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Should Your Small Business Have a Blog?

I recently asked if businesses should blog. Ashley Carr of the The itpr Group wrote in the IT Week Letter asking if blogs can benefit small companies. I liked what was said.

There are two issues. Firstly, small businesses tend to have few marketing skills, little time but oodles of passion. So, if a small business does limited marketing, does investing time and effort in an emerging technology give them the best return? Unlikely.

…My advice is, don’t ignore the opportunity but don’t get sucked in. If blogs can’t support an existing communications strategy, don’t complicate things with an unproven tactic.

Carr’s opinion is that small businesses face two issues. The lack of marketing skills but tons of passion, and the fact that “Web 2.0” online social networking and blogging is still new technology. These are very important points to consider when making the decision on whether or not your small business blogs.

If you have the people who can blog, sharing their passion and talent for writing about your business and industry, then have a blog. If you don’t have the staff, expertise, or the money to hire them, then don’t blog. Get yourself a website with information on what you do, how you do it, why you do it, and why we should care, because that is part of today’s core marketing and advertising plan, but skip the blog.

Blogs take energy, passion, and a lot of enthusiasm. They can also take a lot of time. Blogs are consumers, taking energy away you may need to give to your growing business. They require food in the way of frequent posts and information. They also require some expertise on web standards and technology, though a simple blog can be produced without it, it sure helps to have it.

If you choose to blog, do so. It’s part of your public face. You are providing important information that attracts customers and keeps them coming back.

Blog professionally and consistently. Keep your blog concentrated on your business goals, with your focus on helping your customers and building a reputation that brings in more customers and turns single purchase customers into loyal fans.

You can use your blog to educate your customers, but also to help them educate you. A blog can help you gather demographics and marketing information, provide feedback, and teach you what you need to know about your customers’ needs so you can better serve them.

As Carr says, “these good practices are not exclusive to blogs – they are universal.” Good businesses practices are universal, whether you are working on an ad in the yellow pages, business cards, a sign on your shop, or a website or blog. If you are going to do it, do it well and make sure it continues to work for you. If it doesn’t, stop or change it so it is working for you not against you.

Use good business sense, whether or not you choose to blog for your small business.

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network

Member of the 9Rules Blogging Network


  1. Posted November 28, 2006 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle.

    I agree that one should only blog if time and resources permit because it not only becomes a big drain, it can also prove counter productive if it looks lousy. Having said that, there is no harm in having a blog and updating it, let’s say, once-a-week or every 15 days. If you run a small business no one expects long, literary posts from you unless you have something really important to say.

    I subscribed to your feeds I guess a week ago. Enjoy reading your blog :-).

  2. Posted November 29, 2006 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    I started my small business two years ago. For the first two years, I certainly couldn’t have considered blogging since it would have demanded energy I needed for other business activities. However, I do believe that it’s a good idea to start a blog once your business is at a stage where it needs a push but your financial resources are low. I’ve had my blog less than a week, but my site visitors have gone up tremendously and the fresh content will hopefully help push my sites up in the engines. This is a low cost way to increase the effectiveness of your existing site, and hopefully as a result win more business.

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    That’s kinda like saying it’s not worth leaving your house today because of the risk crossing the street. (I think the shrinks have a name for that).

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