Can a small business, serving a niche market, benefit from having its own blog? You betcha. According to Chris Anderson, Internet marketing is absolutely different from anything that came before it. Anderson coined a phrase for blogging and other forms of digital marketing – The Long Tail. Originally the idea applied to the selling of music. A traditional music retailer, he explained, has only limited space to stock CDs and DVDs, so a store would probably choose to carry only the blockbuster hits it knows will move quickly off the shelf. But a digital music store, he explains (think i-Tunes or Napster) can keep all the tunes in the catalog, even obscure songs no one’s asked for in years What Anderson found was that digital music stores were actually selling as much of these less widely known songs than the “blockbusters”! (Anderson’s term The Long Tail refers to a chart showing sales figures for each song. The chart “tails off” as the list gets down to the less popular numbers.)
The whole idea, says Anderson, is that, in the digital world, you don’t need big numbers to make a big impact. When I thought about it, I realized that, if your business is targeting a certain niche, there probably aren’t a whole lot of other blogs being regularly posted about your subject. The competition for those top spots on Page One of Google, Yahoo. or MSN isn’t likely to be very fierce. And remember, the people who find your blog are exactly those people who are looking for your kind of product or service in the first place!
Regular, high quality content, posted consistently on your blog, can have a huge effect in a small market. As Chris Anderson might put it, your short blog posts can give your business a very long and powerful tail!