To blog or not to blog?

By: Javy

The answer is most definitely “to.”  The fact that there are tons of free blog set-ups available on the internet for every user (really, just take your pick: Blogger, Tumblr, etc.) and the sheer amount of free advertising a blog can net makes them a worthwhile investment to consider for nearly any small business.

Why should you rely on blogs when you can use social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to send out instant news updates to your customers? Well, largely because these updates can’t stretch beyond a couple of sentences while blog post allows for longer statements, and they give you— or whomever is writing the blog post for your business— the chance to show you know what you’re talking about. Think of it as an ethos building exercise.

Run a restaurant with an emphasis on southern cooking? Why not keep a blog that’s updated from time to time with personal recipes? Part of a private practice? It might be worthwhile to consider writing posts dealing with sickness prevention. Most blogs also have “tags,” which allow you to attach certain keywords relating to the subject matter of the post—for example, you might attach “legality” to the post if it’s about a court case—so that the post shows up on search engine results and is grouped in with other related categories.

It wouldn’t be a bad idea to check out what kinds of blogs that businesses like yours are using, if they are, in order to examine what visual designs they’re using and the subject matter of their posts. This will allow you to plan for your own blog.

For an example of a cleverly used small business blog, check out Lynn Brown’s site, a blog dedicated to her wedding photography business. Notice the aesthetically pleasing header with the nice pink background, white font combo placed above the pictures. Take a look around, check out the “Albums” for an idea of what her business offers. Be sure to read her posts as well, notice how she has a playful, informal tone and yet provides quality information. Also take time to examine the tag section below each post: “Atlanta wedding photographers, Atlanta wedding photography, etc.” Most of these posts also showcase beautiful pictures that demonstrate the professional competency of Brown and her associates, giving potential customers a preview of what her business can offer them.

A well written blog that demonstrates your business’s quality can serve as an asset. At the very least, it’s worth taking the time to set one up since the majority of them are free and relatively easy to use. In this writer’s opinion, WordPress is the most newbie-friendly one, so if your business is in need of a blog, start here.