A company blog is becoming more and more beneficial—and, frankly, essential—because of the ever-increasing necessity of a strong online presence in addition to any and all of your company\'s offline activities. More and more people are now searching for products and services online, so more and more companies are now conducting business and promoting themselves online. Content marketing in the form of a blog is a great way to provide value-added insights that earn trust and ignite the sales conversation.

First of all, blogs drive increased traffic to your website. Second, blogs offer an exciting way to keep people informed, engaged and intrigued by providing them useful information on products, services, industry trends, competitions and more. Third, if desired, blogs can provide an additional revenue stream for businesses through online advertisements.

Moreover, company blogs are arguably best when connected directly to your website and not hosted by a third-party platform, such as Tumblr or Blogger. While third-party blogs are typically easy to set up and maintain, they also tend to produce more spam and offer fewer customizable options (not to mention a separate .com web address).

A good self-hosted blog option is offered by Wordpress.org—not to be confused with Wordpress.com, which offers a free, shared-hosting version of Wordpress that is subject to different restrictions. The downloadable Wordpress.org version offers more features and allows you to attach your self-hosted blog directly to your business website, making each post and user comment a fresh boost to SEO and search engine ranking. So for the sake of this piece, let\'s stick to self-hosted blogs on the business website itself, shall we?

To promote offline endeavors

Raise awareness of sales, promotional offers, in-store discounts and/or exhibitions at tradeshows through a company blog. One good thing about informative and interesting blog posts on events and promotions is that other people will spread the word for you, but the posts must be worthy of sharing.

Also, allow plenty of time for readers to respond and take action. They need time to read the post, digest the information, make plans to participate and then share it to others.

To establish credibility and demonstrate awareness in the industry

Prove to the public that you know what you\'re talking about. Use a blog as a chance to exhibit new and exciting trends in the market and to discuss cutting-edge technologies and product development. Make sure you supply readers with plenty of topical posts that relate to your company\'s specializations and show in-depth knowledge of the industry, in order to establish credibility in your niche.

To build relationships with consumers, old and new

Engage in conversations and encourage comments to get an active discussion going amongst your website\'s visitors. In addition to increasing brand awareness, this practice will help to establish more intimate, personal connections with potential and existing customers by showing them that your company is operated by “real” people.

And, the more information you provide concerning special deals, competitions and online promotions for blog readers, the more it will boost traffic and sales. The combination of attracting new visitors and keeping the older ones coming back for more is a fantastic approach to building a successful online presence.

To boost traffic and maximize the potential of online marketing efforts

The success of a website is greatly dependent on SEO. From the keywords used on your blog to the way other websites link to your blog posts, there are many aspects that make up the term “Search Engine Optimization.”

To maximize the blog\'s potential, be sure to post at least once per week, and include keyword-rich blog posts with content that\'s also interesting to readers. This is your opportunity to really let the personality of your brand shine through, so adding a little humor and light-hearted playfulness is a great way to break down barriers. Combining engaging content that others will want to share, mixed with the solid and practical use of SEO-inspired keywords, will boost traffic by making your website more visible on popular search engines and on the web as a whole.

Also, as mentioned previously, if an additional revenue stream is what you\'re looking for, you have the option of including relevant advertisements on your blog through an affiliate marketing program to get paid on a per-click, per-lead or per-sale basis. Be sure to do your homework when choosing a blogging platform, many of them offer simple ways to integrate ads into your blog, which can really come in handy, others may require some programming skills or advanced knowledge. However, additional revenue is just an added bonus of a successful blog and is not necessarily the best approach for all.

"Have a Pawsitively Tail Waggin' Good Day!"
 
P.S. This information was provided by Ruff Haus Design - Your Loyal Marketing Companion. Established in 1997, we are a special breed of full service graphic design company that works with a premier pack of clients. We bring a fresh outlook and tail-wagging enthusiasm to your marketing program. Learn more about how we can help improve your brand management and support your marketing needs at www.ruffhaus.com

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