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How to Harness the Marketing Power of Blogs

This newest web phenomenon can rank your site #1 in search engines, boost traffic and sales, and establish you as an expert in your industry.
March 27, 2006
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/84232

I'm sure you've heard about one of the biggest things to hit the web in the last few years: blogging.

A "blog" (derived from the term "web log") is basically just a website with two key differences: First, it's extremely easy to add information to it. A blog is like an online journal, so you just log in, type what happened today, post it, and you're done! Second, you can add a simple little feature that automatically tells a whole bunch of other websites that you've made an update to your blog--every time you make a change.

However, what you may not know is that a blog can also be a very powerful marketing tool for your business, and some people actually earn an income just from blogging alone.

The fact is, blogging is fast becoming an extremely important strategy for any online marketer. An effective blog can:

Blogs have an informal, conversational style, and readers can join in by commenting on each post. Blogs can be chatty, informative, opinionated and often humorous, and it's this "human" aspect of blogs that draws many people to them.

But the best part about blogs is how accessible they are to everyone. Blogs are free (or very inexpensive) to set up using services like Blogger or TypePad . They're also easy to use (you can literally create your own blog in less than five minutes) and easy to promote with all the new tools and resources that have been created specifically for blogs.

How You Can Use a Blog to Accelerate Online Success
The fact is, blogs are no longer just online diaries of people's personal lives. Both online and offline businesses can use blogs to take their products and services to a wider audience, increasing their traffic, leads and sales.

Let's look more closely at a few of the extremely powerful ways your business can benefit from a blog. With an effective business blog, you can:

3 Key Tips for Starting a Business Blog
Excited yet? You should be--blogging's not just a winning strategy, it's also a lot of fun! The beauty of blogging is that you can easily incorporate it into your daily schedule of tasks. You can even blog when you're on the road.

But what does it take to become a really successful blogger?

  1. Great content: If your content isn't interesting and relevant to your target market, your blog won't work. It's as simple as that. You'll be surprised, however, how easy it is to find things to write about if you really put your mind to it. It could be news articles about your industry, product updates, interviews, personal insights into topics of importance to your target audience, and much more.
  2. Regular updating: I won't lie to you: there are some days when I really find it hard to find the time to post a new article. But if I don't post, no one will come back. It's like subscribing to a daily newspaper but only getting a copy delivered now and then! So post often and your audience will keep coming back. And regularly adding fresh content to your blog also gives you a boost in the search engine rankings.
  3. Your own distinct voice: It's important that you write in your own voice. A blog is no place for formality and corporate speak. It's more of a forum, a place where ideas can flourish and topics of current interest can be debated. You don't even need to be a brilliant writer; you just need to be able to relate to your audience and give them good content.

Final Thoughts
Starting a blog can take as little as five minutes. Of course, starting a blog is the easy part; turning your blog into a strategic tool that drives traffic and sales to your online business is a completely different matter.

Building a truly effective blog that keeps people coming back again and again takes a lot more than five minutes; it takes time and dedication to develop a blog that keeps your audience coming back for more.