Blog in its basic form can be compared to an online journal in which a writers express their personal thoughts, comments and observations. While some blogs are general in nature, there are others that are focused on a particular theme. For example, most businesses today have blogs to engage with their customers about their products and services.
A blog, or weblog, is your personal space on the Internet. You can sign up for one of the several blogging platforms available such as WordPress or Blogger and create your blog for free. You can even personalize your blog with a theme of your liking to reflect the subject matter in question.
Blogs, like websites, get crawled by search engines and their content gets indexed for rankings. When people search online using a set of keywords, your blog posts will show up in the results.
Type of content posted on the blog
The content of the blog is more personal than what you would use for a website. The content can range from comments on daily activities to information about updates and feedbacks etc. You can also add videos, pictures to add greater interest to the content.
Tone of the blog
A blog is very different from a website. The goal of the content for a website can be to inform the reader or share information about the products or services. Site owners are usually interested in getting the visitors to sign up for their mailing list or converting them into paying customers. So the tone is more formal but friendly and to the point.
A blog post is however very different. It has a conversational tone more like you are talking face-to-face with your visitors. To make your point, you really have to get into the mindset of your target audience. One way to do this is to imagine yourself sitting in a comfortable chair in your room making interesting conversation on the subject under discussion to your friends over coffee.
Who read blogs?
You may well wonder if people really take out time to read blogs. The answer is that lot of people actually do. There are literally millions of blogs on the Internet and many more are being added by the minute. According to the 2009 estimates by Technorati, there are about 200 million â€œactiveâ€ English language blogs right now and if you add the number of blogs in other languages, the number well may be one billion blogs worldwide.
When a blog strikes a chord with the readers, they will follow the blog by visiting it on regular basis. Another advantage is that visitors can add their comments and interact with other blog visitors as well. Ideally, blogs provide a platform for like-minded people to meet, ask questions, provide information and share concerns. While visitors to a website can contact site owners for more information by e-mail or phone, it basically remains a one-to-one interaction. When blogs take off, people start leaving comments and talking to each other and so it is entirely a different situation.
Blogs as a marketing tool
Organizations, from large corporations to non-profit organizations, are increasingly using blogs to their advantage for the simple reason that they are a great marketing tool. Not only are they the face of the company but they are also a great way of understanding the mood and needs of the consumers.
Companies can use the blogs to keep their current and potential customers apprised of what they are doing and when they are going to add new products or services to their offerings. The posts can also be about tips and “how toâ€™s” that consumers could find interesting.
Visitors to a companyâ€™s blog can leave comments, suggestions or even ask questions in response to the posts. This is a great way for a company to understand their satisfaction level and also the concerns they are facing. In other words, companies can gauge customer response and attitude towards their offerings and address them accordingly.
On the other hand, people who deal directly with companies donâ€™t bother to leave comments if they are dissatisfied with a product or service; they just leave or worse still share with others their negative experience. So a company doesnâ€™t really get to know or address the issues and has also to suffer because of the adverse publicity.
Blogs, therefore, open up a communication channel between the organization and the customers. It goes without saying that people are more likely to deal with companies with whom they have developed a relationship, even though it is a virtual one.
Invest in blogs
As stated above, blogs are the face of a company. In difficult economic times, people become all the more cautious about spending their money. Investing in a blog with quality and timely posts is a sensible marketing move to keep your firm in the public eye. Before making a decision, people are more likely to search for your organization online and that includes whether you have a blog.
As already stated above, there are millions of blogs that exist on the Internet and many more are being added every minute of the day. However, some of these blogs are â€˜deadâ€™ which means that they have been permanently abandoned or discontinued primarily because owners did not have the time to post on them regularly. If you are short of time, you can hire professional SEO copywriting services to do the job. A professional copywriter will not only add fresh content to your blog but will also be able to incorporate keywords for high search engine rankings to attract potential customers.
You can also popularize your blog through social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn feeds, YouTube, and other niche networks like MySpace or various social bookmarking platforms.
To sum up, a blog is the face and voice of your company. It is a highly effective channel to communicate with your current and potential customers, provide them updates, and listen to their concerns and feedback. That said, keeping the blog updated requires time and SEO skills. Hiring the services of a professional copywriter could help you achieve your goal. Otherwise, you could consider outsourcing the work to writers who can understand your business and help you maintain your blog.