To Blog or Not to Blog.
If you’re reading this, you’re obviously browsing a blog. You’re spending time here because you have some interest in what I have to say. And perhaps you’re considering blogging yourself, but you’re not sure why you should or how to go about it.
So, why should you blog?
Let’s start with the basic definition of a blog. The word blog is a conflation of the words web and log. It is, essentially, a website that you can add content to as often as you want. Every time you blog you are effectively adding another page to your website. And each of these pages is one more opportunity for the search engines to find you. The more pages you have on-line, the more pages you will have indexed by Google and the higher your website will rank in the search engines. In addition, other bloggers may link to you in relevant posts, demonstrating to Google that you have authority in your particular niche, which also helps improve search engine performance.
Aside from helping your website’s search engine rankings, a blog also adds another, more timely and urgent, layer to your marketing communications. While the rest of your website provides general information about who you are and what you do, adding a blog lends the ongoing opportunity to talk about what’s going on right now. It also infinitely broadens the informational base of your website. In addition, regular blog posts give your customers a reason to come back to interact with your business, strengthening your relationship with them. It also helps to build your position in your market niche as the go-to location for information your readers may want to solve problems or get new ideas.
What’s the downside? Well, blogging takes time. And it takes a commitment on your part. Sure, you can build a blog, put up some canned content and make a post once in a while, but without a regular commitment your blog won’t gain any traction. Worse, a neglected blog is a sad and lonely thing and it will react by revealing your non-commitment for all to see, diluting your credibility. It sounds easy, but if you’re going to blog, then blog. If you can’t commit to regular blogging, don’t try to go there.
So, you ask, what should I blog about? The answer is: whatever you want, as long as it’s relevant to what you do. The beauty of blogging is that it provides a wide-open venue for you to express yourself, publish up-to-date news about your business or industry, disseminate interesting information, initiate a discussion, promote an idea or just go on a rant. Again, it’s all about relevance. If you’re selling widgets to a broad-based market segment, a blog devoted solely to expressing your political views is probably not a good idea. Stick to interesting, timely and fresh information about your widgets, the broader widget industry, or upcoming trends or changes in widgetry.
So, how does a marketer in Grand Junction, Colorado go about building a blog? Come back soon for more information on that in our next post from Sarah Allen, our resident expert on bloggery.