Small business owners possess a wealth of knowledge about their industry or sector, and when they share this knowledge with Internet searchers, it lends credibility to their business and attracts new customers. Blogging is a key medium for sharing your expertise. The most recent Merchant Confidence Index, a survey of 10,000 small business owners conducted by my company found that nearly 30% are blogging and 35% plan to blog in the next three months. Those who are blogging have found that creating impactful content that people can find online is one of the best marketing tools available — and it’s free. According to data published by Internet marketing firm HubSpot, companies that blogged realized 55% more visitors to their site, 97% more inbound links and 434% more indexed pages.
Michele Gorham, owner of the Andover, Mass.-based Cookie Central bakery, is one small business owner who has turned her expertise into dollars online. She has created hundreds of blog entries about how to build a business, run a bakery, and other helpful topics; and she continuously answers customers’ direct questions through various social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Yelp. Because of Gorham’s rich content contributions, her listings on various sites are highly trafficked and regularly found by search engines — generating more sales for her business.