Make the Time to Blog!
It’s something I’ve told my clients ever since I attended my first SES conference in San Jose last summer (August 2006): MAKE THE TIME TO BLOG! This week, I’ve finally fulfilled one of my New Year’s Resolutions and begun my blog now that March Madness + The Masters are over.
Blogging is a great way to keep in touch with past and current clients and colleagues, but beyond that, a blog is a great way to attract and convert new visitors to your website. Why?
1. It helps personalize the content on the rest of your site.
Pages filled with marketing copy or product/service information can often sound anywhere from “too cool” to “too stuffy,” which is only natural given the nature of their content. But with a blog you can be more conversational in tone and share with your customers or clients what your business environment is really like. Or you can maintain a professional image and just tell it like it is, without any fluff. Either way, blogs give the impression that someone at your company is actually writing the content (rather than a paid copywriter or a product manual).
2. It shows your audience that you have expertise in your industry.
What happens when a new product or service is offered in your field? Or a big news story related to your company comes out? Unless you’ve paid for an extensive content management system for your website (usually $20000+ for a good one), it can be hard to respond to that new piece of data online. Blogs help keep a website current & maintain that “expert” status for your company by showing that you are on top of the situation.
3. Because of the automation inherent in a blogging framework, search engines tend to LOVE well-written blog content.
Title tags, keyword clustering, and search-engine-friendly linking patterns are all set up for you in a blog. All you have to do is write about what you love! And the fresher your content, the more likely the search engines will keep coming back to check for what’s new on the rest of your site.
4. A blog post can spread virally, attracting visitors and even residual links to your site.
While not my area of expertise (yet), a well-written blog post can get your entire site a ton of traffic. Several social media sites, including Digg, Del.icio.us, Reddit, and Furl can be leveraged to help your authoritative, funny, or ultra-topical post attract eyeballs you never even knew were out there. And if any set of those eyeballs has its own blog or website, there’s a decent chance your site will pick up an additional link, meaning improved search engine positioning for all pages and search terms on your website in the long run.
5. Technically speaking, it’s so easy that anyone in your organization, from an octogenarian CEO to an intern still wet behind the ears, can do it.
Writing a blog post is just like sending an email — Mom, if you’re reading this, I bet you could even figure it out! It only takes about 10-15 minutes to write a solid 4-5 paragraph post (like this one), with no special formatting required.
At any rate, make the time to add to your current blog (or to start a fresh one) as soon as possible. To set one up, I recommend WordPress (used to start this blog) or Blogger. For any questions or with help setting one up, email me at email@example.com.