3 Reasons Why You Should Have a Business Blog
A large number of new blogs go online every day. This explosive growth raises the question: Should you start a blog for your business? I believe you should as this becomes an effective marketing tool. Like any other marketing tool, blogs are most effective when used properly. What you are reading now – Web4Africa Blog – is an example of a blog.
Aside from generating new sales leads, blogging also offers the following potential benefits.
- A blog creates a platform for you to engage with both existing and potential customers in a direct, informal, no-pressure way. You can use a blog to communicate the strengths of your product or service, the expertise of your top executives and the breadth of your company’s experience in ways that traditional marketing and advertising won’t allow. This can inspire customer loyalty.
- Blog is collaborative nature. As such, it can help you gain insight into customers’ needs and interests. This information can be used to develop new products or services or fine-tune existing ones.
- A blog can make your company appear more “alive” and approachable. A website promoting your products or services is an essential marketing tool. But a blog, in effect, gives your company a personal voice, which also can help boost customer loyalty.
Blogs cost little, if any, money. Some public blogging sites are free; others charge only nominal fees. However, you need to have a private domain name registered for your business blog as you will be interacting with your customers (both existing and potentials).
Blogs are often extremely easy to set up and update, with virtually no training required. If you already have a domain name and hosting account, you can create a subdomain and start from there. However, you can register a new domain and hosting account at Web4Africa. If you need any help in setting up your business blog, you can drop us a mail and we would take it further from there.
Why You Need to Update Your Business Blog
Having a blog for your business is as important to your business as any other functions. If you still have a doubt as to the reasons why you should have a blog, you may need to read my previous post on this issue. Blogging should be seen as part of your organized online marketing campaigns and can be a very efficient and inexpensive way to reach your customers on a more personal level.
In the past few years, blogging has become a legitimate and even respected medium to reach the public. While you may use your email newsletters to talk about the products or services your company offers, blog posts can serve a variety of other important functions. Blogging is often more story-based in its content. So, by maintaining a professional and accurate blog about your company, you can become a trusted expert in your field, and help your customers and other industry professional put a face to your business.
Blogs also create a platform for you to engage in an open forum directly with your customers. This is definitely a valuable way of obtaining feedback about your business. A major upside to blogging is that it can dramatically improve your search engine rankings. The more blog posts you write and the more your customers comment on your posts, the more opportunities there are for search engines to pick up your content. So, what are you waiting for? Ensure you update your business blog regularly.
Supercharge your WordPress blog
WordPress is the world’s leading blogging software and is loved by most bloggers. Constant innovation is one of the reasons for affection. One of such relatively recent innovations is the Jetpack mega-plugin. I called it a mega-plugin because it is a plugin like no other; it comes with several functionalities that would have otherwise only have been available by installing multiple plugins.
WordPress comes in two variants. The self-hosted WordPress.org that one installs manually or via one’s hosting control panel, and WordPress.com the ready-to-go blogging platform that requires no installations. WordPress.com is hosted by Automattic, the company behind WordPress, and so are all blogs hosted under WordPress.com
What Jetpack does is to bring some additional functionalities that were hitherto exclusive to WordPress.com platform, to WordPress.org users. The image below is self-evident.
Jetpack can be installed easily from within your WordPress installation, just like most other plugins but the additional power it brings to your blog is unrivaled. Jetpack adds the following features to your WordPress blog:
- WordPress.com Stats: Simple, concise site stats with no additional load on your server.
- Comments: enables your visitors to use WordPress.com, Twitter, or Facebook accounts when commenting on your site.
- Subscriptions: Allow users to subscribe to your posts and comments to receive a notification via email.
- Contact Form: Easily insert a contact form anywhere on your site.
- Sharing: The most super duper sharing tool on the interwebs. Share content with Facebook, Twitter, and many more.
- Spelling and Grammar: Improve your spelling, style, and grammar with the After the Deadline Proofreading service.
- Gravatar Hovercards: Show a pop-up business card of your users’ gravatar profiles in comments.
- Shortcode Embeds: Easily embed videos and more from sites like YouTube, Vimeo, and SlideShare.WP.me Shortlinks: Enable WP.me-powered short links for all of your Posts and Pages for easier sharing.
- Beautiful Math: Mark up your posts with the markup language, perfect for complex mathematical equations and other über-geekery.
- Extra Sidebar Widgets: Easily add images, Twitter updates, and your site’s RSS links to your theme’s sidebar.
- Enhanced Distribution: Share your public posts and comments to search engines and other services in real-time.
Installing Jetpack is simple. You can install it from within WordPress without having to download/upload anything as is obvious from the image below: