Welcome to Part 2 of a continuing series on small business blogging. Part 1 answers the question, "What is a business blog?" Part 2 describes 20 benefits and 2 significant risks that small businesses may experience with a corporate blog. Whether or not you have a small business blog, this article will help you weigh business blogging pros and cons.
The Bottom Line
A blog is likely to help your small business grow if you use it well.
10 Key Benefits of Small Business Blogs
Here are 10 of the most significant benefits of small business blogging. Some of these benefits overlap.
1. Increase profit. You can significantly raise revenue at little expense with a business blog.
2. Increase targeted website traffic. Targeted traffic means people who are likely to be interested in your company. Blogs make it easy for those people to find your business.
3. Improve search engine rankings. Blogs offer a great SEO benefit. SEO = search engine optimization = making your website appear near the top of search engine results pages. Search engines love blogs' organization and indexing simplicity.
4. Market your business quickly and effectively. Blogs make Web publishing as easy as sending email and search engine indexing fast and easy as well, meaning that you don't have to work as hard to tell a lot of people about your business.
5. Get inexpensive, instant content publishing and management. For little or no money, you can set up and maintain a business website using a blog platform. You also save time because when you publish content, the blog indexes and organizes it automatically. Time is money, and blogs help you save both.
6. Differentiate yourself from the competition. Blogs make Web design simple, so you can create a unique-looking site quickly. And since publishing on a blog is so easy, you can quickly publish articles that tell people what's unique about your company.
7. Establish your expertise. You can use a small business blog to establish yourself as a leader, expert, innovator, authority, or key player in your industry.
8. Connect with current and prospective customers. You can enable your blog visitors to publish comments in response to your blog posts. This makes it easy to communicate with them. You can also syndicate your blog content using Web feeds, so people can get notified whenever you update your blog. This can strengthen your brand and help you understand what your customers want.
9. Recruit new employees. Because blogs simplify publishing, expedite search engine indexing and offer integrated syndication, you can get people's attention more quickly than ever before - so you can do things you might not have previously considered, like recruiting new employees via your website.
10. Communicate with coworkers and employees. You can use an "internal blog" - a blog only you and your employees can access - to share and organize company news and information.
3 Key Risks of Small Business Blogs
You can greatly reduce these three key risks by blogging intelligently. There are many ways to ruin a business blog, but common sense conquers most or all of them.
1. Excessive time/money expense
Save time and money by constantly learning about cheap or free blogging resources and doing as many things yourself as possible. Avoid time-wasting activities like excessive narcissism and compulsive stat-checking.
2. Reputation/brand damage
Protect your corporate brand and personal reputation by making your blog excellent.
3. Legal trouble
Avoid legal trouble by publishing original, accurate and non-inflammatory information. Know your rights, too.
Business Blogging Benefits Usually Outweigh The Risks
Here's a rhetorical way to establish why businesses should blog:
Millions of people use blogs every day to read and share information and opinions. Why wouldn't a business want to follow and participate in that giant sea of conversations?
While blogs do present some risks to small businesses, so do other communications media such as phones or email. After all, blogging is a subset of Internet communications.
As long as your business is honest and has current or potential customers who use the Web, you could probably benefit by starting a company blog.
Related Articles on Business Blogging Risks and Benefits
- Gary Bourgeault shares 10 strategic benefits of business blogging.
- Deborah Ng mentions 8 key benefits of blogging.
- Robyn Tippins asks, "Why do you blog?" and provides several answers of her own.
- Charlene Li explains why the real value of business blogging can be hard to predict. Read the comments and follow the links below Charlene's post to learn a lot more about the ROI of business blogging.
What About Your Small Business Blog?
Do you have a blog that you use for small business purposes? What are the main benefits and risks associated with your business blog? Please leave your comments below!