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The value of having a blog on your business website

I think the time has come for home business owners to consider having an internet presence if they don’t already; and at the very least -but most important – should be a webpageSimply put a webpage “…is a document connected to the World Wide Web and viewable by anyone connected to the internet who has a web browser….”

Couldn’t be simpler, right? It’s akin to putting up a roadside sign promoting your business.  In the real world the roadside sign lets people who don’t normally travel in your neighborhood know your business exists.  If the sign is a good one, the sign will tell you what the business’ name is, what the business is about [produce, auto parts, tax preparation], where the business is located [address, phone number],  and when the business is open [times/days of operation].

Your webpage roadside sign can tell passersby the same information plus much more.  It is the signage that introduces your business and it is the front door.  The web traveler who finds your business webpage will be able to see on the “home page” all the pertinent information much as the roadside sign does, but it also invites the person into the business.  Your site could be informational only, such as the example of the company for which my brother works – Delegata, or it can be its own storefront, such as the Oakland Chocolate Company.

I think one good addition to a business webpage is a blog. Again simply put, a blog is an ongoing, chronological conversation between the author and the reader.  Simply put.  So why have a blog on your business webpage?  Some of the value points include:

  • Interaction with customers and prospective customers – if you allow the comments feature on the blog posts, you can get feedback from your readers; be aware some of it might be negative, but all feedback has value.
  • Staying engaged with your business – having a blog on your business website brings you to your site on a regular basis; I think the value to that is (a) it allows you to keep the page(s) updated and (b) lets you see what your customers and readers see…over time you may want to tweak the site for better accessibility – always remember that there is global competition out there.
  • Product info and product/customer stories – you can use your blog to give customers/users helpful information about the products in a fuller way than simple catalog-like listings can give.  You can also relate helpful stories (the positive ones) that customers send you – sometimes a customer comes up with a unique use for a product that is worth sharing.
  • History of your business – people like to know the origins of a business – who started it, why and where; also, perhaps the history of the products or aspects of the products themselves.  Two really good examples of this are an interesting website I found while researching ancient mosaic art, Mosaics in Greece that has a page giving the history of mosaics…it’s short and sweet; and one at the Winsor & Newton website which has quite a bit of historical information.
  • Added value: a blog is a great place to give your customers and prospective customers added value such as: a) ideas for use of products – this could include recipes or hints and tips; b) industry trends and other information.

There is one caution about writing a blog – be careful of making unsubstantiated claims about your products or services.  A silly example: you have a home-based business selling vitamins.  You are an independent distributor and have a webpage to which you added a blog.  In a post you make claims for your vitamins, like they “cure” disease.  Unless you can provide research data and other “official” proof, making this kind of claim can get you in hot water.  My advice is to stick with the warm fuzzies about your products.  Rather than making claims, tell your readers why vitamins are important.  Give your readers information about nutrition and the benefits of taking care of yourself.

If you don’t have a website, you can get one at online sites such as GoDaddy.com – which by the way, has its own blog.  You can design your own site or hire it done.  Learning to blog just takes a bit of work.  One good resource is ProBlogger.com.

A tip: once you get your business webpage established and start your blog, “Twitter” each post…it will drive more traffic to your blog and more people will learn of your business.

 

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12 Responses

  1. […] Smith presents The Value of Having a Blog on Your Business Website posted at Linda’s Business […]

  2. Thanks, some interesting stuff to read here. But i’m having some problems using Opera Browser. Is it only me?

  3. Not sure what the Opera Browser is…I use both Firefox and Internet Explorer and do have trouble with that new Chrome one. – Thanks for the comment. – Linda

  4. Carefully selecting your words and strategically placing them on a page to create impulsive reactions from the reader can lead to a direct sell.

  5. I’ve been involved in taxes for longer then I care to admit, both on the personal side (all my working life!!) and from a legal standpoint since passing the bar and pursuing tax law. I’ve provided a lot of advice and righted a lot of wrongs, and I must say that what you’ve posted makes perfect sense. Please keep up the good work – the more people know the better they’ll be equipped to deal with the tax man, and that’s what it’s all about.

  6. Thank you for the kind words. I agree that information is key to dealing with all sorts of issues in our lives…including taxes. – Linda

  7. Thanks thanks thanks! I was looking for something along lines of this for hours and couldn’t find it. Will definitely drop a word about this site.
    Cheers

  8. Thank you for the kind comments and I’m glad the information was helpful. I looked at your site, watchthegossipgirl and could not find and “about” page or link – that would be helpful. Just a suggestion. Have a wonderful holiday season. – Linda

  9. I have a blog, but I dont post much. When I do post I mostly just write about film scores, and how I eagerly anticipate James Horners score to Avatar, or James Newton Howards score to The Happening. =)… How do you get so much traffic?

  10. To answer your question, one of the keys to readership is consistency. If you have a blog and want a following, then figure out (1) what is your topic? or range of topics? – and write about these consistently; (2) pick a writing schedule and put that in your “about” section – you don’t have to be a slave to the schedule, but try to stick to it as readers then can know when to expect a new post from you. For instance, if you decide to write a new post only once per month then state that; or, if you decide to be a daily writer, state that. The key is to be consistent. Also, a tip: every time you write a new post, Twitter the title – this will help draw new readers. – Happy Holidays – Linda

  11. Cool, there is actually some good points on here some of my readers will maybe find this relevant, will send a link, many thanks.

  12. Thank you for the kind words. I went to your site and was amused (in a positive way) at your enthusiasm for discovering “finds” in thrift stores. My older daughter is quite good at finding treasures thrifting and I’m amazed at what she finds. I recognize the labels you talk about in your posts as at one time I worked as a department manager for an upscale department store…it’s funny how you can find really good quality clothing at a thrift store, and the pricier pieces retail are usually in the best shape at the thrift store. Sounds like you’re having fun with your business. – Linda

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