Click to Print

Should You Start a Business Blog?

Why you should consider a small-business blog--and how you can start one
February 28, 2007

In just a few years, blogs have become a phenomenon. Every day, an estimated 175,000 new blogs and more than 1.6 million blog updates go online, according to Technorati, a blog tracking firm. As of late January 2007, Technorati was tracking 63.2 million blogs.

This explosive growth raises the question: Should your small business start a blog? I believe you should, if for no other reason than to take advantage of an effective marketing tool. In a recent survey of business technology marketing executives by research firm MarketingSherpa, blogs were voted the No. 4 tool for generating sales leads.

Like any other marketing tool, blogs are most effective when used properly. Here are some suggestions for successful blogging, plus some background for those who aren't familiar with blogs.

The Backstory on Blogs
The word "blog' is derived from the term "web log.' In essence, a blog is a web page or site that's part online journal--hence the term "log'--and part open forum. Some bloggers post new updates constantly; others write updates weekly, monthly or only occasionally.

In most cases, blog entries are short and might include photos or links. Sometimes blog readers can post their reactions to the blogger's entries. Other readers can then add their two cents to those comments, thereby continuing the dialogue.

The so-called blogosphere contains blogs on practically every conceivable topic. Some blogs exist on the website of an individual or business, while others are hosted on public blogging sites, like Blogger and Windows Live Spaces.

Why You Should Consider Blogging
Aside from generating new sales leads, blogging also offers the following potential benefits.

How to Be a Successful Blogger
If you decide a blog makes sense for your business, here are some things you should keep in mind.

Something to Say
Ultimately, a blog can be a highly effective and low-cost marketing tool for differentiating your business from the competition and encouraging customer loyalty. All that's required to be a successful small business blogger is planning, creativity, commitment and, most importantly, something worth saying.