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Small Business Blog Help, Part 1: What Is A Business Blog?

Welcome to a new series offering small business blog help.  Every week for at least the next several weeks, I will publish at least 1-2 detailed posts about small business blogging - what it is, how a blog can help your small business, what to avoid, what to embrace, how to maximize the effectiveness of your small corporate blog, etc.

Now would be a great time to subscribe to my RSS feed.   It's free and you get updates instantly.  What are you waiting for?

Okay, off we go.

Spread%20The%20Word.jpgWhat is a business blog?

Actually, let's start off even simpler:

What is a blog?

A blog is an online collection of articles or entries (often called posts), typically appearing in reverse chronological order as you scroll down the page.  A blog can be part of a website, or it can be its own website.  What makes a blog special is the powerful publishing software at its foundation.  With a blog, you don't need to know advanced computer skills in order to publish on the Internet or make a great-looking website.  A blog makes Web publishing about as easy as using email.

Quick Tip: A blog does NOT have to be an online diary or journal.  While many people and companies do use blogs to publish their thoughts and feelings about the events they experience on an ongoing basis, others use blogs for different purposes, which we'll get into later in this series.


What Is A Small Business Blog? The Short Answer

A small business blog is a blog used for small business purposes.

Short answer, huh? 

What Is A Small Business Blog? The Long Answer

Okay, let's go into detail.  The truth is, the phrase "small business blog" is commonly used to refer to not one, but several different and sometimes overlapping types of blogs.

So a "small business blog" can be:

- About a specific small business. e.g. The Acme Widget corporate blog, all about the comings and goings and doings of the folks at Acme.

- By a small business owner or employee. e.g. A blog by John Jones, owner of Acme Widget LLC, about his personal widget collection and his perspectives on widget industry news.

- For a small business, but not about it. e.g. A blog by the folks at Acme Widget about ice cream and how much they love it - with a nice link and blurb at the top telling you it's an Acme blog.

- About a topic related to small business. e.g. a blog about accounting for small biz, or how to start a small business.

- Geared toward a "small business" audience. e.g. A blog that discusses cast iron skillets in order to sell them to small businesses.

- By an individual looking to make a full-time living off of online publishing.  The moniker "problogger" often shares this meaning.

Again, these and other meanings might overlap.  In this series, we'll focus on small business blogs as tools for small businesses to promote their own products or services - which would most closely align with the first meaning above.


7 Recommended Articles on Small Business Blogs

1. The Wikipedia Business Blog article - Feel free to add your own thoughts to it.

2. What Is A Blog? by Mark White at Better Business Blogging

3. What Is A Business Blog? by Easton Ellsworth at Business Blog Wire

4. An article at Vaspers the Grate on the definition of blogs

5. Josh Hallett at the hyku blog on the overlapping definitions of "blog"

6. FAQ: What is a Business Blog? by Denise Wakeman at Build a Better Blog

7. Blog Definition: What is a Blog? by Hendry Lee at Small Business Blogging Scout


10 Recommended Small Business Blog Experts

Not meaning to leave anyone out, but let me throw a few names and links at you off the top of my head - I'd love to hear more if you'd like to mention them below.  These are in no particular order; they are just some of my favorite experts on the subject of small business blogging:

1. Char at Essential Keystrokes - Char has several blogs that she uses for her own smal business and loves to share business blogging wisdom.

2. Anita Campbell at Small Business Trends - Anita talks about small business trends and how blogs and other tools are changing the way people run small businesses.

3. Mike Sansone at ConverStations - Mike loves to discuss ways in which small businesses can use blogs as conversation stations, or "converstations."

4. Brian Brown at Pajama Market - Brian hasn't posted in a few months, but his blog is full of useful small business blog reviews and case studies.

5. Wayne Hurlbert at Blog Business World - Wayne offers all kinds of small business blogging tips, blogging news and lots of advice on the PR/marketing side of blogging.

6. Brian Clark at Copyblogger - Brian and friends offer better writing tips than you'll find just about anywhere. 

7. Chris Cree at SuccessCREEations - Chris spends a lot of time writing about how blogs can help a small business.

8. Ben Yoskovitz at Instigator Blog - Ben offers everything from general copywriting tips to tips on how to start a successful business.

9. Des Walsh at Thinking Home Business - Des gives you a great perspective on how blogs and business interact.

10. Tan Kian Ann at Blogopreneur - Kian Ann is living the Internet entrepreneur dream with its challenges and successes, and his posts reflect his thoughts about the journey.


Let's Talk About Small Business Blogs

I welcome your questions, suggestions, complaints, gossip, stories, jokes, and any other feedback or contributions throughout this series.  I ain't perfect so you'd better let me know when you think I'm wrong!  And of course I'd love to learn from you as well.

As we continue this series on small business blogging, I invite any feedback or advice you may have to make my tips as useful as possible.  Oh, and if you have a small business blog of your own or want help starting one, let me know and we can maybe work that into this series as well.

Simply fill out the handy comment form below and I'll respond as soon as possible! 

14 Comments/Trackbacks

Great post Easton on a great subject! I'm looking forward to reading this series. There is so much small businesses can gain from blogging. Can't wait to see where you take us. :)

Great post Easton. I like that you've detailed it in such a way that small businesses who haven't a clue what blogging is will be able to walk away with a clear 'take home message' to ponder before jumping in.

The resources you feature are incredible and some that I have tucked away in my own stash of 'go to sites' -- you've really done well with this one.

Thanks guys, much appreciated. I'm working on Part 2 right now. If anyone has any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave them below.

The company I worked for recently started their "small business blog" and we've been bloggign up a storm ever since (each employ posts about once a week). Do you see any profit to be had in it? I've come by a conference called Postiecon which will be held in November in Nevada about making money through blogging. Thought about going myself, may be cool to check out.

Easton - this is going to be a great series! I like your definitions of the types of small business blog methods.

Great post Easton, and I'll be looking forward to your series! And thanks, I'm really flattered to be called a "small business blog expert", we are all learning, aren't we?

» Thursday Links: Katie Konrath (again) and other interesting voices from Kent Blumberg
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I'm excited to see this series Easton. As a small business blogger reasonably new to blogging, I look forward to following this and learning lots! Thanks!

Good stuff! Your posts are always so thorough, I love it! PS: You've been tagged! http://www.betterforbusiness.com/2007/07/25/blog-tipping-explodes-ive-been-tagged/

» Small Business Blog Help, Part 2: 10 Key Benefits, 3 Key Risks from BusinessBlogWire
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» Small Business Blog Help, Part 3: How to Launch A Business Blog from BusinessBlogWire
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» Does Your Home Business Need a Blog? from WorkFromHomeMomma
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Every small business needs a blog. I work with so many small business owners that don't see the need for a blog. Beyond the need to present a voice to your customers when the know you have a blog, blogs are one of the easiest forms of search marketing, especially for local small businesses.

Not that many companies can benefit from running a blog. In my blog (sorry for blatant advertising) I have this idea expanded a bit in the post Blogging For Small Business. In short - owner/manager may have his hands full to post to blog and whomever you are willing to hire may not share same passion as you do.

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