If you have just started to look at the internet as a means of promoting your business, chances are you have been focusing on your website. While websites are the cornerstone of online business however, they are not the only essential, and if you really want to boost your business online, you should also be focusing on a blog.
If you are worried that a blog sounds technical or difficult, don’t be! The word ‘blog’ is actually a shortened version of the term ‘web log.’ They were originally used a little bit like online diaries, where people could post information about their daily lives, but these days, blogs are big business!
Unlike your website, which usually remains at least partially static – with the same information on it all the time – your blog is something that is easy to update. Whenever you have news, reviews, product information, or special offers to relate to your customers, for instance, you can simply log in, and post it, without having to do a complete redesign of your website!
Blogs can also be free standing, using a blogging platform, or they can be integrated into your website itself, by adding a blog page to your site. Either way, however, they fulfill several important functions.
Firstly, they keep your customers and site visitors up to date with the comings and goings of your business. If you add what’s known as an RSS feed to your blog, those news items can even be delivered directly into your clients and visitors email inboxes.
Secondly, they make sure that the content on your site is regularly updated, and that it stays fresh and relevant. This is one of the key factors that search engines use when ranking websites, and as the saying goes ‘content is king.’ So if your website does not change often, your site could be suffering in terms of page rank, and a blog could be the solution to that problem.
Third, there’s the opportunity to have a more personal form of contact with the people who visit your site. While websites are typically written in a very business like style, blogs are usually more informal, and it’s a great way to add a little bit more of your personality to your site.
Finally, they are a means to generate additional revenue on your site. In most cases, blogging platforms allow you to integrate third party advertising links to your blog, which will pay you every time someone clicks on them. There are also other options, like in text ads, or even platforms that work as third party advertising networks, putting bloggers in touch with advertisers who would like their products mentioned in blog posts.
Essentially, blogs are a means for on and offline business owners to have much more dynamic content and information on their sites that they can update quickly and easily on a daily basis, and that will boost their search engine rankings, by increasing their keyword density on their site, and their unique content.
They’re also a separate earning mechanism for many business owners, as well as a means to inject a little personality into an otherwise bland website.
The good news is that getting a blog is not difficult or time consuming at all. There are plenty of free blogging platforms, like WordPress and Blogger, that you can use to set up a free blog, and you can easily link to them from your main site. Blog platforms are also very user friendly, and even people with only a rudimentary level of technical knowledge about the internet can use them to create posts, run advertising and set up RSS feeds.
It’s interesting to note that these days; many online businesses choose a blog as their primary online presence, rather than using a traditional website. That’s because blogs are much easier to create and manage for the ordinary person, and their informal style tends to attract a wider audience. Some well-known blogs, in fact, earn their owners hundreds of thousands of dollars every month!
If you don’t have the time to manage your own blog, there are even freelancers out there who, for a fee, will create, manage, and add content to your blog daily or weekly, so it’s entirely possible to automate the process completely.
In fact, these days, having a blog is almost as important as having a website and its well worth the effort for any business owner who is using the internet for a part or all of their marketing plan to start blogging sooner, rather than later. It’s easy, informal, and usually free to start a blog, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be using it as a part of your online marketing efforts!