Thus far, in Part 1, we’ve scoped out the concept of blogging. Then from there we progressed to Part 2 and hit a couple of the benefit highlights. So far so good, right?
“Actually, I’m still on the bubble. Are there any other benefits?”
Yes, there are. The most significant additional benefit is SEO. SEO stands for search engine optimization. If you like, you can read the Wikipedia definition of SEO here. In a nut shell, SEO is anything you do to make your site more findable. The idea is simple. With more content – presumably relevant to your company, niche and/or target market – there are naturally more opportunities for search engines to connect you with someone doing a search. Without such content, there is zero opportunity for that match to be made.
In addition, a blog also enables you with a means for your site not to get stale. All things being equal, Google’s algorithm is going to recommend a site that appears to be more current and more active. Google is just like you and I. Who wants old news?
Another SEO related tactic is to use media sharing sites such as Flickr and YouTube. The benefit is simple. Each of these sites has their own communities. In fact, YouTube is the third most utilized “search engine” after Yahoo and Google. Therefore, by using these sites to host your media there is the added possibility of gaining exposure within these communities. Think of it as reaching out instead of being protectionist and self-contained.
Once they find you, the hope is they might continue on to your website. Worst case, they have at least found out about your brand. You’ve staked out some mind space. .As tiny as it might be it is a start.
What nice is, while your media might be hosted on these media sharing sites, most blogs make it easy to embed the player from Flickr, YouTube and the like. Your blog is still your main focus but now it’s more of hub in a broader marketing effort than a free standing, self-contained island.
“Okay, I’m finally sold. But I have to ask, is that it?”
As a matter of fact, as they say in the infomercials, “But wait, there’s more…” Again, the benefit revolves around social networks, social media and the fundamental basis for their existence – sharing. Typically, people who use social networks will read something – often on a blog – and then want to share that article to their profiles so their friends can read the article too. Taking advantage of that dynamic not only makes sense, but it’s free as well. A good choice for a free sharing service is AddThis.com.
Mind you, you don’t have to have a blog to use AddThis. However, let’s be realistic, the odds of someone repeatedly sharing your home page is unlikely. On the other hand, as you generate blog content, each article becomes another opportunity for your followers to say, “Look what I found.” At the same time the article is also an opportunity for you to say, “We’d like to share this with you.” And you can post the link on your social networking profile. If you have success stories and other good news that would benefit from more people knowing about it, then a blog is the ideal tool for that.
Yes, there’s always a last but, isn’t there? Not to worry, Part 4 is going to address your final set of fears. “What am I going to blog about?,” and “When am I going to find the time?” are both going to be addressed in Part 4. With that said, I’ll give you a couple hints now so you can prepare your questions for next time. “What?” can be anything relevant you and/or target marketing might be interested in. “When?” is best seen within the context of bang for your buck. That is, blogging can often be more cost effective than traditional advertising.