Yes, a blog is definitely a great way to promote a business online these days – now that everyone can become a publisher at NO cost, or a relatively low one. Anyone with an Internet connection can post his or her thoughts, opinions, and activities on the Global Whiteboard to be read and responded to.
STEP ONE: Before proceeding to Step Two, make certain that you really want to start a blog:
If the answer is YES to all six questions, then proceed to Step Two.
STEP TWO: Spend a little bit of time searching the Internet for How To Blog articles. Many may be more advanced than a beginner can understand, but that’s OK. Reading them will not hurt you, and they may provide links to more basic articles.
STEP THREE: Do NOT wait until you think you will write a perfect blog post. If I had waited just over two years ago, I might never have gotten started. Common Wisdom suggests you listen to Nike, i.e., Just Do It. You will learn from your mistakes. After all, when you do get started, few people will know you are “out there,” so you can build your chops and publish content, which can always be revised and/or deleted later on.
STEP FOUR: Choose a blogging platform. My suggestion is that you go with WordPress – the most popular and well supported blog tool and publishing platform. Here you have another choice: the absolutely FREE http://wordpress.com or the companion platform http://wordpress.org that requires you to (a) have a domaine name that will cost you less than $10 a year and (b) a blog hosting company that will cost around $10 a month. [I am very happy with Hostgator that I have been using for two years.]
Why would you pay when you can blog for free?
Actually, my suggestion is that you do choose the Free option, wordpress.com, for a month or so to make certain you are sure want to commit to the practice. My blog post: http://sharisax.com/2009/10/08/how-to-start-a-blog-step-by-step-and-voila-youre-a-publisher/ will help you set up a free blog.
Again, why would you want to pay to blog?
Self-hosting, i.e. a blog on a platform like wordpress.org will offer you much more control including options like the following:
STEP FIVE: Just do it! Get started, and here is how to write your first blog post on the free platform.
Conclusion: Basically a blog can put a human face on a company, and people do business with people not organizations. Bloggers are the new Influencers. You can build your authority, and influence, by knowing your audience and writing relevant, original, interesting, keyword-rich content. Use your blog to become the Go-To Source for information on your area of expertise.
ADDENDUM: I just found a new post that lists these reasons why businesses ought to blog.
I like PUTS FACE ON BRAND the best:
Any other reason you can think of?