Small Business Internet Market: How Can Blogging Help My Business?

Blogging is an online local marketing promotion tool that can work for everyone even for those managing a local business and should be part of your small business internet marketing plans.

While blogging is the perfect medium for someone in a creative role, at first sight, it may be hard to imagine how a blog can help a local bricks and mortar business. Or why such a business would want to invest the time to create and keep posting to create a popular blog?

The answer is that a blog is such a powerful promotional tool. Google loves blogs as it loves fresh content and a good blog delivers it each and every time you post a message or someone adds a comment. The best blogging platform is the hosted WordPress blog which uses free software to "ping" or spread your new post around online directories and pull the search engine spiders to index your new content.

Blog posts needn't be long, think of them as complete thoughts rather then the snippets that fly around Twitter.

While some will use a blog to create a unique relationship with their prospects and customers others wouldn't even consider this – but they could easily set up an autoposting blog that would gather leads for them on auto pilot.

I want you to think about a blog purely as a promotional tool and link it to Twitter so both pull in leads for you no matter what business you are in. Your blog should always have a sign up form so that you can capture all names and addresses in return for some freebie that solves your customer's problems.

Then use the blog to post case studies past and present. When work is quiet, or you're involved in a long task then look back at previous ones. Focus solely on the challenges you faced and what you provided. In that way you can remain positive and avoid any confidentially issues should your work be sensitive.

Finally, ask past customers for testimonials and you'll be amazed both by how many agree and how highly they regard you. This is the way the famous "word of mouth" marketing can work online.

What sort of blogging should your business be doing?

Creative – anything from designers or artists, florists to picture framers

Since you can use images and videos you should use your blog to immerse your customers past and future in your work and make them feel part of it.

Any business in which you give quotes – but need info from the customer to give an accurate quote.

Questions like "I want my fence replaced" or "How much to redecorate my living room"or "how quickly can you create a prototype" must drive businesses mad, Now a blog could provide the answer. Through case studies you can gradually educate your customers of the information that you need to supply a meaningful quote making your life much easier.

Financial and legal businesses that are regulated.

Some businesses are controlled by regulation and have to submit promotional copy for review. Don't let this put you off and fill your blog with articles that show how you can solve your customer's problems and get them approved in batches so you always have fresh content.

Retail and shop owners

A blog can be used to keep people up to date with new stock which is particularly important if you make some of the stock you sell. This will allow you to create a unique bond with your customers making them eager to snap up your new stock as soon as it arrives.

Bars and restaurants

Running a successful bar or restaurant is all about the atmosphere or ambiance that is created and enjoyed by your customers. The blog will help you to do that and allow your customers to add their comments and add to the feeling of community.

This will make them even more open to special offers and events.

Tradesmen from plumbers to electricians

A blog not seem an obvious promotion method for a plumber and other tradesmen but I would recommend that you set up an autoblog to have an ongoing presence and then add testimonials and case studies to it. These are important when you will be working in your customer's home where this internet-age word of mouth advertising could be very effective. The result will be customer's comments praising your work which will certainly boost your business.

Injection moulders and other industrial and technical businesses.

The same mix of autoblogging to keep it current with case studies can help even the most technical or industrial applications. Whether you create moulded components in a variety of materials or develop high end software applications this autoblog approach will send you leads. It won't happen overnight but each lead could be worth thousands of dollars of work you wouldn't otherwise have had.

Services from hairdressers to tutors and even car hire and repair.

When you provide a service you need to show that you're the best choice as trust is an important factor. Case studies and testimonials will help but so will you offering the opportunity for potential customers to post questions to you and your answers to them. This is worth the time investment as every question you answer will be read by dozens of others.

Hire the Internet not only includes an entire blogging video course to show you exactly what to do it also includes some exclusive software that can post questions your customers are asking on your blog automatically along with the answers. Blogging is just one of the 10 proven, quick and simple ways to put the internet to work for your business in Hire The Internet. The book that also comes with video tutorials, software and graphics. Click here to find out more.

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