As a fellow small business owner, I know that finding the time to utilize successful social media strategies in your marketing efforts can be daunting.

Case in point, look at the lapse between this blog post and my last. Landing new business and delighting your existing customers has to come first, right?

Well yes, of course, but I am here to tell you that I am recommitting myself to my blog. Why? I tell my clients everyday that blogging is the first and most important step in building a social marketing strategy. I practice what I preach. I need to step it up.

Blogs allow you to create content your readers can interact with and share across the web. A blog is an entryway to establishing a social network and communicating with your audience.

Blogging software allows you to quickly create new content and distribute it. Google loves new content and sites with regularly updated content are looked at much more favorably by Google. We want to make the Google monster happy!

So how do you get started?

It really boils down to two options.

1) Hosted Blog - blog is hosted on a third party site like wordpress.com or blogspot.com

2) Self Hosted Blog - hosted on your domain (I use blog.greenroom.com)

I am going to cut to the chase and tell you that, as a business owner, you want to scratch off option one.

A blog hosted on a third party site can be set up quickly and for free. Both options allow you to easily create and publish content to the web. Both will allow you to communicate with and engage your audience.

The big difference is that with a blog hosted on your domain the content you are creating is credited to your domain and improves search engine optimization. The content created on a hosted blog gets credited to the host (wordpress.com), no SEO benefit for you.

As I mentioned earlier, Google loves new content. New content will help improve overall SEO and drive traffic to your site. More traffic will result in more customers.

My advice, take the extra time and resources to set up a self hosted blog.

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Greenroom Interactive is an inbound marketing provider for the hi-tech, software and educational technology industries. The team is dedicated to helping businesses grow their online presence by creating intuitive web experiences to engage their target markets.

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Patrick Hopkins