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Marketing on a budget remains a challenge for many small businesses. This article explains the benefits of blogging and how to create a successful business blog.

Research shows that 20% of startups close in their first year of operation. The businesses that survive that first year find it difficult to stay afloat, and 65% end up shutting down within ten years. One of the main reasons cited was poor marketing. With few resources available, it can be challenging for small business owners to promote their brands effectively.

Blogging is a very cost-effective tool used in marketing. There are currently 5 billion internet users worldwide, and 60 percent of consumers claim to read blogs regularly, representing a substantial prospective market to reach through blogging. So, if you are unsure if your small business should own a blog, I would say yes, because of its marketing advantages.

How can blogging help your business?

There are great benefits your business can enjoy from blogging, including:

  • Establish customer relationships: New businesses are emerging every day, and that has made it quite challenging to maintain customer loyalty. However, high-quality blog posts about your business and products can keep your visitors engaged and build strong relationships with them. You can interact with your blog visitors by answering questions or responding to their comments. In the long run, this will help you build trust with your audience.
  • Thought leadership: People often look for solutions online whenever they encounter a problem. By sharing your knowledge and experience, you can become the expert they will turn to whenever they need advice. Invest in SEO, so your business shows up in the search results.
  • Create a sales lead: Blogging is a great way to generate traffic for your business. Make sure you research your target audience to understand their needs so that you can carve a niche for yourself. SEO-based content can generate traffic to your website, which may turn into sales leads for your business.

Related: 9 Types Of Content That Will Help Your Local SEO

Starting a new blog for your business may seem like an intimidating task. So, here are a few tips to help you create a successful blog:

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1. Provide value

One of the main reasons people read blogs is because they want to learn something new. Blog posts with how-to guides, tutorials, and tips are very popular and can help you achieve a vast amount of traffic. For example, Hiking Team has a comprehensive blog that shares information on everything you need to know about Nepal, from things to do and local Nepalese foods to transportation and souvenir guides. They offer a valuable resource for anyone looking for information about Nepal or planning to visit.

2. Allow guest posting

People love to share their ideas and experiences. Allowing them to guest post on your blog will enable them to do that and interact with you and other visitors. Guest posts are also great for helping you understand who your readers are and what they are interested in. A great example is Hackernoon, the online platform where anyone can publish and share anything related to technology.

Related: How to write a blog post: A step-by-step guide from preparation to publication

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3. Make it interactive and allow comments

A blog that allows its visitors to comment and ask questions on related topics draws more attention than those that do not. Create a user-friendly platform where guests can post their comments and ask questions. Making your blog interactive is very important for building good customer service and better understanding your customers, which may eventually generate more sales leads.

4. Monitor and analyze your blog traffic

According to Hubspot, many people prefer blog posts that are informative, entertaining and teach new things. It is important to track your blog traffic to determine which of your blog posts are performing best and find out what interests your readers. You can capitalize on that to grow more traffic and leads for your business.

5. Get external links to your blog

The “web” is literally a web of networks. By attracting external links from other online sources for your blog, you can considerably increase your Google ranking and get more traffic for your site. Consider launching a press release campaign or guest-posting on other, more authoritative sites for this.

With commitment, creativity and effort, blogging can be a very effective marketing tool for your small business. Blogging is a low-cost marketing strategy with great benefits if utilized properly.

Related: How to Increase Your Blog Traffic – The Easy Way

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Article by Kimmie Tang

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor
Founder of 247VirtualTeams

Kimmie is a business veteran with nearly two decades of experience in business development, market research and digital marketing. She is currently focused on helping startups and SMEs grow their businesses through strategic advisory and effective digital marketing efforts.