Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Blogs for small businesses

Well, I survived the presentation I went to for what may be a multi-level marketing scheme. It's a business that involves dispensing financial advice, and it's a division of a really major financial services company. I'll give a full report later.

Earlier today I created a blog for the business of one of my neighbors. I'm not going to publicize it just yet, because...well, so far, he doesn't know about it. I wanted to float this idea of creating a blog for his little gaming shop past him, but it seemed much easier to just create a live prototype and show it to him. That way I preserved the domain name, too, which I'm surprised wasn't already taken.

For a small business a blog can be a lot of things: an open-ended newsletter, a constantly-updated bulletin board, a place to announce upcoming events and sales, to spotlight items or services, and to keep in touch with existing customers and attract new ones. By keeping the subject matter focused on the business and things related to it, a much more specific range of search-engine searchers will surf on over. And a frequently-updated blog has a dynamism that is often lacking in a static web page. Frequent updates also help to drive up search engine rank and bring in more random and semi-random surfers.

So will the neighbor go for this blog? I have no idea. It will require some effort on his part to provide one or more updates each week, although there should be no shortage of material for these updates. He already has a MySpace site set up for his business, but that looks like it's been pretty much unchanged for a few months. If it were up to me, the decision would be a no-brainer: at no cost and very little effort, he gets a new way of bringing in customers and business. Who could say "no" to that?

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