Blogs are tailor-made for small and medium manufacturing shops looking to maximize value while reducing costs. Whether building your primary Web presence as a pure blog or adding a blog to your existing site, there are many benefits to blogging, specifically for contract manufacturing businesses:
-They are relatively easy to set up
-They are often free or inexpensive to create
-They offer a level of control that sedentary, “traditional” Websites usually do not—additions, deletions and changes are made on-the-fly
-Creating content is as easy as creating a document in Microsoft Word
-They are well suited for search engine optimization (SEO) – techniques that ensure your website shows up prominently in search engines such as Google
-They require little to no professional assistance
-The industry leader in this space—WordPress—is also evolving into a sophisticated content management system, which allows for content to be easily categorized and stored topically (a tremendous advantage for discrete parts and custom manufacturers that serve many industries and provide many capabilities)
-WordPress (and other platforms) offers a large collection of customized, free tools that are easily added to any WordPress platform/blog, such as calendars, photo portfolios, and other plug-ins that make for less stressful or expensive customization
-A substantial support network of contributors around the world and a collection of online tutorials are available for assistance via the WordPress website
If assistance is needed to create and begin a blog, assets are relatively inexpensive to acquire and easy to find. Your existing Internet service provider (where your website is hosted) or other local Web development companies often charge much less to create and launch blogs, including training you on how to maintain your own. Often overlooked resources to assist in building a blog are through friends, families and employees.
Blog posts can (and should) be based on all elements of your company—projects and parts you’ve made for others, new equipment purchased, new contracts/jobs/customers, training obtained for your shopfloor personnel, community support, new employees, trade shows attended, accreditations earned (ISO, corporation- or industry-specific, and so on), or any other business-related information that distinguishes your business in the eyes of a potential business partner. Other examples of useful posts include training initiatives, new projects, new markets or processes, completed projects, product line information, qualifications (new or updated), industry news and personnel updates.
You don’t have to be a writer. Blog posts are intended to be short, concise and to the point—exactly what manufacturing professionals prefer.
Blogs offer an easy and effective way to share opinions. Your business blog can and should present your views on business, economics—whatever relates to your industry and your prospects. But don’t rely too much on opinion—this blog is about getting more exposure for your business, not necessarily for you as a person or pundit.
Search engines love blogs. Blogs are updated regularly (or should be), via new posts and reader comments. By adding posts with category tags, search engines will recognize content being accumulated in those categories that will raise your relevance in them. And blog posts are easily shared between prospects—with each other directly or on social media channels, which can give you the benefits of social media exposure without the demands on resources that those channels can require.
You don’t have to post frequently (daily), but do post regularly.
Blogs are “social:” They allow for comments from and interaction with readers. Posting comments on other industry blogs can have strong SEO impact for your site (be sure to include a link), and they are great channels to participate in, since their readers may also be your prospects.