How do I start a blog for my small independent business?

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The Butchers' Blog 2I searched for some excellent examples of blogs run by small business owners in South Africa but could not find what I was looking for. I want examples of ordinary, regular small independent businesses, running out of bricks and mortar premises, not from a laptop in the kitchen, study or coffee shop.

I’m talking about butchers, pharmacies, restaurants, real estate agents, pharmacies, hair dressers, dry cleaners – you know what I mean. Real every-day independent small businesses that we use regularly and that offer products and services that add value to our lives.

The Internet is full of blogs in South Africa but mostly run by celebrity magazine editors, online hopefuls, wine connoisseurs and fashion gurus.

There are several small businesses with blogs but these are not the main street or village small independent businesses I am looking for.

What I’m looking for is small independent businesses who are using blogs creatively to build relationships with their existing customers and prospective customers. The kind of small business blogs that offer:

– information about their new products and services
– special discounts for loyal customers
– promotions that offer me a chance to learn something new or experience some fun
– tips, advice and even warnings about products and services to help make my buying decisions easier
— opinions on current news that give me understanding and perspective
— ways I can save money when making purchases and when using products
– fun, inspiring information that may brighten my day

Strange then that I found a butchers’s blog in the UK that also caters for South African tastes. In fact, it had an interesting post on “South African goods”. What I like about this blog is that you can see the faces of the three butchers (young and old). The butchery is run by a family and the street address in Cambridge is on the front page.

The Butcher’s Blog on the Cowlings’ Family Butchers site is warm, friendly and witty. The topics they cover in their blog posts are interesting: “Save your local butcher!”, “Gluten free sausages and burgers” and “Red meat & your health”. They even cover the horsemeat issue in “We are what we eat!” giving reassurance to customers from a local butcher’s viewpoint.

I’m still looking for a good South African example. But let’s just say this: small independent businesses are missing out on a big opportunity by not running a blog to promote their business.

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