Establishing and growing a positive reputation and increasing online visibility can lead to more customers and revenue, something every small business owner wants. But with all-ready full plates, is it worthwhile for small business owners to spend time writing a blog?

When done correctly, blogging can be a great way to get in front of your target audience and address some of the issues affecting your clients and customers. It can establish your authority and expertise by showcasing what you know about the industry and lure customers into using your product and service by answer the question of, “What can you do for me?”

Getting the word out about you and your business through blogging has many benefits. It can help:

1. Exhibit your expertise in a “show” and not “tell” fashion;

2. Shine a spotlight on your strengths and solidify your brand ;

3. Increase your exposure to a larger audience;

4. Be part of a larger conversation.

In today’s world of social media, publishing a blog is easy, but establishing a successful blog requires careful consideration and planning. Here are some things to consider when starting out:

Allow Comments. Allow readers to comment on your postings and then read them to get a sense of their wants. Comments will help improve the content you provide and the engagement you develop with your audience.

It’s also helpful to research blogs from other industry experts and read their comments to see how you can address some of the issues that are being raised with a different point of view. 

Be Smart. Make sure you are not underestimating your readers’ sophistication or knowledge. There is nothing worse than providing information that is so stale and already well known.  

Know Your Audience. Make sure you are addressing the right target audience. I receive emails from companies and individuals providing valuable information on hi tech products for large businesses, classes on becoming a fashion designer, and courses on passing the bar exam, among others. Just because you have someone’s email address doesn’t mean they want to receive your gift of communication and knowledge.

Don’t Sell. Consider your blog a gift, one that is appreciated for the value it provides. Don’t try to sell them anything.

Be Consistent. Stay "on brand" to solidify how others view you and your business. If they expect you to write on particular topics, meet their expectations.

Post Regularly. To establish a following, aim to blog every week, or every other week. Consistency and constancy in communication builds credibility as well as a following. But always maintain your valueelement; writing just to publish dilutes the value of your blog and your brand.

Be Authentic. Connect with your readers in a way that resonates with them not only on a business level, but on a personal level as well. The more authentic you are in your writing, the more your ideas will resonate with your audience.

Original content, well-written text, reader connection and engagement are the ingredients needed to publish a successful blog that increases visibility, credibility and strengthens your personal brand.

Mary Rosenbaum is a Master Certified Personal Branding Strategist and Career Coach with over 25 years experience as an entrepreneur and career professional and 10 years in business and finance. Mary is a dynamic and passionate coach whose talent is empowering entrepreneurs and careerists to perform at their peak by gaining clarity and more effectively communicating and leveraging their value proposition. For more insight into her work visit her website here.