That’s just one of the points I’ve stressed to the people I’ve spoken to since being back in France when they’ve asked how the internet can help their business.
But that doesn’t mean you have to spend thousands on a new website, you could stick with your static site and use blogging software to attract new customers, get across your knowledge and experience and keep readers up to date.
Here is a very simple outline of how to start a business blog:
See what is already out there
Have a search on the internet for phrases that relate to your business or local area and add the work ‘blog’ to it, this will begin to show what is already out there.
Another option is to let Google Alerts do the work for you, again just provide some related words and every day you will receive an email highlighting places on the internet.
After a few days you will be able to see what others are writing, whether there is a great deal of competition and begin to get an idea of how blogging works.
Start a blog for free
If you think you could write something about your business twice a week after seeing what others are writing then get yourself a blog.
Then you will see how every article has its own website address, that you can link to any other site on the internet and that the comments area can let you connect with people and begin to understand their wants and needs.
Keep turning up every day
As you begin to find your feet try and check in on the site every day so you can reply to comments, and if you are able to write three, maybe four pieces each week even better.
Articles don’t have to be award-winning essays, just be correct with your spelling, be personable in your writing (write in the first person if you wish) and link to other sites you find useful.
Just ensure your contact details and a link to your static website if you have one, appears at the top of the side column so that people can easily get in touch.
Don’t worry too much about comments
The comment facility on a blog is the bit that seems to worry people the most, often they ask what to do if someone writes something stupid?
All three types of blogging software mentioned above allow you to moderate comments, so you can hold them back before publishing or delete them if they are on the site.
But don’t see the chance to hold back comments as a way to ignore complaints should a customer have a problem, they can highlight the issue on the internet as easily as you’ve created your blog, so it’s best to deal with it there and then.
Go beyond just text articles
If after a few weeks you are confident with the blogging software you are using and want to expand the site a little, then look to post photographs and video, most digital cameras have the facility to do both.
Images and video can make a real difference and bring a website alive, so say you have some new stock on your market stall why not feature a photograph, or if you are involved in a building project show readers the progress of the work.
You have a very simple, but powerful, publishing tool at your disposal with a blog so take the opportunity to flex your creative muscles and you may just help your business.
And if you want to see some examples of blogs then let’s ask readers of the site to leave a comment below with how they have been helped by having a blog, and of course a link to it.
Related articles: A series of articles on blogging