Communicating with the public and converting its members to customers can be highly successful for businesses, small ones definitely included. Yet blogging frightens many people who aren't born writers.
Jeremy Porter on the Journalistics blog understands that and provides encouragement for overcoming queasiness over business blogging.
"Climb on the blogging bus," he urges. Blogs build identity and encourage feedback from customers.
You're leery of feedback? Well, don't be. It's key to an effective communication cycle. Far better to know what people are thinking about you then to let them stew.
For statistical encouragement to blog, Porter points to a HubSpot survey last summer that compared the Web site performance of companies that blog to those that don't. Those that blogged enjoyed:
- 55 percent more Web site visitors.
- 97 percent more inbound links (a key factor in search engine optimization).
- 434 percent more indexed pages.
Still, resistance can be found to setting up a bully electronic pulpit. Who will be there to blog effectively?
First, Porter advises, get over the fear of starting."Get over your fear and try a few posts -- you won't look back."
Set up a basic blog -- several like WordPress and Blogspot are free -- and get going. He sees four posts a month as the minimum needed for a successful blog.
Who's going to do the writing? That's the biggest challenge, of course. Porter suggests you build an editorial team or hire journalists. (Unfortunately for them, a growing number are available these days.) Build an editorial calendar, brainstorm topics, develop bullet points on what to say, share successes, aim for 500-word posts, and get on with it.
If you can't find anyone to blog, outsource the writing.
"While most people frown on outsourcing writing for blogs and social media, it's done all the time," Porter says.
The basic point is don't spurn a highly promising form of new media because you haven't done it. Bring yourself to start a business blog, be patient while it catches on, and gauge its benefits.
We thank Ragan Communication's PR Daily for bringing Porter's post to our attention.