I postponed creating a blog for my business because I thought there was no marketing value in it and the ones I’d seen were primarily news blogs or personal blogs. Well, that was some time ago for now many businesses are creating blogs to attract more visitors and make more sales.
What is a Blog? This is a small or large online journal that allows the author to frequently write on topics of personal interest or of interest to his/her visitors. The writing style is usually informal. Visitors can instantly add their comments to the end of the authors writings or posts. The posts are in chronological order ie day, month and year. Topics may include commentary on the Internet, brief philosophical discussions, or social issues plus links to other sites the author favors. The author of a blog is often referred to as a blogger. Blogs are alternatively called web logs or weblogs. However, “blog” is less likely to cause confusion, because “web log” can also mean a server’s log files.
10 top reasons to create a blog for your business
1. Ability to add content in minutes. You don’t have to spend time uploading (FTP) files to your host like static sites. You can update your content from any computer that has internet access. If you have a brilliant idea you want to write about you just need to log in to your administration panel and enter your post.
2. Separate design from content. Blog software is database driven. This means you can alter the theme or template of your blog without affecting the content. Therefore you can immediately test different colors and designs to determine what best appeals to your visitors.
3. Search engine friendly. Blogging software such as Word Press allow you to generate search engine friendly pages. Instead of your pages ending in long URLS ie http://www.mysite.com/main.php?category=books&subject=biography they can end in .htm ie http://www.mysite.com/pagebooks-biography.htm Search engines like web sites that are updated frequently. Sites that don’t receive new content quickly become stale. One of the main characteristics of a blog is that it is frequently updated so search engines will visit it often.
4. Create RSS Feeds. RSS (really simple syndication) feeds are integrated within blog software. So every time you post something to your blog it will create a RSS feed automatically. It will also notify some of the larger sites that carry these feeds and make them available for syndication. This is a great viral marketing method that will quickly attract many visitors.
5. Build link popularity. To increase your sites’ rankings in Google and other search engines, you need to generate many incoming links to your web site. The more links you have the better. If you create a blog that contains valuable content, you will have many people linking to you. RSS feeds are becoming a very popular and an easy way to read content quickly. Since your blog has this feature already built in, your link popularity will build faster than if you had a site with no feeds.
6. Encourages interactivity. Visitors can immediately add their own comments to your posts. This helps build a long term relationship with them and win their trust. It will also make your blog stickier because you will get many returning visitors eager to read others’ comments or write more of their own.
7. Make money. Blogs also offer a great way to place AdSense Ads on your pages. Word Press blogging software has a plugin that easily allows you to place AdSense Ads anywhere on your pages as well as all current pages on your blog. With a static site you would have to add the AdSense code to each page. You can also make money by promoting affiliate sites or selling your own product.
8. Customizable. Word Press blogging software has over 500 plugins and hundreds of different themes to choose from. This gives you the flexibility to make your blog the best it can be for your business purposes.
9. Easy administration. Here are some of the features of the Word Press administration panel: -add content immediately -change the theme (look and feel) of your blog without altering the content. -create different permissions for people who will add content to your blog ie administrators, editors, contributors.
10. Help market your newsletter. Many emails don’t get through to your subscribers these days because of spam blockers residing on your visitors computer or web host’s server. A blog that contains RSS feeds will enable visitors to receive your newsletter automatically by subscribing to the feed on your blog. You can also send your visitors an email that includes a link back to your blog. This will also help build links to your blog as people visit it.
Tip: Before you create a blog make sure you put some thought into the purpose of it and what topics you want to write about. Make a schedule to write often (ie daily, weekly or monthly) so it doesn’t grow stale and lose interested visitors. If you have been putting off creating a blog, START NOW as you may be leaving money on the table.
About the author: Get Highly Effective Web Site Design, Marketing Tips and Tricks by visiting the author’s Web Design Discussion Blog at http://www.drostdesigns.com Herman Drost is a Professional Web Designer, SEO Specialist, Article Writer and Publisher of the “Marketing Tips Newsletter”.