Blogging is one of the most versatile tools on the Internet. You can use a blog to promote a point of view, meet others interested in a particular topic, or just share details about your life with others. You can also, of course, make money blogging.
We all know you can make money on a blog by selling your own wares, by promoting affiliate products, or through contextual advertising. But one of the hottest ways to make money blogging isn’t through an online business at all: it’s through a local business.
How does that work? Well, blogs are quickly becoming one of the best ways for businesses to connect with people right down the street. Because blogs are easy to create and maintain, they don’t have that high barrier to entry that traditional e-commerce sites have.
Here are some ways blogs can help boost a local business:
Brand Recognition: Pointing your clients and your community to a website or blog, is just one more way to get your name in front of them. In many ways, it’s more effective than a mail marketing campaign in that they come to you, interested from the beginning.
Search-Generated Leads: Increasingly, your customers are looking for solutions to their problems online. If you blog consistently and smartly, local customers are eventually going to find you. This becomes even more common as Geo tags and other technologies take off.
Social Marketing: Blogs generate a really personal connection between the blogger and the reader. Rather than just being a name on a shingle in town, having a blog gives your local customers the feeling that they know you, and they can trust you with their business.
Customer Lists: Through blogs, you can generate a list of sales leads. You can offer a newsletter, either paper or an e-newsletter, via your blog, thereby collecting a wealth of lead information.