What is a blog and how can it help your business?

By Ryan Walters
Info Guru,

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Blogs are more than just online diaries. Do you know how they can help sell your products?
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Blogs are a relationship building tool

People are increasingly abandoning magazines and newspapers to get their information online. A few years ago most people would ask "what is a blog", but now millions rely on them as trusted sources for news and information. The adoption of blogs by businesses is creating whole new ways in which they can be used, and improving the way you market yourself online. To sell your product or service you need to develop trust and confidence with potential customers through your news and articles. The practice of bombarding people with one way marketing messages is now dated and doesn't work online. You now have to engage with your marketplace in a two way conversation to succeed. For this you need a blog.

So what is a blog ? Blogs first started life as 'web logs', or online diaries where people wrote about their hobbies and interests and shared them with their readers. People are able to leave comments, or ask questions, in an open forum to create the sense of a 'conversation' taking place. Blogs enable anybody with a computer and internet connection to become a publisher, and share their thoughts with millions around the world.

People now use the internet not only to search for information, but to interact in blogs and public forums strewn all over the web. People now have a resource to discuss products and services in a global online community. It has never been easier for people to interact and share notes. If you want your website to be able to engage with the online audience then you need to start a blog of your own.

Business blogs are a marketing and customer relationship development tool. They provide a forum for placing all your latest news and articles, and invite interaction by allowing readers to voice their opinion.

Blogs aren't overtly sales orientated. But they can be used to subtly promote your business by showing what it is you do and how you do it. Presenting your business in this light can demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in your field, and will build credibility with potential customers.

Bombarding visitors with one way marketing messages and blatant advertising doesn't work online, and won't endear people to trade with you. Successfully marketing your business is no longer a one way conversation. Consumers are now averse to being blatantly sold to. Integrity, transparency and trust are now attributes which have to be developed for people to want to buy your product or service.

Thomas Mahon is a Saville Row tailor who started his blog,, to try and reach new customers and market his business. He uses his blog to give his readers an insight into the time and effort involved in making every bespoke suit, and his stories of Saville Row life.

Thomas' blog took a niche, premium product and created a global marketplace for it by building awareness of his business and expertise. This exposure could not have been developed by a static website.

Thomas now travels to New York every three months to sell to his expanding client list. He has tripled his sales, launched a new line of $300 tailored shirts and is recruiting new apprentices. He attributes this squarely to starting to blog about his trade.

Businesses should now no longer be asking the question, "what is a blog", but instead, "why haven't we started one?"

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