Small businesses missing the blogging boat

Blogs could be a very useful tool for small businesses, says a major UK Web-hosting company

Small businesses need to make more use of blogs to drive traffic to their Web site, according to a study by Web hosting company Fasthosts.

In a paper entitled "Blogging for Business", almost half of the 2,295 businesses surveyed said they were prepared to use a blog on their Web sites to attract traffic and increase sales, but only 3 percent actually plan to put this into practice.

Fasthosts chief executive officer Andrew Michael suggested on Thursday that blogs were "a fantastic way for small businesses to differentiate themselves through personalising their Web site and attracting more customers". Michael believes that small firms could even use blogs to steal a march on bigger rivals.

"The corporate blogs of large companies are bound by corporate guidelines and gate keepers, so for small businesses there is far greater opportunity for interesting comment and genuine dialogue with customers," Michael said.

The survey, carried out between June and August, also found that about a quarter of respondents would only return to blogs that were updated daily, while just over a third said they did not care how frequently a blog was updated, as long as it was interesting and informative.