Greg Hoffman



Why do I advocate Business Blogs?

Before a business blog can become an effective tool, it needs to fill a void in a company's niche industry. Blogger admins have to find the company culture and the company voice, or just allow the executives to be the subject matter experts and let their personalities comment on the state of the industry. The strategy is long-term and it reflects branding more than analytical marketing at this point, but I'm a firm believer that this tool works.

My view of business blogs is equal to that of traditional websites. Every business should have one. Not every business blog will be successful, but the rewards are certainly worth trying for.

  1. Search Engine Optimization
  2. Customer Interaction
  3. Online Presence
Let's start with search engine optimization. It's about two things - Links and Content. The more links from diverse sites to your business blog, the better. Many search engines and bloglists rank other blogs by the amount of incoming links to them. Simple enough. You have to earn, beg, barter or steal links to your business blog.

The best way to earn links is to publish the best content possible. Post what your target audience wants to read, not what your company wants to push. The ratio should be at least 10 to 1 when it comes to helpful information versus blatant sales pitches. It's ok in my book to promote your business every once in a while, but you'll never build an audience if that's all you do. Give the readers something they want on a daily basis. The combination of your keywords will eventually be indexed enough that google will become your site meter's best friend.

Customer interaction is a golden promise of business blogs but it's rare. You could have thousands of unique visitors everyday but your comment section will be empty unless you hit a hot button. It's like a lightning strike. But when it does happen, the comments are outstanding. It's great that the blogosphere allows correction and differing opinions within minutes or hours.

What a business blog can do is allow you expand your customer base at minimal cost. Once your keywords and link strategy starts to pay off, customers will find you. Your business could be running adwords at an optimal level, your banner and affiliate programs are working great, but if you want to increase your traffic beyond the paid programs, let a business blog create a buzz. Watch your traffic come from places you never expected. Promote your products and services in subtle ways on the business blog but make sure your outgoing links go to the right sales sites, where you can see the direct impact from those incremental sales.

I'd love to see some cost per click stats from business blogs and compare them to adword and affiliate programs. I think the difference would be amazing.

Active Business Blogs create more customers, improve your online image and eventually drive qualified traffic to your existing websites. That's why I advocate business blogs.

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