Does a Blog Make a Good Marketing Tool?

Regardless of the type of business you are in a blog can make an excellent marketing tool.  If you’ve been thinking about having one but haven’t made the jump, here are some reasons you might consider before making your final decision.  These should sway you in the right direction!

It’s Cheap

One of the best reasons is that it doesn’t cost very much to have one.  A hosting account for one year can be very inexpensive.  I currently spend $8.95 for one year of hosting through BlueHost.com.  When considering other methods of reaching customers, like advertising, $8.95 a year can be a real bargain.

It’s Quick

When you have news to share with your customers a blog is a very inexpensive way to do so.  Once you have your blog in place publishing any kind of information is very quick, very simple and again only costs as much as the amount of time you put into it.

You can share news about your current offerings, share customer profile information or just share info related to your industry.  Doing this with traditional mail is slow and time consuming; not to mention expensive.

It’s Easily Updateable

Because it is so easy to update you can cut down on the number of catalogs and new product flyers you send out.  Your site can list all of the newest and latest offerings.  This is easy to do and again essentially free.

It’s Easy to Share

Just cut and paste a link from you blog to an email, Facebook or Twitter and you’ve just instantly updated all of your customers.  Even better, have a sign up form for customers who want to get all the news and updates by RSS feed or email using a free service like MailChimp.  Again easy and free!

But wait…

Having said all that… there are some reasons you might not want or even need a blog.  There are considerations to take into account before making the leap…

Your Customers

Are they online?  If they aren’t online then you won’t reach them through a blog so having one doesn’t make sense.  Perhaps your customers prefer information in “hard” format through the mail.  I know there are times when I really like to have a real paper catalog in front of me.  And mail still gets a higher response rate than email and online communication.

Time

The biggest blog expense is that of time.  If you don’t have the time to update your blog regularly and it sits idle customers won’t be encourage to use it frequently. For a blog, or any other web site, to be effective it needs traffic.  You can pay to have someone update your site regularly or even have an assistant do it but it needs to get done or it’s a wasted effort.

Need

You just might not need a blog.  Not every business can use one or needs to have one.  Some types of businesses just won’t benefit from having a blog even if it is regularly updated and no matter how cost effective it is.  A great many businesses benefit without the help of a blog.  I know many businesses that don’t even have a website.  This is the kind of decision that your customers will help you make, just ask them.

Finally…

If it all seems overwhelming then I have some resources for you.  These are folks who really know their stuff and will very willingly answer questions to help you decide what you need if you are ready to make the leap and even if you are still in the deciding phase.  If you already have a blog but want to take it to the next level these folks can help as well.  I give them my “Highly Recommended” stamp of approval.

Lisa Wood @ SproutNewMedia.com is a super great gal with awesome design sense.  She specializes in building blogs and websites using WordPress and a great, very flexible theme called Thesis.  She can jump in at any point to help you out whether you are a newbie or not. New blog or re-design.  Most importantly she is very available to answer questions just send her an email.

Tzaddi @ StartupSuperHero.com is another super great gal with a knack for getting startups online.  Her resources can help you understand the basics if you want to do some stuff yourself and if you don’t she can take over and get it all done for you.  She also has custom themes which is very cool.

Teresa Deak @ SocialButterflySolutions.com can help with all the pesky background stuff if you already have a blog set up and need someone to help you get found on search engines.  If you don’t have a blog she can set that up too.  And she can help send your message out across all the social media platforms making your branding cohesive.

Sherice Jacob @ iElectrify.com is ready to help if you have a site and want more traffic and sales.  She is all about increasing conversion rates and improving website performance.  The best part is her inexpensive site review to show you what you need and what you can do to get there.

Now, you’ve got the pros and cons and a list of folks who can help, it’s all up to you!  To blog or not to blog that is the question… I say “yes”!

Yolanda

Photo: Nicolas Raymond
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3 Responses to Does a Blog Make a Good Marketing Tool?

  1. Lisa Wood February 10, 2011 at 12:42 PM #

    Thanks for the shoutout, Yolanda! You make excellent points about the pros and cons of having a blog. It’s the same with any kind of online presence – it has to work for you and your audience. If your customers aren’t likely to read a blog, then it’s smart to question if it’s going to be worth your time to have one. That said, any kind of social media/social networking builds credibility and trust, when done right. And that can only help your business.

  2. yolanda February 10, 2011 at 3:34 PM #

    True! For the Porsche repair biz we have no blog because our customers aren’t online. Only a very small percentage of them actually participate with email so building an email list is a wasted effort. It means that every few months I physically send something by mail, so for those folks a blog doesn’t make sense.

    BUT it is an excellent tool for reaching potential customers and you raise very good points about credibility and trust. Two very necessary components of profitable marketing.

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