Any savvy small business owner will have a carefully crafted online marketing plan, it may include a lead generating web site, a monthly newsletter blast and even a blog.
Blogging is much more than a passing trend and is here to stay as an invaluable cheap ( free!) tool. However to be effective a blog must be written on a regular basis and this definitely requires a substantial commitment. Making time in your work schedule and coming up with interesting/relevant/unique content can be challenging. Writing a new blog post is far too easy to push down to the bottom of your to-do list. So is it worth the effort?
When it comes to a blog you reap what you sow. Just take a look at the follow five things that can be achieved by blogging.
- Illustrating expertise in your field to build and maintain credibility
Do you offer a unique service or approach to problems? Are you an IT expert who can offer easy everyday tips to keep a home PC running smoothly? Blogging about your area of expertise will help build and maintain your credibility as an expert in your field.
- Increasing traffic from search engines (SEO)
There is nothing search engines love more than fresh content and blogs are a great way to deliver that content. Think about the key words and phrases you would like to target and include them in both the title and body of your posts.
- Generating sales leads
Promoting a new product or service, have any special offers? Because blog posts are quickly picked up by the search engines they can act as great landing pages to engage your visitors. Be sure to include a call on action in these types of posts. It is also important that your blog appears as a seamless part of your corporate web site so visitors can easily navigate around.
- Sharing less formal thoughts/ideas
Blogging offers a great platform for less formal thoughts or ideas that may not be suitable within the confines of a corporate web site. You can be personable and conversational.
- Engaging with your site visitors
Through blog comments you can interact with your visitors on a different level. Don’t worry about spam or detrimental comments. As a blog administrator you are always given the option whether or not to publish.
So is writing a blog worth the effort? I think it is.
2010 © St Louis Web Designer
When I first started this blog back in 2005 it was an experiment and educational process. I could see their potential and what better way to learn than start one for my own company. Over the last five years my blog has evolved and grown into an invaluable tool for attracting site visitors and generating leads.
Blogger was a nice easy platform to start on and I used one of their templates, modifying it to reflect some very simple Indigo Image brand elements. As you can see (thanks to the way back machine) it was pretty basic stand alone application.
When I saw the amount of traffic visiting it became imperative to incorporate the main site’s navigation into the template from a usability standpoint . I developed a header which created a seamless transition from blog to the rest of the site and vice versa and had a consistent branded feel. I also introduced subject categories to better organize the ever growing content and give the visitor a different avenue to explore.
The momentum for the 3rd generation came from a complete site redesign. I took advantage of this to better position the blog subscription and offered users a number of ways to subscribe. The 3rd generation was originally powered by blogger but has been recently switched to WordPress ( this was due to blogger withdrawing FTP support). The switch to WordPress has made it easier to introduce additional functionality like a blog search (this is such an easy way for me to look up older posts) and better manage things like blog categories.
So what’s in store for the 4th generation? I will definitely be taking advantage of the functionality offered by WordPress and some ideas are certainly beginning to formulate but not quite there yet. My main objective still remains the same though, but they are secret so I will keep them to myself!
2010 © St Louis Web Designer
Anyone starting a new business venture understands the importance of having a website, it can be tool to showcase their products or services, streamline their business operations or act as a lead generation platform.
Depending upon the complexity of the site it can be a sizable investment and the return on investment (ROI) is high on the agenda for any savvy business owner.
Last year we launched for a website for Ruth Hasser, a St Louis wedding Officiant and she has seen a huge increase in her business as a result.
Here is what she has to say
“Last year at this time, pre-website, I had one wedding scheduled for 2009. By the end of the year I had done 25. Right now, I already have 17 weddings scheduled, and I have been receiving an average of one lead per day since the beginning of January- outstanding!”
You gotta love those leads!
The site ranks very well in the search engines thanks to excellent search engine optimization (SEO), a successful link building campaign and Ruth’s regular blog posts.
2010 © St Louis Web Designer
Looking for a custom blog? Already have a web site and want to add a blog but need it to integrate smoothly within your site?
We can help. Take a look at some of our custom blogs.
What’s New with Cynthia Reeg
Loomis Brothers:Featured Items and News
Ruth Ellen Hasser: Wedding Officiant
Pharmaceutical Sales Job Spotter
2009 © St Louis Web Designer
In a post I wrote last week I talked about creating branded blogs and mentioned we were currently creating one for St Louis based Throttlenet.
The blog is now up and running, visit it here>> ThrottleBlog
Throttlenet have their blog set up so various team members can contribute, which is a great approach for a multi faceted corporation. It will give the blog a very rounded “voice“.
We have two “voices” on this blog me..St Louis Web Designer and St Louis Marketing Executive
We have very different styles but that is exactly how a blog should be. Each contributor has a unique voice and personality, and brings to the blog something that no one else can.
It takes time to develop a blog voice but the more you write the more your style and voice will evolve.
Most business owners understand the important of having a presence of the web. As the internet has evolved it has offered more and more platforms for interaction and one of the most popular to emerge over the last few years is blogging …both for business and on a personal level.
So is your business ready for a blog? Here are the top 5 reasons you should start blogging
- A business blog is a excellent way to get found by people searching for your type of product or service.
- Search engines love fresh content and will visit a blog more frequently than static page websites.
- A blog shows your personality, your expertise, and your character; people will hire or buy from you when they feel they trust and like you.
- A blog expands your global reach, pulling in qualified prospects you would never have reached before.
- A blog allows you to interact with readers, get feedback, introduce them to your ideas, and builds relationships.
Blogging is easy to do and requires no technical knowledge to execute on a day to day basis.
If blogging is a tool you would like to add to your marketing mix then contact us today. We are experts at configuring and integrating blogs to both new and existing web sites.
Customizing a blog to truly reflect it’s content can sometimes be a little challenging .. most blog providers offer cookie cutter templates but many lack polish.
If you have an existing blog that needs a little uplift of are in the process of setting up a new blog we can help.
Take Zinfully Delicious one of our latest projects. We produced a custom banner and configured the blog software to create a complimentary color palette.
Visit the blog Here
Contact us today to see how we can assist in making your blog look great!