Do you have a blog for your small business? Not only is it cost-effective, it is also one of the simplest ways to promote your products or services. By effectively using your blog as a marketing tool, you have the potential to drive traffic to your website, increase your sales, and establish your company as an authority in your industry, all while helping you to reach new markets. Whether you are just starting a blog or have an existing one you’d like to take to the next level, these five tips will help you write and build a successful business blog.

Write for your customers – Just like your website, your blog should be for your customers. Write for them by aiming to either solve customer problems or provide fresh insights into your industry.

Plan your content – Does lack of time and ideas play a factor into the reason you don’t have a blog? With a little effort, you can create a content plan with enough ideas to keep it running for weeks or even months ahead of time. To help you get started, the Google Adwords Keyword Tool is an ideal way of finding keyword phrases that people are using to search for your services. Once you’ve identified a keyword phrase, it could be used as a blog title. This will effectively drive traffic to your blog and let your target audience know about your services.

Frequency – Aim for a frequency that you can maintain. Search engines like fresh content, so the more frequently you update your blog, the more likely your website will climb up the search engine rankings. This frequency will also help your blog gain visibility for your customers.

Make your blog shareable – Make it easy for your readers to share your blog by using share icons. These social networking icons will allow people to share your post and consequently, drive traffic back to your website.

Blogging contest – Host your own blogging contest by having participants share your article on social media, and/or blog about it. Aim to gain sponsors that will blog about your contest, as well. This will go a long way to boost your blog’s reach.

There are many benefits to having a business blog. With these five tips, you should be on your way to creating a successful blog that also promotes your business. Do you have any tips to share?