Blogging for Profitable Strip Mall Retailing

While blogging is still in its infancy for most traditional businesses, there are certain sectors that can benefit greatly from maintaining a blog or interactive web presence. These sectors include professionals, consultants, and yes…..strip mall retailers and developers.

Too many small retailers default to the old expression, “what matters in store success is location, location, location.” I disagree, although if completely true that would be nirvana for our development company; we’d take no blame for poor store performance if others were doing well in the same center.

I’d amend the tired phrase to “location and operations.” All businesses should strive for some form of monopolistic competition which involves a great deal of non-price competition (based on subtle product differentiation, and blogging can be one of the most cost effective marketing tools available.

from Retail Wire (requires registration)

The Marketing Power of Blogs

By Tom Ryan

For many small businesses, blogging is proving to be a low-cost, high-return way to create public awareness.

Across businesses, blogging companies are still a small minority. According to a recent American Express survey, only 5 percent of businesses with fewer than 100 employees have blogs.

And blogging experts don’t recommend blogs for the majority of businesses. Among the challenges is that they require some writing skill and a large time commitment. “If you’re a clothing manufacturer or a restaurant, blogging is probably not as high on your list as making good food or good clothes,” Guy Kawasaki, managing partner of Garage Technology Ventures and a prolific blogger, told The New York Times.

But Aliza Sherman Risdahl, author of The Everything Blogging Book, told the Times the most obvious candidates are consultants. “They are experts in their fields and are in the business of telling people what to do,” she said.

For those in the professional sector, such as advisors or lawyers, blogs can not only help gain business and publicity but also serve as a networking tool and position the blogger as an expert in his or her field.

For other companies, it can be a challenge to find a legitimate reason for blogging unless the sector served has a steep learning curve (like wine), a lifestyle associated with a products or service (like camping gear or pet products) or a social mission (like the environment or a charitable cause). Even in those niches, companies need to figure out if they have enough to say.

“As a consultant, blogging clearly helps you get hired,” Ms. Risdahl said. “If you are selling a product, you have to be much more creative because people don’t want to read a commercial.”

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