If your business has a website, chances are you need a blog. But don’t freak out.
There are a lot of misconceptions about blogging – that they’re pointless, wearisome and only for certain types of businesses. These views couldn’t be further from the truth.
Using blog posts can be a fun yet effective tool to extend your marketing reach among your consumers. And they’re a key component for the success of any website.
First and foremost, blogging is a marketing tactic. Through blogging, businesses create short-form content to attract attention to their website. What you’re reading right now is an example of a blog post. Chances are you found this blog post in one of two ways:
1. You were directed here through a search engine or web link, or
2. You follow our blog and visit our website regularly to read our newest posts.
Either way, you are seeking information. Business blogging gives information to the seeker in exchange for their attention.
Every time you create a blog post, it adds a page to your website. Google and other search engines like to see a lot of content, so just by blogging twice a month you can help your website appear more in searches and consequently get more visitors.
New blog posts also create an opportunity for social media sharing and for other sites to link to your website. Using blog posts avoids the clutter that creating random pages for your website would cause, because all of your new pages are categorized under the blog.
Using keywords is a great way to increase the success of your blog posts in search engine rankings. Keywords are repeated words or phrases in your post that summarize the content. Great keywords for this post might include: “business blogging,” “blogs” or “blog posts.” When using keywords, though, make sure you’re not just creating a word farm. The post has to make sense, or the reader will leave your site as soon as he or she gets there.
Use your power wisely. By blogging regularly, you can be seen as an expert in your field and gain loyal followers. When your followers need someone to get a job done in your industry, they’ll think of you first and hopefully become loyal customers. Here are some tips for gaining a loyal following on your blog:
If you feel that you don’t have the time, manpower or writing ability to blog regularly, there are other ways to add a blog to your website.
One option is using an RSS feed. An RSS feed is a format for delivering regularly changing web content. In other words, you can link your site to another site’s blog, and your blog will then update every time the outside blog updates. An example of this is the News and Media section we created for Global First Responder’s website. This section includes the RSS feeds for UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders, Red Cross and more, so it automatically updates with new content.
Whatever you do, don’t use other people or business’s content without attribution. Your blog posts don’t always have to be original, but you do need to cite the original source. Even if you are just creating a synopsis of another’s content, you still ought to attribute the idea – just like you did in English class!