Guest blogger Kerry Sauriol of Crunchy Carpets explains why small businesses should blog.
When I Started Blogging
A little while ago, I was attending an event held by the Enterprising Moms Network. As usual I had to explain what Crunchy Carpets was. One woman exclaimed to me that she had never gotten into blogging and Twitter and all that stuff as she just never had the time.
This got me thinking about a few responses to that statement.
If she didnt have the time, what did that say about me or the many women I know who are into blogging or social media?
The statement seemed to imply that a blog was a tool mainly for personal use: merely a hobby. Judging from the amount of women I knew at that event that were using blogging and social media as business and marketing tools, I was quite taken aback by this assumption.
Many small business owners and entrepreneurs feel overwhelmed by the thought of adding one more activity to their already demanding days. Most then want to know in concrete terms what they will get out of a blog. What their ROI (return on investment) would be.
If your company has a website, adding a blog to it is the simplest and easiest way to reach out to your customers. A blog can add a human touch to your website. It gives you the space to reach out and communicate directly with your customer base.
The biggest lesson about blogging is ….you get out of it what you put in.
Companies can struggle with the difference between marketing and communicating. With marketing, you see the results of it quickly and easily in the form of sales that stemmed from that campaign. Blogging is different. Blogging is about relationship building. This can be tough to understand when you are focused on the bottom line.
This is true for both personal and corporate blogs.
Blogging shouldnt be demanding…but quality writing is key. Poorly written copy or a blog that is just all about marketing can put off a reader/potential customer. So yes, hiring a copywriter or professional blogger might be your next step.
Agoo Clothings web presence is an amazing example of taking social media and community building to the extreme. Their site is more than an online store. Their blog is a mix of promotional copy and child and family oriented copy that they feel their readers (their shoppers) will appreciate. Add their HUGE Facebook activity and the promotion they do with personal (mom bloggers) and you can call their social media presence a huge success. Agoo wants you to know that the people behind the clothing line are family people too with kids of their own and so they can share an understanding with their buyers.
Raspberry Kids, another online child focused store already has a rich and readable website, but the blog has become not only a promotional tool, but a great insight into the life of the owner/operator of the company. She shares the ups and downs of entrepreneurialship with her readers and customers. She is one of “us.”
From these two examples, you can see how well the addition of a blog to your web presence can enable your business to connect with your community.
Marketing today has a far more touchy feelly vibe to it than the days of traditional marketing, and for some this may feel frivolous, but I do firmly believe that community building, relationship building through the internet is the way to building solid business in the real world.
If you already have a company site, the addition of a blog is a simple and inexpensive step. Talk to your webmasters and they should be able to help you or talk to Out-Smarts.
If you don’t have a website, platforms like WordPress are simple and easy to set up and there are many free templates out there that can be customized without needing a degree in code. WordPress.com is a free system and their .org site is where you can set up a blog with your OWN URL and host.
If you need a writer for your blog, there are a lot of us out there!! And we are all so talented and ready to help.
Having discovered that children don’t give annual employee evaluations, Kerry jumped at the chance seven years ago to be a stay-at-home mom. She has found she can more than handle being called a stupid head by her two eldest and sweetly precocious children instead of being fired by her peers.
Kerry’s hold on sanity is her computer and the world of mommy bloggers. She can ignore the chaos created by three kids, three cats, a dog and patient husband and find the peace it takes to come up with her latest post at her personal site Crunchy Carpets . Apart from obsessive Tweeting and Facebooking, she can also be found haranguing people to post on her other site Wet Coast Women.
Blogging has brought her the opportunity to meet amazing people, speak on CBC Radio and be interviewed by the Globe and Mail on a few occasions.