This is a guest post by Ann Smarty, a SEO consultant and online entrepreneur.
Blogging long ago stopped being just the way to share news and / or personal thoughts. Today it has become a common fashion already to create a blog supporting your main website. Several reasons for that include:
- you can update it regularly with useful relevant information (and thus improve your chances to rank well in Google);
- you can get closer to your customers or readers (by starting a real communication with them);
- you can build business relationships with influential bloggers in your niche (by linking to them and referencing their posts).
Let’s look how these aims are achieved by reviewing just a few examples:
FreeShipping.org, a valuable resource that helps shoppers save money by showing them what stores offer free shipping and provides the necessary coupon codes to get it, has a coupon codes blog where exclusive and time-limited offers are posted regularly. The blog also reviews other similar resources that might be useful for their readers. The blog is thus meant for several aims:
- provide their readers with more useful information;
- build friendly relationships with related resources.
Best Western, a huge hotel chain, maintains a bright blog On the Go with Amy, providing funny and helpful travel tips and allowing their readers to share their experience. By this they:
- create a friendly community around their service (by entertaining and educating their customers);
- connect closer to their customers by encouraging them to share their thoughts and experiences.
BearingPoint , a global management and technology consulting company, has launched an educating blog encouraging their readers to share “new thinking” concepts and ideas. The blog helps them:
- establish their brand positive associations by “sharing ideas from some of our own best thinkers.”
- get closer to their customers by “fostering a dialogue on the issues that matter most to today’s organizations.”
So how actually can a blog help a business; let’s summarize:
- a blog is a great way to establish long-term relationships with your customers and visitors (by entertaining them and communicating with them);
- a blog can help you find new customers (by improving your site search engine rankings and via social networking and bookmarking services);
- a blog can be one of the methods to show your expertise;
- a blog is the place to host viral marketing and advertising campaigns;
- a blog can help you to build business relationships in the same or neighbouring niches.
Ann Smarty is a SEO consultant, online entrepreneur and social media power user. With more than 5 years of experience in SEO and affiliate marketing she started her own business only less than a year ago. You can also find her blogging regularly at Search Engine Journal and also follow her at Twitter.