The reply I most often hear when I broach the subject of using a blog as a marketing tool is "I'm not a writer." And while most small business owners aren't "writers" they are usually subject-matter experts in their field.
What does this mean? They have oodles of information to share. But they may not have a mechanism by which to easily share this information and that's where a blog comes in.
So when is a blog not a blog?
When its a content portal.
That's just geek speak for a way to put your information out there in the world for search engines and potential customers to find you - whatcha might call a website. And what do you put on your website? Relevant, useful content that establish you as an expert in your field and help build your placement in search engine results.
When its a filing system for your site content.
When you post to a blog you categorize your content to make it easier to find. Make it easier still by setting up various pages to pull in only posts of a specific content. Readers who only care about red widgets will only see your posts related to red widgets. The same for readers interested in blue widgets.
When its a content management system.
Clients don't want to spend the time or money to have their web developers change basic content for them (and most web developers don't want to be content editors anyway). A blog built on an open source system like WordPress allows even the most reticent technophobes to make updates to their site fairly easily.
When its a conversation.
Blogs allow readers to share their feedback on your content. They also allow readers to share your content with others by "liking" it on Facebook, Tweeting it on Twitter, "Digg"ing it, etc. Your readers become your marketers.
And your not limited to a "blog" layout; the design and layout possibilities are as endless as any other website design.
So, while you may not be a "writer" you can still be a blogger and no one has to know!
If you want more information about blogging for small business, read our recent article "Website vs. Blog for Small Business".