How Your Blog Can Grow Your Business

Editor's Note: Do you have a blog? We'd love to read it! E-mail the URL of your blog to Sam Simon, Editor of ForConstructionPros.com, sam.simon@cygnusb2b.com. He will link to your blog and compile a listing of contractor blogs in the ForConstructionPros.com blog.

A quality blog will generate more qualified traffic for your site. Its greatest value is that it helps you build your customer list. The quality of your list is increased because you have established yourself as an authority in your field. The leads you generate through your blog should be considered low-hanging fruit. When you interact with your blog visitors you really get to know them. Remember, the goal is to get them to return frequently.

The Expert
Position yourself as an expert. A blog showcases you as an expert and can help you achieve expert status in the eyes of your visitors. When you focus on a particular topic you will become known as an expert in your field. Remember, you are providing a reliable resource for news about a certain topic. You are not posting commercials about your business, instead you are providing a valuable service. As you are building a following you are developing your brand. You are building your reputation through your blog.

Closing the Sales
Experts are a lot more likely convince people of the benefits of a product than sales people. If you have a loyal blog following, when they need your service, it will be a small step for them to choose your company for the job. Remember, experts make the best sales people because they make it look easy.

Taking Action
When faced with unfamiliar technology such as blogs, many business owners simply avoid it, writing it off as not essential. It may not be essential to your present business, but it may take your business to a new level of success. You will not find out until you try it.

You have many options to start blogging. There are a variety of free blog hosting solutions that only take a few minutes to set up. The blog hosts only require a simple online application and you can start blogging. If you want to install your own blog, there are free open source and commercial solutions available to you.

The right blog CMS (Content Management System) makes a huge difference. You should try several before you make a decision. One may be perfect for one business, but you may find the interface awkward, or difficult to use. Most importantly, your blog has to work for you since you will be spending the most time on it.

If you want to differentiate your blog from the rest, consider a custom blog solution - one that can be completely customized to your business. In most cases, WordPress, Blogger, MovableType or Typepad will work. The greatest advantage of using one of the more popular systems is that there is a lot of support available to you.

The best blog system is something that's easy for the writer to use and brings together the features that allow your business blog to flourish. Consider how you want comments, archiving, sub-pages, categorization, and user accounts to operate in order to narrow down your choices. OpenSourceCMS is an informational tool to help you select a software.

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