7 reasons small businesses should blog

music

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By Ben McConell & Jackie Huba

1. They fan the flames of customer evangelism. Their personal nature helps humanize you and your organization.

2. They function as an instant-feedback mechanism. Most blogs allow readers to respond to your posts or link to them on their own blogs. These features provide almost real-time feedback on ideas and issues that strike a chord, or highlight new or existing problems. A blog can help reveal a little problem before it becomes a big one.

3. They compel you to Napsterize more of your knowledge more often. A blog is about sharing what you know, think and believe; search engines index your ongoing knowledge-sharing, making it easier for customers and prospects to find you. Attraction is always easier than hunting.

4. They facilitate the spread of buzz. Honest, informative or thought-provoking posts about issues important to customers and prospects tend to be spread more often.

5. They allow you to have more simultaneous conversations. It’s more than you could ever do in person.

6. Most blog service providers offer good-looking templates to use if your existing website design is embarrassing or non-existent.

7. They help position you as a knowledgeable expert in your industry.

Once you start blogging, here are five blogging don’ts:

It’s not about you

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As a musician, I’m trying to imagine what would happen if I invited a bunch of folks to my house to play music, and then kept all my ideas and songs to myself. People would stop coming over. And they’d tell other people to stop, too.

As a musician, I want to provide a meaningful experience for the people I play with, plus, provide them with access to musicians or resources that would enhance their networks, too.

Same goes for building community online. I’m more drawn to sites that capture my imagination, not my “lead capture” information.

So this little paragraph on Tara Hunt’s blog Horse, Pig, Cow is top of mind this week as I tinker around with ways to build community online for my clients and my music:

“The key to attracting and keeping members of a community is to offer them heaps of ways to accrue Social Capital within it. That is, to offer them more connections, more influence, more of a chance to grow their reputation, more bridging capital, more bonding capital, more access and potential access to ideas, talent and resources, more ways to display their accomplishments, more ways to do nice things for others (to build up those favors) and more access to those with loads of Social Capital of their own.”

Putting research into practice

As we build Tonya’s blog for her Pilates studio, I want to keep the social networks of Tonya’s clients in mind, too. Because, according to Tara, it works best when your nurturing your community, and the communities of your clients, too. I love that.

A few ideas to incorporate into Tonya’s blog:

  • A recipe for success. Tonya is a nutritionist, too, and she’s often giving clients recipes for her breakfast smoothies. Incorporate recipes, tips, and daily snack suggestions into blog posts. The trick is to write these tips in such a way that it feels urgent, and practical enough for someone to share with a friend.
  • A MAT class like no other. Tonya is trained in a muscle recovery method called Muscle Activiation Technique. She’s one of only two certified MAT therapists in North Carolina. We’ll use her blog to provide more information about this fast-growing, muscle building and rebuilding method. Then, provide ways to make the information accessible to friends. For instance, a friend just tore an achille’s tendon, how would I know if MAT is good for him?