1. Establish yourself as an authority in your field of business: Having a blog that you contribute valuable information to on a regular basis (recommend daily or at least a few times a week) can be your primary tool for establishing credibility and trust amongst your customer base. Your blog should contain well-written, engaging, and informative articles that pertain to your industry. Topics can include ideas about current events, thought provoking themes, and news about your company. Make sure the messaging is not self serving and that every post provides some kind of FREE value.
2. Add Valuable Content to Your Website: I always recommend that business owners incorporate their blog into their website as opposed to having a separate platform. There are plenty of open source blog platforms that can be integrated into as website such as http://wordpress.com. Therefore your blog becomes part of your site and adds new pages every time you post. For example, your URL would be www.MyCompanyName.com/blog.
3. Provide Great SEO Value for Your Website: As mentioned above, each time you post a blog article you are essentially creating a new page for your website. New pages mean a constantly growing website that has content pertaining to your business. These pages can be easily indexed by the search engines and be ranked in the search engine results. If you write with your keyword strategy in mind and hyperlink specific keywords to relevant pages within your website, you will also create a good internal linking strategy.
4. Support Your Internet Marketing Strategy: The best way to add value to your Internet marketing efforts is to produce engaging content that people will share and link to. This established authority in the search engines and gives people a reason to stay on your website longer. You are also giving them a reason to come back. Set up a simple RSS feed so people can be notified when new articles are posted. This brings them back to the site. The more they come back and the longer they stay on it, the more likely they are to convert into some kind of business.
5. Support Your Social Media Marketing Strategies: The best way to establish brand loyalty and trust is to continually provide free value to your customers. Some of the best content on the web (in my opinion) comes in the form of blogs and videos. The more great content you provide, the greater marketing value it will eventually create. Social media is not about self promotion, it’s about customer communication. A great way to establish regular “communication” with your customer base is to give them consistent value. One way to do this is by blogging.
6. Personal Development: There can be a productive and “selfish” reason for blogging to. The best blogs are not written completely off the cuff with no real educational content. The best blogs provide tips, how to guides, thought provoking questions, and well planned topics with supporting details. This is usually done by the writer researching a topic prior to writing or using his or her own experiences and sharing them so that others may learn. The process over even preparing to write a blog can be personally rewarding and provide learning opportunities for the writer. I always encourage the business owners and top level executives to be key blog contributors for their companies.
7. Platform for Events and Promotions: Although your blog should be primarily used for communicating valuable information about your business and industry, you can also use it as a simple tool to announce special events like trade shows, promotions, upcoming charity events, etc. For example, if your company is going to attend a trade show, you might write an article about the show and your purpose for attending. After the show you could post an article about your experience and even include a video. Or maybe your company is involved in supporting a charitable cause. A blog is a perfect forum for telling your readers about it!