Expand Your Business With Blogging
Statistically speaking, you're likely reading this outside of normal business hours. Am I right, or am I right?
Why? Because if you have a life (okay... admittedly many people don't) the majority of your time is spent away from the office and outside of normal business hours. Usually, when the sun goes down you are already out the door. Frazier has left the building.
But the sun never sets on the internet. It operates 24/7/365 for online and offline businesses both. There are no doors to unlock and no lights to turn on. The doors are always open and the lights are always on. No brick; no mortar; no time clocks.
There are so many important online tools for both marketing (presenting your company and product to the market) and sales (trading that product/service for revenue)... if you're not using them you're soon to be extinct.
Even the US government figured that out. Filed any corporate taxes lately? Most companies now do it online (it is called EFTPS, if you're at all curious).
Many of the online resources available for your business are usable with no cost and can offer great results. Calculate the ROI on that: small investment (mostly in your time) and great results. Infinite ROI? No, not quite. But as a business owner if you use these available tools correctly it will make a difference in your business.
Put another way, if you are not using online tools for your business, the wolves are at the door and your house is made of sticks. Not brick and mortar; sticks.
Blogging is increasingly being used to effectively to present businesses and products to the market. Websites like Blogger and Wordpress make it possible to share value - your knowledge and experience - through blog posts.
Helpful blog posts on relevant content establish you as a leader and creates a relationship that your consumers don't normally get from just visiting your website. Just today in a phone conversation a client said, "I was so glad to see you are a real person!" The personal touch works.
Need a great example? Go look at 3PAR's company blog called "StorageRap" (www.storagerap.com). No, I'm not associated with 3PAR in any way. But Marc Farley is awesome at what he does for the data storage industry. Take special note of the value that he delivers. Yes, it comes with a heavy dose of opinion, and more than a bit of controversy, but that is the whole point of blogging! Ever read a boring blog post... more than part-way? I rest my case.
If you are venturing into a company blog, ensure it has a clear objective. Brainstorm with colleagues on ideas of what to write and how to represent the company. Then just to it.
Don't be stingy. And don't be a twit.
Contribute to the communication in meaningful ways. A terrific way to increase your network is to be active and to comment on others' posts. Respect the poster; comment on the post. Remember that a single post could be read by thousands, some of whom may take great interest in you and the products you represent.
Don't Abuse the Blog
If you use your blog correctly, clients and consumers will appreciate your information and insight. But consistency is key. Deliver value to your business community by remaining active in blogging and in social networking forums. Don't hold back. Give more, and you will receive more.