Blogs are like lots of things in life: it seems cool until your great-aunt Hilda starts using one. So now that Hilda and all the ladies from her book club have a blog, does that mean that it’s no longer something that you should use for your business? Nope. Blogs are here to stay. And if you’re a small business owner and you’re not already on the blog train, you’ve gotta change your ways immediately. After all, this is your chance to say anything you want about your company. Start a conversation with your customers - or potential customers - and guide it where you want to go. Of course, there will be times when your customers take something you’ve posted on the blog and drive it in other directions. That’s okay. After all, you’ve somehow convinced someone to engage with your company in their spare time. From the comfort of their couch, they’re tuning into what you’re saying. That’s pretty powerful. Here are a few ways a blog helps you get the biggest bang for your buck (which is easy, considering WordPress.org, Typepad.com, or Blogger.com are so inexpensive)... Blogging gives you an SEO boost. Do you remember that scene from Minority Report when those crazy little spider robots spread out through the building, searching every room? That’s kind of what Google does, as it scours the internet for websites that actively add relevant content. Your blog is like catnip for Google’s little spiders, which can result in higher placement when people search terms related to your company. Blogging helps you connect with your customers. Your blog is essentially a conduit to your customers. Want to float the idea of a new product? Throw it on the blog and see how your readers respond. Want to showcase your expertise in a certain area? Write a rock star post that will get you noticed. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you have such a low-pressure way of engaging your followers. Blogging is just one more line in the water. With all the marketing channels out there, it can be easy to neglect your blog. But it’s a potent way to attract new customers. Remember, your blog posts are being indexed by the crazy little spiders from Google and other search engines. And 6,586,013,574 times a day, someone in the world types a query into a search engine. Yes, you read that right: 6,586,013,574 times daily. And guess what? If your blog content is compelling, you just might snag a few of those search engine users as new customers.