This may be the era of technology, AI, the cloud and many other innovations we either haven't heard of, or simply don't understand. But small businesses in
Blogging can be a cheap and simple way of marketing your company. The term "blog" is a shortened version of the phrase "web log". In a nutshell, it's an online journal of sorts where a blogger (the writer) regularly posts their thoughts, opinions, ideas and so on. Once published, it's usually open for other readers to share their opinions.
But other than a place where you can debate the latest celebrity divorce, a blog, if used properly, can be used to the advantage of a small business owner. It allows for the sharing of ideas and a two-way conversion, as opposed to someone just looking at your website and being left with questions. It can even be your web presence if you don't already have a site.
Whether you want to network with other SMEs, share ideas or leads, or simply attract more customers, weigh up the pros and cons before you dive into the Bloggosphere.
- A blog allows you to network with like-minded people without leaving the comfort of your office/couch
- If you don't have one, a blog can be a substitute for a website. It's much easier/cheaper to set up and maintain, and does almost anything a normal site can do
- It can attract Internet traffic to your business's existing website
- A successful blogger can attract a loyal group of readers, colleagues, industry players, etc
- Fellow bloggers can provide great insights, hints and tips for improving your business, share their experiences, recommend certain options and so on
- A blog allows you to establish a more personal relationship with your customer; get immediate feedback, answer questions or make suggestions
- The biggest drawback is time. Blogs must be updated regularly in order to hold readers' attention. This can be a challenge for the average SME owner, since he's probable putting most of his time on his business
- Depending on the industry, other entrepreneurs may also not have the time to read or respond to your blog
- Once again, depending on the industry you are in, make sure there are other bloggers you will be able to connect with. It's pointless blogging to an "empty theatre"
- Although it's more personal than a conventional website or advertising, it's still not face-to-face, which is the best type of networking there is
The idea of setting up a blog may still sound a bit daunting to you. But think about these pointers, research your target market's wants, needs, and behaviours, and give it a shot.
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