If you're looking for an inexpensive and effective way to promote your business, you may want to consider the benefits of blogging.

What can blogging do for your business?

  • Help you connect with and engage customers
  • Establish yourself as an expert in your field
  • Improve your search engine results

How can you create a successful blog? The following three tips can get you started.

Create a purpose for your blog and stick to it.

Even if your ultimate goal is to increase sales, you'll want to look at your purpose from a customer's point of view — what are they getting out of reading your blog? You could use your blog to:

  • Share your knowledge and expertise with readers
  • Talk about upcoming events such as trade shows
  • Highlight new products and services
  • Share customer success stories
  • Answer your customers' commonly asked questions

For example, the purpose of a health food store's blog could be to share healthy living tips and introduce readers to new products. A bookstore might want to take a different approach — posting interviews with local authors and reviewing new books could be a good way to get customers excited about new titles hitting the shelves.

Update your blog on a regular basis.

Having fresh content is one of the key elements of a successful blog. These tips can help you make sure that you always have something new to offer visitors to your blog:

  • Create an editorial calendar and schedule blogs on a regular basis
  • Set aside time to write blogs in advance
  • Keep a list of topic ideas

Create a plan to generate blog traffic.

To encourage customers to visit your blog regularly, you may want to:

  • Add an RSS feed to your blog
  • Leverage your existing communication channels: add a link to your website, promotional materials and business cards
  • Use other social media channels to get the word out when you publish a new blog entry

For more tips on engaging your customers online, check out our blog Social media: Is your business part of the conversation? and our page on online marketing.