By Louise Barnes-Johnston

Have you noticed how excited everyone has become by all the wonderful whizzy social networking tools and are busily using them to promote their products and services? While these tools are indeed very important, I’ve noticed an over-reliance on social networking sites by business owners who are in danger of getting carried away. They’re forgetting that this is only one part of marketing via the Internet.

I went to a presentation on using social media in business recently and was really surprised that blogs and blogging were only mentioned in passing because I believe your blog really is the main hub of your business online and that it brings all your online marketing efforts together.

From your blog you can share valuable content , in the form of written articles, audio recordings as well as the increasingly popular videos. All of these should be designed to demonstrate your expertise and attract the search engines to visit. The more frequently you post new material on your blog, the more often the search engines will come and visit.

In addition, your new posts will go out automatically to all your social media ‘outposts ‘ alerting your communities and followers there to your latest words of wisdom.

Unbelievably there’s a new blog being set up literally every second of the day, although many of these are soon abandoned. Others are started with good intentions and then run out of steam….

Working out what to post, maintaining a high standard of information and posting regularly enough to keep readers eager for more, takes planning, time and commitment . And that’s what you need to be prepared to do if your blog is to be a successful online ambassador of your business.

Without a blog, your website is more or less isolated from all the followers you’ve carefully cultivated in the social networks. There’s a limit to how many times you can link to a sales page in your tweets or on Facebook, before you annoy people and they stop paying attention or, worst case, unfollow you. And once they’ve signed up to your newsletter (you do have an email newsletter don’t you?) why should they keep returning to your website?

So keeping your blog busy and refreshed with new, high quality information which is automatically shared with all your online connections, enables the valuable interactions to keep on going and keep on building stronger relationships , some of which will lead to new business.

© Louise Barnes-Johnston, 2010

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Louise Barnes-Johnston is a Business Coach and Social Media Marketing Advisor. She shows work-at-home business owners how to conquer the overwhelming aspects of running a business, and how to get started with social media marketing.

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