FORTUNE Small Business:

Do I need a blog?

FSB's Anne Fisher helps small-business owners get answers to these questions.

By Anne Fisher, FSB Magazine

(FSB Magazine) -- Dear FSB: I own a personnel firm that recruits engineering and technical professionals, mostly for government contractors. I spend most of my time counseling both corporate clients looking to hire people and candidates who need help with rsums, job interviewing skills, etc., and I find myself repeating the same advice over and over. So I'm thinking of starting a blog and posting some of this stuff where everyone can read it. Should I set up a blog as part of my current Web site, or separately? --Michael Prencipe, HR Staffing Solutions, Springfield, Va.

Dear Michael: It makes sense to combine your blog and your Web site because there is software available, including a free open-source tool called WordPress, that can handle both. "It's convenient and cheap, and you get a very professional look and feel without having to hire a Web designer," says Andy Wibbels, a Chicago consultant ( whose book you might want to check out: "Blogwild! A Guide for Small Business Blogging" (Portfolio, $19.95).

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Using a blog to avoid endlessly repeating yourself is wise, according to Wibbels. "Blog entries are archived, so people can look up past topics that you've addressed," he says. "One of the best uses of a blog is to explain things you'd like people to know before they sit down to talk with you." As a bonus, don't be surprised if your Web site draws a lot more traffic once you've added a blog to it. One of Wibbels's clients, a tiny outfit, Teach Me Teamwork (, which makes teamwork software, started blogging and "jumped from No. 75 on Google's search page [for teamwork coach] to No. 1." Sweet.

Do you own a business? Got a question about financing, technology, taxes, team management or any other topic related to launching or owning your own firm? Ask the editors of Fortune Small Business, and they'll help you get answers from the appropriate experts.

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