Inbound marketing has taken on an increasing role in this digital age of commerce.

[For those of you not familiar with inbound marketing versus outbound marketing, in short, inbound marketing encompasses methods which focus upon prospects and customers contacting a business such as websites and social media, while outbound marketing focuses on methods for the business to contact prospects and customers, often including more traditional marketing methods such as direct mail and radio advertising.] Both inbound and outbound marketing efforts are important and which — if either — should receive more emphasis really depends upon the business. However, inbound marketing cannot be ignored and blogging provides the biggest “bang” for inbound marketing dollars.

Research data from several sources indicate that more than 50% of business have acquired new customers as a direct result of blogging. That’s right; more than half of all business reporting have won customers through their blog. While Twitter campaigns and other social media marketing have also proven effective, the most effective inbound marketing method is blogging. It’s no coincidence that WordPress, the world’s most popular CMS platform now accounts for almost 25% of all websites — not just blogs — but all websites on the World Wide Web. Clearly, marketers are realizing the power of a blog. So, how can your blog win new customers?

In order for blogging to be an effective inbound marketing tool, you first need a blog. Even among the 60 million or so WordPress sites[1] out there on the Web, many of them do not have a blog. If your company website doesn’t have a blog, then please add one. Once you have a blog, you need to be careful to update it regularly. It’s great if you can provide one or two posts every day,  but even this blog isn’t updated daily. At a very minimum, try to post two entries per month. Like an overgrown lawn or a lighted sign that has had unlit letters for weeks, a neglected blog communicates apathy. Just as important as how often you post is what you post.

If you want to attract prospective customers with your blog you need to provide them with information that communicates your expertise. If you sell pizza, blog about some of the new recipes that you’re trying out or the importance of the quality of ingredients that you buy/use. If you’re a fiction author, write about the research that you’re doing for your latest period novel or how you develop a character. You financial advisors can post your analysis of current market trends and the like. I hope that you’re getting the picture. Focus on what you do and what you do differently than your competition. It’s not about bragging, but about attracting and keeping customers that are a good fit for your business.

[1] Home Page. WordPress > Blog Tool, Publishing Platform, and CMS. Viewed Nov. 4, 2014.