Once upon a time, if you owned a business, all you had to do was offer a good product or service, and make sure that people knew where to find you, what your hours were, etc. That was pretty much the way things went for centuries until the advent of the Internet.

Now all of a sudden, hey, you need a website! Okay, so you put together a website using some templates from a hosting site, and it was awesome. Then social media began dominating the scene, so fine; you put together your business page on Facebook. That’s when someone asks you if you have a blog yet.

We’ll pause here and let you pound your head on the desk for a moment or two. Take your time.

Lots of people and businesses have blogs and yes, they can be useful. In a world where the field of competition is crowded by eager companies trying to outdo each other, a blog can be a valuable ally. Here’s what you should know before starting a business blog.

Why Should You Do This?

Let’s face it: the underlying message of social media is “Look at me!!!”. That’s what a blog is, only it uses more words. If you have a business, it’s in your best interest for people to visit your blog. By having a blog that highlights your business, you demonstrate that you are knowledgeable and competent in your field. That sort of impression leads to consumer confidence, and it’s no secret that people are more comfortable doing business with someone who appears to know their stuff. It builds trust.

So yes, the blog can help you strut your stuff and show people that they should be going to you, not your competitor.

How Do You Get Started?

Fortunately, there are a lot of sites out there that can help you get your start, spelling out each step. For instance, “How to Start and Maintain a Home Inspection Blog” offers some excellent advice on finding a host for your blog, choosing a theme, customizing, promoting, and more. Don’t let the “home inspection” part of the title throw you off; the advice given is good for any business blog.

What Do You Write About?

Let’s say that you have your own tax accounting business, and you decide it’s high time to have a blog to get your name out there. So, does this mean that you need to write post after post about the exciting world of Schedule C’s, home business deductions, and capital gains? Well, yes and no.

While you absolutely, positively need to cover your business’ relevant topics with an air of expert authority, you have to make sure that you write in such a way that you don’t put your readers to sleep. The content should be on-topic, yet reader-friendly, especially by the layman. Whenever possible, it should entertain as well as inform.

Pick one subject per blog entry and stick to it, devoting anywhere from 500 to 1000 words to it. Don’t run at the mouth, and do consider grabbing a public domain image from the one of many photo websites out there to break things up a little. Humans are visually stimulated creatures, after all.

As a final point, also consider the idea of occasionally using guest bloggers. There’s a treasure trove of experienced, knowledgeable bloggers out there who would be happy to enter into an arrangement with you.

Blogging enhances your reputation while increasing your Internet savvy. Keep the above points in mind, and you should find it to be a pleasant, rewarding experience.