Posted by : Amanda Stein Friday, August 9, 2013

If you own a business, you need a blog. Period. No questions, no "and's, if's, or but's"; you need a blog, and I'm going to tell you why. Read on…

Information Attracts

Customers appreciate value. Free tips on carpet cleaning, ideas for where to dine with their dogs, these things give customers an incentive to visit your website and do business with you. They feel that you have something important to say and that you're an expert in your field. You'll attract readers who will return to your blog because of its valuable content.

Social Sells

In today's digital world, people are going to notice your brand on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or any number of other social media sites. This includes your blog. If they're looking for a product or service you happen to provide, they're more likely to remember you from the helpful and informative content you post to your blog and pay a visit to your website.

Increase Your Shares

The "share" button (Retweet, Like, +1, etc.) is one of the most positive things to come along in marketing. When you post high-quality content on a regular basis, your readers begin to advertise for you. A smart title coupled with engaging content is much more likely to be shared – to the point of going viral in some instances – than a link to your website or an excerpt from your "About Us" page.

Super Fans

Among these loyal readers, you're bound to find some who are much more excited by your content than others. These "super fans" are so enamored of your business that they will champion your cause on other social media platforms and often by word-of-mouth. These self-appointed promoters are more valuable than any paid advertising could ever be.

The Customer is Key

The thing every business needs is good customer relations. Giving your customers a place to interact with you – ask questions, leave comments, learn more – is just one more way of keeping them happy. Granted, you have to be diligent in your replies; no one likes to see their question answered a year after they asked it! Your blog is another public face of your brand; make sure it's one you want to be seen.

Brand Yourself

This is more than just a piece of jargon. Getting your message to your customers – and potential customers – helps them develop trust in you and your products or services. Today's customers don't go for the hard sell; they value relationships and letting them get to know you via quality content that reflects the values, culture, and people of your business is a great relationship building tool.

Shine the Light on Your Clients

This is especially important if your customers are other businesses. In a win-win situation, you can feature your clients in blog posts. You get the benefit of sharing your customers' success with your products or services and they get the benefit of having their business advertised.

Market Research

Yep, your blog is a source of free market research. Based on "shares", comments, and questions, you can get a glimpse of what your customers want. You'll get an idea of their preferences, level of experience, problems (that you can solve either now or with a new product or service!) just by looking at their responses to your posts. Can you say analytics made easy? Well, at least a part of it anyway.

The "Eye in the Sky"

Google sees everything, it seems. They have search spiders crawling the entire web each and every day. These spiders are looking for fresh content, the fresher the better. If you want to increase your ranking in searches, thus driving more traffic to your site, fresh content is one way to do it.

The Write Stuff

What if you're great at making widgets or painting houses, but not so much at writing engaging content? No worries! There are many great content providers available for a fee who will gladly adopt your voice and tone. These writers can handle your blog content while you focus on doing what you do best.

About the author: Nick Beske is the lead creative and founder of Point Click Productions, a design and marketing agency that helps small businesses make a big impact. You can connect with Nick on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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