What is Blogging and Why Should You Do It?

what is a blog - keyboard with ? mark in redThis post idea on what is blogging and why started when I was talking with a local business owner after having purchased their services. Sometimes marketers forget that the process and language and ideas about blogging that we live and breath daily, are new concepts to hundreds and thousands of people.

So What is a Blog? Click below to read more

A blog is a type of free software that runs a stand-alone website, or free software you add to your existing website, that is set up to make putting new information (what marketers would call “content”) up on your website easily. You don’t need to know any HTML code, and with a blog you don’t have to call your website guy every time you want to say something new on your site.

Why Should a Small Business Set Up aBlog?

A company called hubspot has done a study showing that websites with active blogs receive 55% more site visitors. The reasoning is that Google and other search engines get to decide what shows up on the first page of a search. Search engines use a fancy term called an algorithm. No one knows exactly how it works, but one thing Google has said on it’s own blog – is that they are rewarding websites with fresh, new content (or articles, posts, information) by placing those sites higher in the search engine rankings than sites with older, perhaps stale information. Even though that info may be good, Google is saying new is better. A monthly, or better a weekly blog post, therefore makes it more likely that your site will show up higher in search rankings.

The other reason why blogs help you get visitors to your website, is that blogging software like wordpress.org (which is what I suggest most small business-owners use) was created with search engines in mind. They created it to make it easy for content written on sites running their software to be found by search engines. A well-crafted blog post title tells Google what the article (or as we call it a post) is about. Many HTML-based traditional websites have page titles that say nothing about the content inside – it might be www.mysite.com/gr_pg_id123? – isn’t a blog post title like this one better:  http://whydoweblog.com/2011/12/what-is-blogging-and-why-should-you-do-it. There are other behind the scenes tools (called plugins) that can also help the blogging software help get your information found as well – but that’s for another post.

The Other Reason to Set up a Blog – Customers?

A blog helps differentiate your company from all the others out there, and helps you convert prospects or leads into customers. Done right, blogging can give your company a voice, a face as it were. Depending on what you write about, and the tone you take, can make the difference between someone buying from you, over your competitor. When crafting a blog, if you think about your customers, who they are and what type of info they need in relation to your business, what worries them, what problems do they have that is a start. Then if you can write in ways that provide them with useful, helpful info that solves those problems or worries, and clarifies things for them – that makes people much more likely to buy from you. Heck, they might also share your post with a friend on a social network like Twitter or Facebook, and their friends might consider buying from your business too ( Blogs are sneaky, they’ve created tools to make it easy to people reading your information to share it with others.

I hope that’s given you some information on what is a blog and why you should do it. In another post I’ll cover such things as What Should We Write or Blog About? Why Should You Launch A Personal Blog (as this post was more about business blogging), and Why Should We NOT Blog?

If you are new to blogging, please ask any questions I didn’t cover for you here. If you are already blogging – let folks know the benefits you have gotten from blogging, fill in anything I missed in this post.  Thanks!

 

Cathy Larkin, Blog / Social Media Coach & PR Consultant who loves working with individuals and businesses who are doing cool stuff. Connect with me on my main blog Http://WebSavvyPR.com or on Twitter @CathyWebSavvyPR.

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2 thoughts on “What is Blogging and Why Should You Do It?

  1. What can a blog do that a Facebook page can’t do?
    Is there a way to have a personal blog, about politics, reach a larger audience than a FB page?
    How can I reach the largest audience possible using a blog?

    Thank you,
    Virg

  2. Hi Virgil,

    I’m sorry that I missed your comment. A blog can work well along with social media like Facebook. What a blog does BEST is provide a stable home for your work that you own. You don’t really own what you put on Facebook and the community you build there is effected by every whim of Facebook. I know people who have amassed a strong following on Facebook, then had their page shut down and deleted, because something they talked about was controversial and received too many complaints from “friends of friends.”

    Also, Not everyone uses Facebook, although many, many people do. But, for example, I do not choose to talk about my politics on Facebook, as I could offend clients, friends or a potential employer. But there is much less risk, if I leave a comment on a political blog.

    A blog connected to email/enewsletter software can enable people to sign up and receive your messages (formatted how you want them to look) right into their email boxes. These people who choose to let your info into their email inbox’s are really interested in what you have to say, far more than just clicking a “like” button.

    Blogs also attract search engine traffic, which may attract a wider audience. Facebook’s activity is not currently indexed by Google. So your reach is limited by the number of people who can find you through Facebooks’s weak search function, and through friends who connect with your page.

    Not that Facebook is bad, but putting all of your eggs in someone else’s basket, is not necessarily the best idea for the long term …just think of MySpace, and Digg’s former power.

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