves at a low cost, reach a whole new demographic of customers and dictate its entire brand image.
Because even the blog is a huge area of interest and study, we will analyze its benefits to business over a series of blog posts, focusing on one core advantage each week.
This week, we have advantage #1, perhaps one of the most important benefits of all:
YOUR BLOG = YOUR VOICE
Yes, even if you aren't writing it yourself!
Many businesses use a blogging service, and Prompt Proofing also manages blogs for its clients, posting and writing blog posts on a regular basis in order to keep up the company's search engine presence and provide the blog's readers with regular, informative news that is well written. (Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for pricing and more information on our blogging services).
The fact of the matter is, with marketing and word-of-mouth whispers between current and potential customers, a blog is the one space in that vast web of the Internet that you can dominate and claim as your own, allowing you to exert some influence over how your business is perceived.
Readers much prefer reading a business's blog to its marketing materials because, quite simply, they feel as though you aren't trying to sell to them. Obviously you are, as there would be no point in putting your time and energy into a business blog if you didn't eventually hope to gain some customers from it, but the fact is, you can't maintain a sales pitch throughout every single blog post (or at least, you shouldn't).
Blogs read more informally than marketing literature, and are there to provoke discussion and provide information rather than simply to persuade the reader to hand over their credit card. Prompt Proofing's blog is a great example - we essentially charge people to improve their communication and writing, yet we constantly write blog posts advising you how to improve your own writing. That's because we recognize that education and information are two key factors that bring people to peruse blogs and we don't want to just sell our services to you. We want you to find something of interest to read on our site, and - because it is our passion - we desperately want to improve spelling and grammar everywhere!
Let's go back to our example of ABC Lawn Mowers Ltd. Their blog posts could cover issues such as how to care for your garden to what model of lawn mower to buy. That's right, they could be providing information about how to buy a machine that would mean their services would not be needed! Seem counter-intuitive? The fact is, you want to draw readers to your blog. You cannot be naive enough to assume that every reader will become a customer. The most important thing is to increase traffic because that will increase awareness of your business. So even if that reader buys the lawnmower and never uses their service, they may direct someone else to your site in future who doesn't have time to mow their own lawns and just wants to contact ABC Lawn Mowers Inc. to do it for them.
This is a very planned and neat example of how business is gained from a blog, but truthfully the ways in which blogs can lead to business growth are far more nuanced and plentiful than is worth outlining here. The bottom line is: Blogs lead to business growth. End of story. So why aren't you doing one
If you don't have time, dedicate a few hundred dollars from your marketing budget each month and pay a service to blog once a week for you to start and then steadily increase that if you feel like it. The important thing is to not miss out on this low-cost and easy opportunity to have your voice heard!
Prompt Proofing Says Do Not Ignore the Power of the Blog (Part 2):
In Part 1 of this series, we talked about the fact that a blog provides you with the unique opportunity of having your own voice, speaking directly to customers, Internet readers, other business owners and more. This week's benefit elaborates on this. Not only does a blog provide you with a unique opportunity to show off your own style of communication and, therefore, business, but it also gives you a forum through which to educate your readers. Therefore, this week's benefit of business blogging:
BECOME KNOWN AS AN EXPERT IN YOUR FIELD
If you are in business, chances are it is because you have specialized knowledge in one or more areas. For example, if you are in trades, then you have specialized knowledge in the area of plumbing, welding, bricklaying, electrics, etc. This is knowledge that John Doe walking down the street doesn't have. If you're an accountant, you know how to balance books and handle complex financial information. If you're a lawyer, you know the letter of the law inside and out - or at least you know how to find it out! If you're a hairstylist, you know what you're doing with a pair of scissors close to a head of hair.
You get the point. You have something to offer; a niche (however small) to fill. That's why you are in business. Use this knowledge and exhibit it in your blog and there's a good chance you could become known as an expert in your field. So what, you ask
Well, here are just a few of the results that could come from being recognized for your specialized knowledge:
1. Your blog could develop a following of people who want inspiration, information and education in a certain area.
2. Through this following, your presence on social media is bound to increase as people spread the word and share your blog. This is the best form of advertising: FREE and reliable for the customer (people trust word-of-mouth referrals far more than any paid business advertisement).
3. You could even become a consultant for a journalist. Journalists often have a 'beat' that they cover, meaning that they tend to focus on writing stories on one type of news, such as finance, travel, entertainment or sports. Generally, each journalist will have a list of experts they can consult for quotes and background information on issues they need to write about. Yet again, more advertising that is respected and FREE!
These benefits certainly help to outweigh the cons that many business owners fear - if I give away my secrets, how will I have a business anymore? Well, I promise that by giving some DIY tips to a home owner looking to do some renovations, you won't be put out of business. If anything it will save you working on small, poorly-paying jobs, and will instead give you the promotion to land larger jobs that no one would think of doing themselves, even if they have read your blog for advice! Just choose what you blog on carefully. For example, a hairstylist can blog about ideas for styling hair or perms, or can post photos of great colors or cuts that the reader can then take to her hairstylist to replicate. That doesn't mean people will stop getting their hair cut professionally. An accountant can provide information on how to keep a personal budget and good tools to use to manage your personal finances. This doesn't mean businesses will stop requiring accountants to balance their books throughout the fiscal year.
Blogs create a win-win situation for everyone, especially the small business owner. Take advantage of this!
Prompt Proofing offers a blogging service. We are able to enhance blog posts with relevant keywords for SEO purposes, and create brief, well-written blog posts designed to attract online readers, who have been shown to have fairly short attention spans. The format of a blog post is very important and we at Prompt Proofing are experts in this area.
Check back next Friday for another Prompt Proofing blog post!
Prompt Proofing: Prompt Proofing is based in Vancouver, BC, Canada and was officially launched in 2010 by a team of editing and writing professionals who have over 40 years of experience in the education, news media, public relations and recruitment fields. Prompt Proofing prides itself on affordable services delivered with fast turnaround times, without sacrificing quality or accuracy.
Offering content writing, editing and proofreading services, Prompt Proofing takes care of your individual or business content needs. Visit our website for more information at www.PromptProofing.com
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