Not too long ago, blogging was the new big thing online. Many new big things have come and gone, but blogging is still going strong. In fact, keeping a blog is so popular that there are hundreds of free blogging platforms, well-known social media have added blog features, and other social platforms are based on the concept of microblogging.
So, just what is blogging?
There are many definitions for keeping a blog, ranging from the technical to the more emotional. In one of his posts, Darren Rowse of Problogger gives this technical definition that describes what a blog actually is:
“A blog is a type of website that is usually arranged in chronological order from the most recent ‘post’ (or entry) at the top of the main page to the older entries towards the bottom. Blogs are usually (but not always) written by one person and are updated pretty regularly. Blogs are often (but not always) written on a particular topic.”
But such definitions don’t really tell the whole story. Blogs can be more than an online diary, and business blogs definitely should be more. Michael Martine of Remarkablogger lists other things a blog can and should be, including:
- a dialogue with prospects and customers
- a way to provide things that are beneficial to others
- more than just writing
- a place to write authentically
“Authentic writing is held by many as an ideal associated with blogging. There is plenty of authentic writing found in places which are not blogs, but it’s my completely unscientific observation that the majority of authentic writing I have read on the web has been on blogs.”
Why should you start a business blog?
There are plenty of reasons to start a blog for your business. One of the most important reasons to get you started, and to persuade partners or management that business blogging is a good move, is a blog’s search engine optimization (SEO) value.
Creating valuable content and sharing it on a blog helps you rank for your most important keywords and rank higher in search engine results, and the better your website ranks, the more traffic you get. This effect is more visible and compounded when you post regularly.
But a blog’s SEO value is only the beginning.
This post on Social Media Examiner discusses a few ways blogging can help your business above and beyond its inherent value for search engines. Neil Patel of KISSMetrics lists several more reasons blogging is still a powerful tool in this post on Search Engine Journal.
When you blog, you engage with customers in an entirely new way, and engagement is more important than all the traffic in the world.
Your blog is the king of your content marketing strategy. It becomes the hub to which all your social media points, and the kind of resource that will be just as valuable to you customer service representatives as to your customers and readers. True to its content marketing nature, you blog can:
- spread the word about your business
- position you as an expert and thought leader
- humanize the company
- enhance team culture
- be a wealth of information for prospects, fans, partners, and customers
Finally, and most importantly, business blogging builds trust and authority with your readers. Trust generates leads, and leads turn into sales.
So, what is blogging really? It’s a proven way to attract and convert prospects into customers, and to educate, entertain, and engage with them as repeat buyers and lifetime fans.
Do you maintain a business blog? Why or why not? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!