If you have a business, you obviously need a website. Gone are the days when the Internet was only an insignificant part of your continual quest for new clients or customers. Now, in addition to a solid site that describes your business and serves as a customer magnet, you should consider a blog. While the uninitiated may think that websites and blogs are two names for the same thing, they couldn't be further mistaken.
A website is really your virtual store, and it’s a formal structure that was built basically for one-way communication. It’s an area where you can display your products and services and is a great place to promote all aspects of your business. When people go to your site, they expect an atmosphere of buying, selling and promotion. They want to easily access what you have available, and they want to be directed to an area where they can seamlessly purchase the items they want.
If your customers have questions, they want to quickly access the FAQ section where all of their concerns will be addressed. They want your contact information and will most likely use email rather than the phone.
Many times, Internet transactions are impersonal since there is rarely human interaction between your staff and your customers. While a live chat system may be one way to add some human interaction to the website buying experience, the customers who use the system may still not feel they are actually interacting with a human being. Many customers, however do desire a quick and impersonal way to purchase a product, and a website can be the perfect place for it.
While the content on a website is usually static and infrequently updated, your blog will be the opposite. The purpose of your blog is to supply your regular and potential customers with useful and interesting content that won’t be found on your website. While website copy is usually formal, the prose on your blog need not be.
A blog is a place to educate your customers and supply them with sometimes tangential information that relates to the business you are in. While a website that sells auto insurance won’t walk you through the process of a drunken driving arrest and conviction, the company’s blog will do exactly that. A good blog achieves interactivity and educates your reader, while at the same time providing a greater array of information about you, your products, and your business. Since your blog does not directly sell anything, there is no pressure to buy placed upon your readers, and they can get to know you and your business on a more relaxed level. While a great website sells product, an excellent blog only attempts to carefully nudge potentials customers to that site. While websites are usually overhauled and revamped at infrequent intervals, blogs are constantly updated. Readers can subscribe to them and can receive notification that new content has been added.
When a customer enters a brick and mortar store, a good salesperson will greet them, ask about their day, and try to educate them about the offerings of the store. The excellent sales person may explain his or her own experiences with the store’s products and may offer personal opinions concerning the quality of one line vs. another. The selling comes later.
Think of your blog as your good salesperson. Through it, you can provide interesting and informative content that relates to your business and products. You can build customer relationships and help get those potential customers to visit your website, where you can then use the power of your site to sell merchandise and services.