Monday, October 6, 2008

Why the @#Bleep?*! Should I Blog?

Part 1 of a 3 Part Series on Blogging

It’s bound to happen sooner or later. Maybe it already has. You’ll find out everyone already has a blog and you feel two years behind! Believe me, it happens to the best of us. Denial may follow. You could be there now. (And I’m not referring to a river in Egypt.) It may present itself like this.

“I don’t need to blog. I already have a website but I haven’t done much with it, and most of my customers come from word of mouth anyway.”

It may all be true, or you could be fooling yourself. In the past few years, Internet use world wide has expanded dramatically, by 40%. And that number is growing in every country on the planet. This is changing our every day habits, including our purchasing habits. Word of mouth is still a very strong marketing method, but I’m telling you, having a blog and a website allows people to get to know and like you before they call you, and more people can find you when you’re online in a big way.

Here are some really good reasons to blog. Check these out and then you can make up your own mind whether now is your time or not.

To Get People Interested in You and Keep Them With You
If you put valuable content on your blog, you will be offering a free benefit to your potential customer base. They are interested in your products and services, but may not be ready to buy just yet. Remember what Dale Carnegie wrote in “How to Win Friends and Influence People,“ that people will do business with people they “know, like and trust.“ Offering real value on your blog will help people get to know you until they are ready to do business with you.

Distinguish Your Brand and Show You’re Passionate About Your Business
With a blog, you can define who you are and authentically share your mission in a way that promotes everything you’re up to. Write about things you care about and let your potential customers get to know you better. Blogs are a great way to create current buzz about your offerings and keep people interested in you. And because you can update them easily yourself, you can keep your blog fresh with new content as inspiration hits.

Get Good Google Page Ranking
Many blogs rank much better than your average new website. That’s because Google, Yahoo and the other search engines consider blogs as ‘authority sites.’ Blogger (which is owned by Google) and WordPress perform extremely well on search engines. And pointing to your website from your ‘authority’ blog can help your website’s ranking as well.

Drive Traffic to Your Website
Create a blog to offer extra information about your product or service and the culture behind it, and then link it to your website or online store. Because blogs rank well on search engines, your blog may come up on searches before your main site, and capture the interest of potential customers who would otherwise not find you.

Be Seen as a Leader in Your Industry
Well, let’s face it. If you have a blog and others in your industry don’t, you have a leg up with potential customers online. Blogging is still new enough that you’re likely to be seen as exceptional if you have one, and you can be seen as ‘the expert’ in your field.

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