A blog is a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first). Many blogs provide commentary on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries; others function more as online brand advertising of a particular individual or company.
A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important contribution to the popularity of many blogs.
Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (art blogs), photographs (photoblogs), videos (video blogs or “vlogs”), music (MP3 blogs), and audio (podcasts). Microblogging is another type of blogging, featuring very short posts. In education, blogs can be used as instructional resources. These blogs are referred to as edublogs.
Blogs can fall into two general categories.
Personal Blogs: a mixture of a personal diary, opinion posts and research links.
Business Blogs: a corporate tool for communicating with customers or employees to share knowledge and expertise.
Business blogs are sweeping the business community. Blogs are an excellent method to share a company’s expertise, build additional web traffic, and connect with potential customers.
What Does Blogging Provide For Your Business?
- Blog software is easy to use. Simply write your thoughts, link to resources, and publish to your blog, all at the push of a few buttons. Blog software companies such as: Movable Type, Blogger.com and Typepad all offer easy blogging tools to get started.
- Blogging is a low-cost alternative to having a web presence. For small business owners without the time to learn web html or the money to hire a designer/developer, blogging offers an inexpensive method to get your company’s name out on the Internet.
- Updating the weblog is a much quicker process than contacting a web designer with changes or doing the coding and uploading yourself.
- Business blogs provide your small business with a chance to share your expertise and knowledge with a larger audience. A powerful benefit for consultants and knowledge workers.
If your comp
any is very formal, a blog is a place to show your customers that it is made up of people just like them. You can do this without becoming too personal or diary-like. In fact, sometimes just putting out articles with a name and a face attached to them can make your formal company seem more personal.
Using a blog for
There are lots of ways you can use a blog on a business website:
- Promotions: If you do promotions every week or few days, you can use a blog to highlight them. Many bloggers give things away regularly. This can keep customers coming back. The giveaways and promotions don’t have to be major expenses for you, but they should be something that people would actually want. Providing a free whitepaper might not have the draw that a free wallpaper might have.
- Photos and Images
Rather than writing, you could put up a daily photo for your customers. A photo and a short description can be very compelling.
- Developer Notes
If you are a software company, this can often be fascinating for your customers, to see what the software developers are doing and how new projects might be moving forward.
The most common use for business blogs is news, usually about the specific topic relevant to the company.
The key thing you want to remember is to keep updating your blog. There is nothing quite as sad as a blog that has five entries from ten months ago and then nothing. The best blogs have regular updates, whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly. Get in the habit of adding something to your blog regularly and your customers will appreciate it.
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