Blogs were once seen as collections of ramblings from people with nothing better to do with their time. They weren’t worth reading and certainly had nothing at all to do with business. Well, that’s all changed. Everyone who is anyone in business has got a blog now because blogging can revolutionize your business in a thoroughly modern way.

In the old days, if you owned a business, you got customers by taking out ads and handing out business cards so that someone would hire you. You might also attend a few trade shows and exhibitions so you could hand out more business cards and do more business. Now most of your customers will be looking online and that’s where you have to reach them.

Look on the internet as the biggest exhibition in the world and you will begin to get an idea of what blogging can do for your online business. And look around, everyone from the New York Times to your local doctor has a blog. Want to know why? It’s because that’s the smart way to meet your customers.

Originally, the web was like print media. Information only went one way. You put it out there for people to read. But now the web is social, and blogging is a key part of that. It’s about conversation, interaction and networking. All of these can help you do better online business.

Blog to boost your online business

So, how can you use blogging to boost your online business? A blog is a great way to connect with existing customers and provide support for them. It is also the quickest way to highlight what’s new in your business. Finally, it is the perfect place to show off your expertise in your field in an informal and engaging way. Blogging can put a human face to your business and allow both existing and potential customers to connect with you and see the people in your company rather than a faceless entity.

To get the best out of business blogging, keep it informal and keep it real. Avoid the hard sell. Instead, think about what you tell your family and friends about your business and put that in your blog. Think about how you would talk about new products and services to someone you know and put that in your blog. Talk about the things that have worked and not worked in setting up your business and put that in your blog.

Join the conversation

Of course, the secret to good business blogging is to use not only your blog, but others’ blogs as well. The best blogging is a conversation, so to make the most of this strategy you need to find out what other people are saying about your company, products and services and find out what they are saying about your competitors too. Then join the conversation by dropping a comment on other people’s blogs with a link back to your own.

Find out who is influential in blogging about your sector and develop an online relationship with them. Send them information they can break for their readers and comment regularly on their blog. You will soon find that lots of other people are linking to you, and that means more traffic to your blog and more business for you.

The other thing blogging can do is to raise your company’s profile in the search engines. Blogs are all about fresh, ever changing content and the search engines have responded by polling them regularly. Blog about something today and it could be on Google by tomorrow – thats about six months faster than your painstakingly created, super duper website.

Finally, there are a few things you can do to get the most out of business blogging. Unlike the old style web, it’s not enough to put the content there and let it sit. Instead, visit some of the social networking sites and let people know your content is there. Tag it appropriately and ping the blogging engines. In other words, make some noise about the content you are putting on your blog for free. If you get it right, it won’t take long to build up an audience and you’ll soon see the returns in more targeted online business.