What is a Blog Used For?
That might sound like a bit of a dull question. Trust me, it is not! When speaking with clients one of the questions that I get asked the most is “What is a blog used for?” In this post I will explain and also give some valuable tips that can help decide whether a blog would be the best fit for your online marketing strategy.
Back to the question: What is a blog used for?
A blog is a section of a website that is updated with relevant content on a regular basis, usually daily or weekly. There are many benefits to having a blog:
It’s low cost. A blog is a cheap way to get your message out on a regular basis. The main investment, and this should not be overlooked, is the time taken to create the content.
It lets your readers know who you are. Whether you are a large corporate, a small to medium sized business or a one man band working from your spare room, by having a blog you are humanizing your brand . Many websites are boring. They do not represent the colourful opinions and personalities of the entrepreneurs and business people behind them. Blogs allow those opinions and personalities to shine through.
It’s gives people a reason to return. Many people, your customers included have little to no interest in reading customer brochures or reading how the “breaking news” is, that you sponsored a local community marathon back in 1996. A blog allows you to inform your audience what is happening right now and more importantly how that will impact them.
It helps get top search engine rankings. Google controls who and what sites it decides to send its search engine traffic to. Think of it as a referral if you will. If your website is still talking about the marathon in 1996 then the search engine will see it is not relevant and as a result send traffic to a more relevant site, which is a site offering freshly updated and valuable content. Possibly your competitor.
It encourages community engagement. Blogs give the reader the opportunity to voice their opinion about the content that you have produced. It gives your audience a vehicle to ask questions about your services or even give feedback. These two way conversations act as social proof to others that your experience is valued.
You get to know your clients. We have already mentioned how by starting a blog you are giving your clients the opportunity to know you. However, the flip side to this is that you and your business get to learn more about your clients. Nobody knows more about the quality of your products and services, or the wants of your audience better than your audience themselves. This can come in incredibly useful when looking for feedback on new ideas, products or services that you may be looking to introduce.
Your content becomes an asset. The purpose of a blog is to aid marketing to a point where the content you deliver is targeted specifically to the wants and needs of your audience. Provide answers to their most commonly asked questions or provide advice to areas within your niche that your business is an expert on. This again highlights your expertise.
Stimulates social media engagement. At the heart of any on-line marketing strategy should be the content you produce. This as always can be generated on your blog. If the content is compelling, entertaining and provides incredible value then it will get shared. When your content begins to get shared throughout the social media channels then you will start to pick up extra readers and extra links from the search engines due to the social signals that the shared content prodces.
If you are serious about starting a blog, you take the time to invest in quality content and learn how to promote your blog strategically. Instead of asking the question, “What is a blog for?” You may find yourself asking the question, “Why didn’t I have a blog before? “