If you spend as much time talking to small business or professional service firms as I do, you probably get some of the same questions too. One of the most common is, “How can I use a blog as a small business owner?” Of course, we are assuming they know what a blog is in the first place.

Below are 44 ways a small business owner can use a blog.

Build Trust, Authority and Credibility

  1. Answer those common customer/client questions you get all the time
  2. Share your own opinion, insight and experiences in your particular niche or market place
  3. Give your readers links to other interesting post and articles you think they might find interesting
  4. Blow your own horn when you deserve it by showing your company featured on other sites or in the media
  5. Share content with your readers and customers that is great quality and relevant to what they are looking for
  6. Share information about your industry, even about your competitors
  7. Promote your competitors when they have both earned it and deserve it (this one should get some comments)
  8. Post video of you speaking at events and even share your slides with your readers
  9. Are you going to be speaking at an event, promote it in a blog post
  10. Be one of the first to break hot news that concerns your niche, market, industry or what your customers are talking about

Market Your Business or Firm

  1. Talk about what your mission statement is for your business
  2. Keep your readers informed about the events you or your business will be attending through out the year
  3. Reward your readers by offering discounts or other special offers just for them
  4. Talk about your business and those who work with you there
  5. Unless it is a trade secret, talk about what new stuff you have coming for your customers or clients
  6. Show a human side to your business, your customers will respect you for it
  7. Really discuss your business with your customers on a blog, who you are and why you do what you do
  8. Sow and harvest referrals from your blog
  9. Offer a way for your readers to subscribe to that brand spanking new newsletter and build that list
  10. Connect with your vendors and offer them a way to promote what they do
  11. Conduct a poll or survey to get your customers input
  12. Getting testimonials (you should be), use your blog to publish these testimonials
  13. Allow your customers to engage in the conversation by allowing comments
  14. Use a blog to direct traffic to that static website you may have for your business
  15. Share reviews of other products you know your customers use
  16. Admit and handle any complaints about your product or service (be proactive not reactive)
  17. Holding a contest, promote it on your blog

Listen to and Engage With Your Customers and Readers

  1. Allow comments on your blog but moderate them
  2. Encourage your readers to get involved in the conversation
  3. Answer comments and engage with your readers
  4. Really listen to what your readers are saying about you, your business and your product
  5. Use your blog for market research
  6. Write about what is working and not working for you and your products
  7. Write about what is working and not working for your customers
  8. Write about how your customers may be using your product in ways you did not even imagine
  9. Write about how your customers have provided input to you and you have used that to improve your product
  10. Ask your readers and/or customers for their opinion on your blog and listen to it
  11. Use your blog to announce holdups, mishaps or anything which may affect your business or product (proactive not reactive)
  12. Have your readers and/or customers guest post for you

Grow Your Online Presence and Network

  1. Put a link to your twitter account on your blog
  2. Include the twitter widget of your twitter stream
  3. Put a link to your Facebook Fan Page
  4. Include the widget for your Business’ Facebook Fan Page
  5. Put a link to your LinkedIn Public Profile
  6. Have a special page on your blog that your twitter followers find on your twitter profile.
  7. Ask your readers to follow you on twitter

This list is certainly not all of the ways a small business can use a blog. Please share your own so we can grow the list further.

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