small business marketingMarketing your small business doesn’t need to cost a fortune. While you may find success with traditional small business marketing tactics, such as direct mail and neighborhood flyers, establishing a comprehensive blog can help draw in new customers from around the world.

Using a blog to attract traffic—and clients

Your blog can be a powerful platform to let others know what you offer. With the right strategy, a blog can establish your credentials and create a way for clients to contact you and purchase your goods or contract your services.

1. Provide interesting and useful content. This is the best way to build credibility and attract the notice of search engines and clients. If you consult in a specific industry, for example, offer insightful commentary and industry news on your blog. If you are a public speaker, use your blog to provide speaking tips or information related to the subject on which you speak most often. No matter what your industry, you can use a blog to share information and tips in your area of expertise.

2. Send out a newsletter. A newsletter is a great way to build contacts and establish credibility. If you are creating content for a blog, then every week or two, send out a newsletter with short summaries of the latest posts and links back to them. You can also highlight relevant news and give your opinion. All of these things position you as an expert, and a newsletter also builds a valuable contact list for promotions.

3. Offer social proof. What other people think of your goods and services matters to potential clients, so you need to show that others think you are legitimate. If you have participated in interviews with news outlets, or if a major media website has linked to you, make sure that your blog has an “as seen on” section that lists your mentions.

Social proof can also come in the form of other experts who recommend you or sites on which you have made a guest post. In addition, you can feature testimonials from satisfied customers to boost your reputation.

4. Showcase your portfolio. Graphic designers and writers, for example, can use a blog to demonstrate their abilities and to share samples of their work. This method is often superior to a hard-copy portfolio.

5. Show that you’re in demand. Sometimes, including a schedule of events on your blog can help you grow your business. When visitors can see that you have events scheduled as a speaker or consultant, for example, they will know you are in demand. Additionally, providing a schedule can encourage potential clients to book you if they know ahead of time that you will be in their area.

Remember that your blog is your home on the Web. Creating a strong Internet presence can help you position yourself as an expert in your field and can bring in new clients at the same time.

Miranda Marquit is a freelance writer and professional blogger specializing in personal finance, family finance and business topics. She writes for several online and offline publications. Miranda is the co-author of Community 101: How to Grow an Online Community, and the writer behind PlantingMoneySeeds.com.