A blog can be a powerful addition to your small business website, but only if you know how you want to use it and you carry out your plan.
There’s little benefit to having a blog where the most recent update was 2 years ago and comments left by your readers (and, possibly, your customers) have gone unanswered.
That will simply leave the impression that you’re not on top of your business (read: not very professional), and it will turn people off.
If, on the other hand, your blog is reasonably current, and you have responded to readers’ comments, that will leave a powerful impression, particularly on potential customers.
The Blogging Myth
Many people equate blogging with having to write a new article every day. It’s not.
When I first started working online (and running a blog) I was told from all quarters that I had to write fresh new articles every day to keep the search engines happy, so that they’d send me more visitors.
It’s a complete myth.
What’s important is good quality, well presented, accurate and useful information.
A communication tool
When you have something worthwhile to tell your customers, such as a new product range you’re introducing, a special offer you’re running, or anything else that may interest them, let them know through a blog post.
You can also use a blog, as I do on this site, to offer tips and hints to customers and potential customers.
The point of a blog is that it enables you to easily add news and information that’s relevant and interesting to your customers, with the minimum of hassle.
It’s a communication tool.
It automatically arranges the latest news first. That means that if you post a new article about a special offer you’re introducing, that will be the first thing your visitor sees until you post the next article.
Provide more details only to people who want them
When people read websites they do so at break-neck speed until they find something that catches their real interest.
So web pages on a business site need to strike a balance between delivering enough information to be credible but doing it in the shortest possible time.
There are occasions, though, when you want to expand on points, where more detail might be helpful.
And this is where you can use a blog. You can write a post, giving all the detail you want, and link to it from the page on the site that makes the initial point.
That way, people who want the extra information can click through to your detailed post (article) while those who don’t can just carry on reading.
If your business is fast moving, or if it lends itself to providing tips and hints to your customers, then a blog would be a good thing to have – but you must be sure you keep it reasonably current.
If, on the other hand, your business is reasonably static, meaning you’re not frequently coming out with new offers or products and your customers don’t need hints and tips, then there’s little point in putting up a blog.