June 13, 2008
If I were starting my business today and was evaluating my website options, I would pick a blogsite over a stand-alone blog or a traditional website. What’s a blogsite? I like to think of this as a blog/website hybrid. It has all the features of a blog, yet acts as a website to help you promote your business.
More and more I see new online service business owners choosing blogsites over traditional websites. Some who have started with a traditional website have switched over to a blogsite in the last year. Here are 7 reasons why a blogsite attracts more visitors and helps you get more clients online than a traditional website:
1. Easy to update and maintain. Once created, your blog is almost effortless to update and maintain on a regular basis. All you have to do is log into your administrator interface, create a post in a Word-like environment, publish the post, and it instantly appears on your blogsite. A well-maintained and updated site is one to which visitors return. No longer will your website be the site that you (and time) forgot.
If you are tech-savvy, you may be able to create and install your blogsite yourself using open source software like WordPress, or using a fee-based blogging service like Typepad. If you require technical and graphic assistance to get your blogsite up and running, you can expect to pay at least $300 to create a simple blogsite. The ability to update your site yourself frees you from the need to learn an HTML software program. However, if you choose to use open source software for your blog platform, be sure and have someone on call who can help you troubleshoot when there is a technical problem. As with all technology, it’s not a matter of if a problem will happen, but when it will happen.
2. Create static webpages. The best feature of a blogsite is the ability to create static webpages, like About Us, Our Services, How We Work, etc., as found on a traditional website. Your static pages can be displayed in a navigation bar across the top or down one side of your blogsite, as in a traditional website. These pages can serve as your home page, or the blog part of your site can serve as your homepage instead. Now, anytime you add an additional program or service, you can simply go to your blogsite and instantly update your offerings.
3. Create relationship with visitors. Unlike a traditional website, a blogsite has the blogging feature built in, which permits your visitors to comment on your posts. You do need to post 2-3 times per week to the blog to begin to build the relationship, and then reply to the comments that come in from your visitors. And, your visitors are much more likely to return to your blogsite to see what else you have to say. That doesn’t happen often with a traditional website.
4. Attractive to search engines. Search engines, Google in particular, love blogs. I’ve posted a comment to a blog and had Google index that comment within 5 minutes. How did I know this? Because I have a Google Alert set for my name, and that alert about that post was emailed to me about 5 minutes after I made it. No more waiting for weeks for the search engines to find your site!
5. Uses RSS feeds. No longer do you have to hope and pray that your email reaches its intended target. With the use of RSS feeds, your blog posts are automatically syndicated to anyone who has requested them, and they arrive in your reader’s RSS feeder almost instantly.
6. Promote your business throughout the site. Have a free giveaway or product or affiliate program you want to promote? Now you can easily add that info to a sidebar of your blog and have that show up for the visitor regardless of what page the visitor lands on.
7. Offers Web 2.0 functionality. If you’re using any social networking like Facebook or Twitter, most blogging platforms offer a widget or plug-in that will connect your visitor to your social networking profile. There are other plug-ins that make your blogsite searchable, show related blogsites or related posts, display your favorite Amazon.com recommendations, etc. More widgets and plug-ins are being developed every day to help you better connect to your visitors.
If your website needs an overhaul or you are about to launch your first site, seriously consider a blogsite. A blogsite will save you money, time and aggravation and get you connected much more quickly to your visitors and to the world at large.
Online Business Resource Queen (TM) and Online Business Coach Donna Gunter helps independent service professionals learn how to automate their businesses, leverage their expertise on the Internet, and get more clients online. To claim your FREE gift, TurboCharge Your Online Marketing Toolkit, visit her site at http://www.OnlineBizU.com. Ask Donna an Internet Marketing question at http://www.AskDonnaGunter.com.