Now that you have got a basic understanding of the ins and outs of blogs, and some options available, you're probably wondering: How does this help my business? How does it help me to stand out?
1. Team Communication. Companies use blogs internally to communicate project status to stakeholders and managers. It beats clogging everybody's email with mass broadcasts. It allows these missives to be archived, indexed and easily searched.
2. Enrich Your Clients. You can easily link to articles and resources relevant to your readers and their needs. You can more easily attract experts to provide value-added content to your audience.
3. Get to Know Your Customer. Nobody buys from someone they don't know. Blogging allows you to demonstrate your expertise and point-of-view quickly and easily. In addition, blogs allow the customers to receive your updates in the format they choose.
4. Collaborate. You can create your own marketing buzz to drive attention and buyers to your products and services. Some companies use internal blogs to report on projects or to track work groups distributed around the world.
5. Research and Development. Weblogs are the perfect forum to test out new ideas and receive instant feedback. You can allow others to see how you develop your products and services, and at the same time, they can tell you how best to serve them.
6. Go Global. Blogs, like other online media, allow you to take your business and ideas to a global market. Translation services are getting better every day, allowing more people to read online content in different languages. I've helped bloggers from New York to New Zealand, from Indiana to India.
7. Hidden Entrance to the Press. Journalists are busier than ever and blogs provide a virtual directory of pundits on any topic. You and your company can be the content expert they're looking for. Furthermore, if your company is talked about in the blogosphere it could end up using that exposure as a back door to the press.
8. Get Published. Publishers are turning to blogs to find new writing talent. Blogs can give a publisher a taste of your writing style as well as a sample of your depth of knowledge. Content specific blogs show a a commitment to a certain topic or subject matter.
9. Write your book. Let your readers help you write your latest book or article. Post chapters or ideas, then let readers help you in researching, testing and suggesting ideas. Or, use a blog after your book is published to update the material or to answer questions from readers.
10. Success Stories. Invite clients to blog about their successes with your products and services - it's like a living testimonial that never ends. As clients share their experiences, your prospects can see first-hand how you can help them, too.
© Andy Wibbels
About Andy: Andy Wibbels is a blogging evangelist and creator of the Easy Bake Weblogs seminar that has helped hundreds of small businesses all over the world leverage blogs and RSS news feeds to increase profits and save time. You can download his free special report on business and blogs at easybakeweblogs http://easybakeweblogs.com/.