The word “blog” is a blend of the words “web” and “log”, meaning an online personal journal. It started out as a way to maintain an online log and have personal interactions on the page. However, over the years, the term has amplified to include business blogs too. Blogging is now a popular marketing tool. Many companies, small and large scale, are now using blogs for communication with their customers.
Benefits of small business blogging
Blogging is particularly beneficial for small businesses due to a number of reasons (Stephenson, 2007):
- Build community: Since there is no geographical limit to the reach of a blog, it helps in building a large community. Small businesses can share details about their product/ service with a large audience due to blogs.
- Easily published: With blogs, companies do not have to spend much time trying to ink a deal with publishers or newspapers. They can simply log on in their systems, write about their product and publish. There are a number of blogging platforms like blogspot.com and blogger.com available today.
- Lower costs: It costs almost nothing to make a blog. Blogging platforms are free, and writing a blog almost always requires no technical expertise or special qualifications. It saves small businesses a lot of money.
- Fosters two way communication: Blogging is perhaps the most effective medium for a two-way interaction between companies and customers. It is otherwise not possible in case of traditional media channels like TV and print.
- Better Search Engine rankings: Small businesses today are majorly dependent on online presence for sales. Many companies are listed in online classifieds and almost everyone has a website. In this case, blogs are the only way they can differentiate themselves from the cluster.
Small business blogging in India
In India blogging is a new and unexplored market. Surveys have not yet been conducted on small business blogging. However marketers argue that blogging is no longer optional for small businesses.
Most of the literature relating to business blogging makes little or no distinction between blogging for a large or medium-size company and blogging in a small business context. For instance, Gardner (2005) states in her introduction that ‘this book is useful for you whether are the head of the marketing department in a huge corporation, the CEO of an Internet startup, or a small business owner’. She has no separate section on small businesses. Likewise, she gives many examples of small business blogging but makes no reference to the specific characteristics or advantages of this particular type of blog.
It remains to be seen whether researchers will follow the lead of non-academic writers and start to focus on small business blogging as an area for scientific investigation.
- Garnder, S. (2005). Buzz marketing with blogs for dummies. New Jersey: Wiley
- Stephenson, J. (2007). Ultimate Small Business Marketing Guide. Entrepreneur Magazine.