I still remember the days where it became a necessity for every business to have a web site. Most do nowadays and those who don’t are considered pre-historic. Now it is becoming imperative for every business to have a blog on their web site and there are several good reasons why.
Before I get into some actual reasons, one of the most common fears I hear from business owners as to why they do not have a blog is that they feel they have nothing to say. “They don’t want to cover news in their industry,” “they don’t feel their industry is exciting enough that people would want to read about it” and “they just plain can’t write” are just some of the excuses that go along with their hesitation to start a blog. However, those fears really do not hold water. You can write about other things besides news. If people are buying products or services related to your industry, then they’ll read a blog focused on it. And, if you can’t write – hire someone who can.
Business owners reluctant to implement a blog may have other reasons as well but in this social media age, it is really becoming crucial for web sites to become more than stale brochures and static billboards only offering one-way communication. Users want to interact and they want to see a personal side to the company. A blog allows for that and so much more.
Although not a complete list, here are some good reasons to consider adding a blog to your site.
1. Blogging Software is Free
If price is a concern, then you have no more reason to be concerned. WordPress, one of the most popular blogging platforms is completely free, easy to install and easy to work with. Even one of its top competitors, Movable Type, now offers a free version of their blogging software. The only challenge you might have is adapting your existing site’s design to the blogging platform and even if you are not able to do that yourself, there are companies who can do it for you.
2. Adds Fresh Content To Your Site
Unlike boring sales and informational web pages that seldom change, an active blog will keep your site fresh and alive. It will provide a reason for search engine crawlers as well as human visitors to come back again and again. As you write about various topics, it will also add more depth to your site, allowing you increase your visibility in the organic search results of engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN.
3. Ability To Push Content
Because blogging platforms are RSS (Really Simple Syndication) enabled, you can “push” your content out there rather than wait for people to find it. People can add your RSS feed to their Bloglines, Google Reader or other RSS reader software. Your blog posts can also find their way on social media sites such as Digg, StumbleUpon and Mixx to name a few. Finally you can syndicate your blog posts to sites such as Twitter, MyBlogLog, Facebook and many others. In other words, when you add your blog’s RSS feed to these types of sites, they will automatically pick up new posts as you publish them.
4. Interacting With Users / Establishing Community
If enabled, blogging platforms allow people to comment on your posts. This turns the typical one-way conversation into a two or even multiple-way conversation. Commenters may praise your blogging efforts, ask additional questions or even disagree with you. You then can interact with them in ways that a static “blog-free” web site cannot do.
If your blog is really good, people will come back again and again. Those same people will comment often and the result is that you will establish a community. And a trusted community is always easier to sell to than a new face off the street.
Finally, this interactivity and community aspect makes your company more personable. It allows users to see the person or people behind the company as opposed to simply staring at web pages. In my own blogging experience, I often reveal personal aspects of my life which helps visitors feel more comfortable as they know the face behind the site.
5. Links Baby!
With Google’s crack-down on all forms of obtaining paid links, it is getting more difficult to get quality inbound links pointing to your site. And if you are in any type of competitive industry, you need those links to help improve your visibility in the search results. This is where quality blog posts can help. Being able to syndicate your content is one way you will attract new links but even better is when real people like the content you are putting out and will link to it naturally.
As of the writing of this post, here are just a few examples of posts I have published and how many individual inbound links they have earned (as reported in Google Webmaster Central):
- 10 Signs That You May Be a Blog Addict – 336
- The Paid Links Industry Needs To Go Underground – 297
- Current State of Buying & Selling Links – 245
- Using Social Media To Help Manage Online Reputation – 214
If these aren’t good enough reasons for you to establish a blog, then go ahead and stay in the dinosaur era. If you do decide to implement a blog, your next question might be, “How do I use it?”
Well, there are several ways. You could cover news in your industry, write up resourceful how-to’s or tutorials, point out other blogger’s posts that you like, write up product reviews (good for e-commerce sites), announce new products or services you offer, rant about something and even post humorous things such as funny pictures, videos and jokes. The main point is to get off your duff and jump on the blogging bandwagon.