7 reasons small businesses should blog

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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:

Fitness goals: Part II

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Tonya and I are meeting today to discuss her online community marketing plan. Here are a few things we’ll talk about to help her grow her downtown pilates business in Greensboro.

Create a “Get Fit Pilates” blog. Tonya likes to write. And she has niche topic: Pilates, and, she’s trained in a muscle recovery technique for athletes called Muscle Activation Technique.

Post her schedule online. I have a friend who is interested in taking Tonya’s pilates class, but I don’t know where to find her schedule. She has paper brochures, but I lose them all the time. So we’ll create a page on her blog that’s dedicated to posting her class schedule.

Start a flickr account. A friend and a talented photographer has agreed to shoot some pictures of Tonya, and her studio. When I recently did a flickr search on pilates, there were very few good pictures. Some looked more like people doing yoga poses, or random shots of people in flexible poses, saying it was pilates. We could build Tonya’s online presence by starting a flickr account for her studio. There, we’ll post pictures of all kinds of women and body types doing the poses correctly. Then, in the comments section, we’ll explain the benefit behind the pose. We’ll tag each post with search terms, and her studio’s business location. We’ll use these photos for blog fodder throughout the year.

Create “reminder” emails and texts. One of the biggest obstacles to attending an exercise class is mustering up the motivation that you’ll feel better when you’re done. Email reminders, texts, and other messages strategically timed could do wonders for improving her client’s rate of consistent attendance.

To be continued …