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posted: 2/25/2013 7:45 AM

Own a business? Got an idea? Why not blog?

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Of course you have an opinion. And ideas. And by golly other people ought to know what you're thinking!

So why not blog?

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A regular blog most likely will boost your business' presence on search pages and therefore help you connect with whatever audience you target.

Blogging, says Dee Reinhardt, social media strategist and the power behind Elgin's Time2Mrkt Inc., isn't so tough. "It depends on the product line," Reinhardt says, "but I probably could write every day." She doesn't. Weekly is a more typical, and more reasonable, schedule; but "As I show up in search results (as a result of her blogging), you'll pay more attention to me," Reinhardt says.

"If you blog on your website, not Blogspot or Tumblr (both blog hosting platforms), search bots will come to your site, see your information and come back on a regular basis."

Even the writing may be easier than most not-yet-bloggers may think.

Although many advisers focus on keywords that will attract search engines, Aurora blogger and freelance writer Matt Brennan takes a slightly different approach. "Keywords are important," Brennan says, "but keep more of a human element in your writing. Speak in a way that appeals to your audience."

In one of his own blogs, titled "Why Your Blog Misses the Mark," Brennan suggests, "Try writing copy you'd want to share ... The Internet's for people. Stop writing for robots."

Except for an acknowledgment from Reinhardt that some professionals -- lawyers and those in the medical profession, for example -- "must be careful of what they write," and a concern or two from small business attorney Jim Poznak, Poznak Law Firm Ltd., Oak Brook, blogging topics are pretty wide open.

Poznak warns that bloggers should be careful to "avoid defamation issues -- disparaging a person, product or company -- and revealing trade secrets and other confidential information." He also suggests "paying attention to copyrights."

Poznak additionally raises a possible noncompete issue. "If (the blogger) is party to a contract that may restrict what you are allowed to comment on -- a covenant to not compete, for example -- you might have your attorney look at the proposed content. It's better to be careful."

Even with the cautions from Poznak and Reinhardt, there is plenty of topic room. Two examples:

• Reinhardt reads "a lot of articles as fodder for my blog. Maybe I offer a different viewpoint." She includes a link back to the original article in her blog, a search engine help.

You could do the same.

• Speak out on current industry trends and issues. Aim your blog content for your audience -- thought leaders if you're trying to influence an outcome, consumers if you're defining a process -- but your ability to present a reasoned argument in favor of your position will gain respect for you and your business.

• Jim Kendall welcomes comments at JKendall@121MarketingResources.com 2013 121 Marketing Resources Inc.

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