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7/11/2005
04:01 PM
Alice LaPlante
Alice LaPlante
Commentary
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Small Biz Blogging Joins The Marketing Mix

More than 40,000 new blogs a day join the millions that are already online, and a small but growing number of these are small businesses looking for new ways to reach potential customers.

Blogging is growing so fast it's hard to get a handle on the numbers. Recently, BusinessWeek estimated that there were nearly 9 million blogs out there, a number that is growing at the rate of a whopping 40,000 per day. Of course, the majority of these are personal, not business-related, but blogging is beginning to catch on in businesses large and small as well. A survey of small business owners by HP earlier this year found that 10 percent have included blogs as part of their marketing plans, with an additional 16 percent planning to invest in blogs over the next three years. Those are interesting stats.

But say you've decided to start writing a blog as a way of promoting your business. Where do you get started? How do you make yourself heard? Nothing's worse than having poured resources (and emotional energy) into a blog, only to sit and wait and wait for people to discover it. Fortunately, there are things you can do, according to this useful piece by Wayne Hurlbert.

Then, Dan Bricklin, in his blog, wrote a very useful article about small business blogging. Although he wrote it nearly two years ago, it's still relevant. In it, he points out that small business people tend to be resourceful at figuring out ways to take advantage of technology, and that blogging will be no different. He provides some observations about the right way to go about it. Very interesting stuff.

Another excellent piece I'd like to point you to is 5 Key Questions (You've Been Dying) To Ask About Business Blogs. Author Debbie Weil points out that technology evangelists like Chris Pirillo are saying that email marketing has been killed by spam and clogged inboxes, and that blogging might just be the answer to small business marketing challenges. Weil goes over the main points of starting a business blog, along with tips and tricks on how best to promote your blog once it's live.

Finally, it was bound to happen. Denise O'Berry, president of the Small Business Edge Corp., has created a directory of small business blogs. The directory lists blogs that are by small business owners for small business owners, and which contain helpful tips, tools, tactics, and resources in such categories as accounting and cash flow, advertising and sales, email marketing, search engine optimization, and more. Check it out. You can also submit your own blog to the directory for consideration.

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