Over the past few years, we have all heard about people who sprang from nowhere to become millionaires by writing blogs on the Internet. These blogs could be about cooking, or politics, or travel, but they were about things that managed to capture someone’s attention and attract advertisers. I want to let you in on a secret: they are also a fantastic way to promote your business and Web site, and you don’t have to worry much about who reads them.

WHAT? Cindy, you don’t care about getting lots of followers for your blogs? It’s not quite that simple, but, no, that is not my primary motive for the blogs I write. I love getting interesting information from my clients and turning it into blogs that may attract readers. Ego dictates that I would want to be popular, but I have found out something over the past two years of doing social media. Blogging really works well for promoting your Web site. In fact, it is way more cost-efficient than simply hiring a firm to promote your site via Search Engine Optimization–or SEO, as it is more commonly known.

I have taken people’s sites from total obscurity to the top of the line in a few weeks simply by writing and posting blogs. I am careful to fill the blog with the words a particular company wants to be known for… and I always begin with the name and location of their company. Then it is up to them to make sure people are looking for that name. For the majority of posts, I pick stories that describe their services. If they are plumbers, we write about plumbing stories and how-to tips. If they are hairstylists, we write about the latest styles and how a good cut and color can change your life. Matching blogs to businesses has become my specialty!

Since I have a Type-A personality, bent on achievement, I earnestly wrote blog posts for myself and others and became frustrated when people did not subscribe to the blogs in large numbers. But when I began to measure other aspects of the effects the blogs had, I was pleasantly surprised. No, I wasn’t getting people signed up for the blogs as I had hoped, but my blogs were coming up on pages one and two of Google, and, not only that, they were getting lots of traction. Even though people didn’t subscribe to the blog, that doesn’t mean they weren’t, or aren’t, reading them. They are. And not only did I drive up name recognition, but I drove up my clients’ Web sites in the process. That was a happy accident for me and my clients.

You read about all the things your blog should be, and most of them are correct. They should be conversational, and they should not have spelling and grammatical errors (that’s why I hired a wonderful editor). Most of all, they should be a good read. I go out and check blogs regularly, and they sometimes have catchy titles, but you can tell the content has been farmed out for $5.00 a post because it’s terrible. They say in life you get what you pay for, and that is as true for blogs as it is for any other product you buy.

I will now honestly tell you something else. While a blog will build up name recognition, entertain and educate people about your products and services, it is not necessarily going to be the thing that gets people to pick up the phone and call you. You need to give them a reason to do that. Run a special, give something away, and sponsor a charity.

The same thing goes for Twitter and Yelp. These “new” social media tools are wonderful and powerful, but nothing beats referrals and good old-fashioned networking to get people to buy your product. Just be certain that once people know your name and what your business is, they see a strong presence on the Web, because they will check out your Web site, and READ your blog. No matter what you say in person, or what kind of special you run, if your Web site is out of date, overcrowded, amateurish, or difficult to use, people will not buy from you.

If you need help with any of these things, we here at Social-Cindy.com stand ready to help…..

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