For me, the answer is absolutely! If you have a small business and your advertising budget is small, then marketing yourself is key! There are many ways to get your product seen if your budget is unlimited but for now, lets stick to small businesses, with smaller budgets. The majority of my traffic comes from other blogs, web links on other sites, Rss feeds, my own comments etc. I find that leaving my company url beneath every comment I make, helps my traffic as well as introduces others to me without being too pushy. Some people may disagree with me and think that my self-promoting attitude is way too much for them.
I don't think there is any harm in leaving your url and if allowed by the blog you're posting on, then go ahead and leave it. If someone gets curious and clicks on it, then you've just introduced one more person to you and your product. However, I'd stick to commenting and leaving your url on blogs that are related in some way to your industry. Anyhow, blogs are great self promoting tools for small businesses. Here are some ideas for self-promotion using your own blog:
- Since blogs are cost effective in comparison to advertising in the media, use them extensively. When you post about your business, make sure you place a direct link to your own site/shop.
- After you've created your blog, keep blogging every day. It generates traffic along with high search engine ranking. Meaning, people will find you!
- Make your blog stand out somehow, use it to speak to potential customers as well as your daily readers.; introduce them to your new products and ask them questions.
- Take time out to respond to the comments left on your blog and answer questions readers may have via email as well.
- Create interesting giveaways with your product or someone else's. (I'm still working on this one myself).
I believe blogs have helped many companies establish credibility and I would encourage every small business to place one on their company site. Of course, you have to tend to it as I said above, so don't forget that part. The search engines like content and it's your job (small businesses) to provide it to them via your blog. Always remember your blog is a valuable way to communicate with potential clients and let them know who you are. How do you SELF promote your site or business? What works for you?