by Alan Taylor, Guest Blogger
A quick show of hands at a recent event illustrated the gap between what people think a blog can do for them and what people perceive blogging is. Not many understood the benefits and many thought that blogging was just a way for people to shamelessly self-promote themselves. Which isn’t a bad thing in itself – who else will market for you?
With that in mind, here are five reasons I promote blogging to many of my clients:
1. A way to demonstrate subject matter expertise. If you’re passionate enough to blog about something, you must be fairly excited about the subject matter. Chances are excellent that you know more than the average reader about what you’re writing – now you need to show that you’re passionate. That may not automatically make you a “subject matter expert” but it can demonstrate that you know your way around the subject. This helps give confidence to individuals or organizations that are considering engaging with you.
2. Visibility. A website that regularly adds unique content that is relevant to the overall purpose of the site scores better with search engines than more static, brochure-type websites. You know search engines enjoy keywords – what better way to add relevant keywords to your website than to sprinkle them throughout your blog entries? Add to that the ability to tag blog entries with categories, descriptions and titles – it’s a search optimization windfall.
3. Potentially business mandatory. Web traffic analysis for websites with blogs show that a significant amount of traffic to the site ends up visiting blog entries. People are reading company and personal blogs when visiting websites, even when they visit the site for other purposes. If available, these blogs are great opportunities for potential clients or members to understand more about your organization and what it values. On the other hand, not every website needs an ongoing missive from contributors – sometimes people really do just want your address or phone number.
4. You have content. Blogs are an excellent way to maintain fresh and relevant content on a website. They’re also one of the first things to get shelved when things get too busy. This can lead to “Stale Blog Syndrome”: a blog with the most recent entry over 6 months old. It’s a popular syndrome and, while it’s slightly better than no blog at all, it doesn’t help when it comes to the “fresh content” benefit. One remedy is to update old blog entries that you would like to resurface (and change the publish date to today’s date). Another remedy is to delegate the writing responsibilities to staff – if it’s a part of a job requirement, there’s more impetus to get it completed. Also, only launch a blog if you feel you have 3+ months of material at your fingertips.
5. You are in a relevant field. I promote blogging to most of my customers – especially if they have a knack for writing and/or are in a field that would benefit from some deeper insight on the industry. That said, some businesses might benefit from a blog more than others. Family Law: yes, a great way to highlight unusual cases and help direct people to resources. Pest Control: Maybe I’m missing it but I don’t see blogging as big a need.
If you blog, why do you blog? And if you do, do you feel you’re getting all of the benefits you thought a blog could offer?
Alan Taylor is this week’s guest blogger. He runs his own consulting business, Alpine Technical Group, which focuses on web presence including website design, SEO/SEM, social and online marketing.
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