Before I address the following questions: What is a blog? and What can a blog do for your business?, let me pose a few "What if . . ." questions to you.
Keeping in mind that before your prospects and customers buy from you, they need to know you, like you, and trust you. In other words, they need to know, whether overtly or covertly, that they have a trusting and ongoing relationship with you. What better way to accomplish for them to get to know you, trust you, and like you than with a blog?
Now, here are my "What if . . ." questions:
* What if less than two minutes after creating and publishing your blog, it were to be promoted to thousands of prospects without any extra effort or cost on your part?
* What if your blog gave you immediate access to hundreds of international prospects?
* What if you had immediate access to hundreds of prospects in your city, state, or country who had interests and hobbies similar to yours?
* What if every time someone clicks on a hyperlinked keyword in your Profile that describes your hobbies, occupation, industry, favorite books, movies, music, or artist, your blog pops up?
* What if every time you left a comment on someone elses blog, you could leave a hyperlink to your website, blog, or email? (a mini no-cost commercial!)
* What if whenever someone enters your name or business name (completely or partially) into a major search engine, your website or blog pops up in their search results?
* What if every time you post content on your blog, it would bypass the spam filters and instantaneously appear on your subscribers desktop without any extra effort or cost on your part? (- an excellent opportunity to get your sales, special messages, or time-sensitive announcements into their hands, or actually in front of their eyes!)
* What if your satisfied customers had the opportunity to place their self-generated testimonies on your blog? (Although some will take the initiative to do so, others might need encouragement. That's all right. Just make an incentive opportunity of it! Offer some incentive for their efforts.)
By now you should be beginning to see the powerful marketing potential a blog offers you. These are just some of the powerful customer relationship management features a blog offers you.
But wait! There's yet more!
* What if you were to combine these powerful features with other online and offline efforts such as a blogathon, teleseminar, webinar, online articles, and others?
* What if doing so would enhance your customer relationship management?
* What if doing so would decrease returns and refunds?
* What if doing so would increase sales?
Think about it! I realize that successful marketing and sales are still high-touch entities; however, I also realize that when you combine your high-tech efforts with your high-touch efforts, you're bound to be successful!!!
Now to answer the original questions, What is a blog? and What can a blog do for your business?:
A blog, short of web log, is an interactive web-based journal that encourages participation from viewers. It looks like and does everything a website does and more! A blog serves as an excellent supplement to your website and other marketing efforts. Entries, called posts, are published by date on the page according to your predetermined quantity and are archived in the margin according to your predetermined frequency.
A blog offers your business countless marketing options. Specifically, a blog:
* gives viewers, prospects, customers, and subscribers who might have had difficulty in the past immediate access to you.
* helps to reduce your time spend distributing emails and other messages.
* improves your content delivery rates by 100%.
* improves your search engine rankings.
* publishes constantly fresh content.
* bypasses spam filters completely.
* improves your online visibility.
* enhances your web presence.
* generates more visitors.
and more . . .
So, if you don't already have a blog, I only have one question for you: What are you waiting for?!?
Don't let this cutting-edge technology, this powerful marketing tool, pass you by. Online companies are popping up all over the internet offering you free blogs. My recommendation is that you grab one, or two or more! Most, if not all, are extremely easy to create, but may be time-consuming, according to your already hectic schedule, to maintain.
If that's the case in your situation, you might want to call in outside help. Consider the high school computer techie next door, or the college-age computer-major son or daughter of a friend who could always use a few extra bucks.
I leave you with this wish: May you always be successful in looking for and using new and creative ways to maximize your earning potential.
Remember: When you maximize your potential, we all win! When you dont, we all lose.
Etienne A. Gibbs, MSW, Management Consultant and Trainer, conducts lectures, seminars, and workshops, and writes articles on: ... helping you maximize your potential for individuals, schools, small businesses, and non-profit organizations, Reach him at http://www.MasterBlogBuilder.com/