Sunday, May 18, 2008

Promoting Your Business With Blogs

Blogs are a great tool of business. You blab away about a topic connected to your business hopefully highlighting yourself (and your business) as an expert in the field. This particularly important in the service industry. This applies strongly to professional services (i.e., doctors, lawyers, accountants, IT professionals) but I also include here any service where skill, training, or artistic talent have importance. What to promote your restaurant or catering business? A blog is a great tool. If your business web site is an important element in generating sales for your business, then a blog (or multiple blogs) should be an integral part of your online marketing strategy. Why? Because each blog post generates a link back into your business web site. Search engines value links in ranking web sites. Ergo, inbound links are a business asset.

Blogs plural? Yeah, as many target markets you have or differentiation of service can be bifurcated into separate blogs. For example, you have a small, one-attorney law office that derives the bulk of it's revenue from divorces and criminal defense representation. Then create two blogs, one for each of the separate practice areas.

Blogs are free to set up and easy to create posts. There are many free places that will host your blog but I use Why? They are owned by Google and it appears to me that blogs from blogger get ranked and indexed faster than my other blogs. I have nothings but anecdotal evidence on this point, however.

Promoting Your Blog
What is the use of taking the time to create a blog if no one reads it? If the blog generates it's own inbound links thus accruing Google pagerank value, then the blog has value merely as an organ for passing links on to your business blog apart from any readership it may have. But by building inbound links, traffic to your blog usually increases as well.

That said, blogs have several advantages in promotion over business sites. One is social news aggregators: i.e., digg, mixx, propeller, reddit. Post your articles on these social news network sites to generate links to your blog. Then, encourage your co-workers, family, friends vote for your article on the social news network site. For, the vernacular is that you "digg" the post. I also encourage you make comments on posts within these news network sites. Why? Your comments link back to your profile page with the site and your profile page has a link to your blog. Also, you can tuck links to articles in your blog within comments. Each of the four sites listed above has a slightly different audience and user level. Digg is the biggest. For political articles I write for my blogs, reddit generates the most traffic (in my experience). This is probably due to the fact that the content of my works meshes best with the audience on that site.

But for generating links, the smallest of the four sites is the leader for me--propeller. Here is a link to my profile page on propeller. Notice it has a google pagerank value of 4. My commercial site that generates the income I live on only has a pagerank value of 5. Every article I post to propeller automatically gets posted to my propeller profile thereby generating a valuable link. Secondly, if you give your article popular tags when posting it propeller, the article will also be posted to pages for each tag given. For instance, here is a propeller group page for John McCain.

Do you read news and blogs on the web? Do you occasionally post comments? Many blogs and news sites allow persons leaving comments to backlink from the comment to their blog or web site. This is a free link. Take advantage of it. Posting a comment can literally take seconds and generates a link. Encourage your employees and co-workers to use the same practice backlinking to your business web site or business related blogs.

Lastly, there is, a mega-site where users store bookmarks. But it can be used to generate links as well. Your bookmarks stored at are public. The tags you give to the bookmarked pages get cross-referenced with tags given by other users. When a particular page is bookmarked with the same tag by many people, posts the page to an aggregate page. Thus, links are generated. This is a quick and easy way to build links but, to be effective, it requires the participation of co-workers, family, friends.

One final thought, link your blogs to each other. It's a mutual assistance treaty as each blog helps promote its sisters.

No comments: