What is a Blog?

The term blog  is short for “web log” and is a type of discussion or informational web page.  Blogs are one of the earliest forms of social networking, predated by the BBS or virtual bulletin boards of the 1980’s.  Blogging is also used as a verb, that is, the act of posting or updating or working on a blog or blogs.  In the beginning of blogging, in the 1990’s, blogs were mostly the equivalent of personal journals or diaries, but they soon expanded to almost any type of subject or format, from reviews and opinions to news and current events reporting.  There are individual blogs, which can be run by more than one person, and there are also business-related blogs, which can function as a form of advertising while also providing informatiin about a company’s goods or services.  The entire realm of blogs in general is known as the blogosphere.

Blogs can and do utilize various forms of different media.  Text, images, videos, links to web content and even to other blogs are often part of a blog.  Most blogs encourage some form of participation or feedback, such as a comments section that allows viewers to add to the discussion or even message boards allowing members to communicate with one another.  Blogs can be operated for free or supported by advertisements.

There are blogs in general, then there are vlogs, which are video blogs, photoblogs and many other types, depending on media and even the device being used to make or post the blog.

Whether you are blogging for personal reasons or to support your business, there are several key concepts to keep in mind when designing your blog and creating your blog posts to generate the most traffic.

Content is King

When composing your blog posts keep in mind what may or may not interest your readers. People read blogs for many reasons, individuals want to learn and be informed while being entertained.  You do not want your blog to be a boring rehash of things everyone already knows. When creating your posts, write content that is unique, that provides a service to your potential readers, so that they keep coming back to read more and learn more about you and your product and company.  In this way, both you and your company will start to be viewed as an “expert”, a trusted source in the online community so that when readers have questions they will turn to you and your company for answers.

 Provide a Service and Focus on its Benefits to Potential Customers

While it is important to create content that is engaging, making certain that it is composed in a way that best utilizes keywords to improve its ranking in internet searches, it is also important to produce content that is seen as valuable by your readers. This reinforces your image as an expert in your field. Analyze other blogs by your competitors and determine what it is that you or your products do better, and then blog about how you can help your readers solve their problems.   Most people do not memorize long laundry lists of benefits of a company or a product or service, but they do remember what someone or a product can help them do specifically.  Tell people how you can uniquely help them rather than focusing so much on a list of accomplishments. Don’t ask potential customers or clients to hire you or try out your product, but use your blog to inform them how you can help them meet or exceed their goals.

Update and Add Fresh Content to Your Blog Frequently

In order to be successful, a blog must be updated regularly, this helps to keep reader’s interested in your blog and keep them coming back for more, and the more frequently a webpage is updated, the higher it is ranked in search engine results. This helps to increase the traffic flow to your site and gives you yet another opportunity to connect with potential clients and customers to improve your business. Again, when updating your site, it is important to continue to keep in mind that there is no substitute to fresh, unique content that provides solutions to clients’ problems while keeping them engaged.

Before Posting Always Remember That for Good or Bad Readers Will Forever Link What You Post with Your Company, and its Product or Service

For this very reason, it is very important to proceed cautiously with your blog posts and take the time to make certain that anything that you state as a fact is indeed a fact. Also, take the time to proof read your posts.  Nothing turns off a reader more than coming across obvious grammatical errors. You want potential customers and clients to see you as thorough, diligent, competent and trustworthy; how can they trust your advice if you can’t spell?

In summary, a blog is simply a way to share content, whether it be for personal or business reasons.  It is a useful online tool for any company wishing to connect with customers.  You can share updates on goods and services while reading the comments section to get valuable real-time feedback from current or potential customers.  For thesr reasons, a well-executed and reguarly updated blog is invaluable to today’s businesses.

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