Blogging is the front door to social media
Do I really still need a blog? This is a question that comes up more and more often these days. With all the talk about social media, it might be easy to conclude that blogging is a thing of the past. Nothing could be further from the truth.
What’s really happened is that blogs have worked themselves into the fabric of everyday marketing. People don’t fire up their browser because they want to read your blog, but they do go to Google and Bing and other search engines to find answers to questions and challenges and to find local suppliers.
Blog content is what they are finding. Similarly when people engage on social media they are often looking for answers… answers that are longer than 140 characters or that will fit on a wall post… these people too find their answers in blog content. So rather than being replaced by social media, what we find is that blogging is foundational to effective social media marketing. It’s the font door.
A BLOG PRIMER
In simplest terms, a blog is an online platform that allows anyone who can type to post content to a website or blog home page. The content is generally displayed much like a journal might be written, in reverse chronological fashion or organized topically by tagging. Blog content can be anything the author chooses to write, or post, as it is referred to in blogging terms.
On the surface, what this means is that anyone can update (add new content to) a website that has this blogging platform installed and that’s a great thing. Websites benefit from regularly being refreshed (no more static online brochures) and blogs make it easy to change, update, and add content. But, there’s much more. A blog platform also allows:
- Readers of the blog pages to make comments and add their own content.
- Readers of the blog to subscribe to the content so that they are automatically notified whenever the content is updated.
- Search engines to receive notice or pings whenever the content is updated. All of the above items happen automatically once the blog platform is configured.
Blogging is such a great tool because it allows you to more easily accomplish many of the marketing objectives that today’s business, school or non-profit must address. A blog is your ticket to creating:
And if that isn’t enough, know this—search engines love blogs! If for no other reason, consider creating and frequently posting relevant, keyword-rich content to a blog, hosted on your domain, because it will dramatically improve your chances of ranking well in search engine results. If this document has convinced you to jump in and start blogging, let me advise you that the best way to start is not to start. I know that’s a little counterintuitive, so let me explain.
Here's the three-step process for getting started and not that step 3 is to start blogging.
1) Monitor a group of relevant blogs: Use a blog search engine and RSS reader such as Bloglines.com or Google Reader/BlogSearch to locate and subscribe to a dozen or so relevant blogs—blogs in your industry, competitors, experts, etc. Learn how people blog, what they write about and how they engage their readers.
2) Comment on a group of relevant blogs: Visit some of your chosen blogs and add relevant comments. Engage in the conversation going on inside these blogs. This, by the way, is an important part of online networking and may help get your blog noticed down the road.
3) Create your own blog and start posting content: Only after you’ve engaged in steps 1 and 2 for a couple weeks do I advise entering the blogging pool.
Read: Optimizing Inbound Marketing Content
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