Blogging is as important to your online presence as business cards are to your offline presence — perhaps even more. If you don’t have a business card with you, at least you can jot your info down on the back of a receipt — hey, it may not be the most professional thing, but if you can wow with your charisma, the glossy business card is the least of your worries. With blogging… well, if you don’t have a blog, there’s no way to jot down your info down and pass it along the Internet. So, have a blog!
Professionals in every industry make all the same excuses about blogging: I don’t have the time, I’m not a writer, I don’t know how to blog, I’m not a Web designer… But there are many options for hard-working professionals “too busy” to blog. To begin, hire an SEO professional and blog writer — this will be some of the smartest marketing money you ever spend. Even if you opt to handle your own blog, a consultation with an SEO pro can give you ideas and you’ll have a better chance when you have something of a blogging education to work from.
Using an SEO specialist to handle your blog — especially if you hire a small contractor — will almost always give you a handsome return on investment. Why? Because it helps the visibility of your website on Google, Bing, and Yahoo! searches by allowing you to use competitive keywords that link to the index page and subpages of your site. A blog also gives potential clients surfing your site a place to go to for information, creates links back to your website and to other places on the Web, and gives you a place to post your YouTube videos, and more.
Most likely, an SEO pro that handles a blog for you will also be familiar with Twitter, Facebook, and online bookmarking tools. These are all free services that will turbo-charge your blog and Web site. If you are a small business owner or the principal of a law firm, hiring a freelance blogger and SEO writer to handle your blog will grow your online presence and not take up your valuable time.
Keep in mind the blog must be tended to on a consistent basis — a good rule to follow is three blogs per week, or one new post every other day. If you or your blogger have time for more, this is an even better scenario. To keep your cost down, maybe have the hired blogger write two or three entries a week while you handle one or two others. But again, consistency is very important — make sure there is communication on both ends so that if one party or another won’t be blogging, the other (or even a guest blogger) can fill in the gaps.
Web professionals, including bloggers and SEO specialists are usually best found through networking. If you have a friend or colleague who has used a blogger to their satisfaction, ask for the blogger’s information. You’re much likelier to get the results you want this way because there is an established positive track record — and you won’t get that from the Yellow Pages or a Google Search for an SEO blogger in your area.
No matter what, all small businesses should have a blog. Setting one up on WordPress or Blogger takes all of two minutes, but if you’d rather have one professionally built into your website, talk to your web developer — he or she may very well know a good blog writer too!