Is all the fuss about blogging just talk or can blogging actually help your business?
Over the past few years there’s been a lot of talk about blogging and how it could help your online business. And over the years we’ve seen many bloggers learn how to use the blog to make nice comfortable six figure incomes. Darren Rowse and his blog ProBlogger is one of those examples of great success. But is blogging really worth it for the rest of us who actually have to work real jobs for a living? Before we can answer that question we need to understand what a blog really is, the traffic characteristics of the blog, and the challenges of blogging. Answer those questions and you can better evaluate how beneficial a blog might be to your online business.
What is a blog?
In its simplest form a blog is a Website that is used as a type of journal from usually one authors point of view. That point of view can be a variety of topics ranging from politics, news, sports, events, business, or even a personal journal. And corporate or organization blogs might have multiple authors belonging to specific categories or as particular subject matter experts. The American Rivers blog is one example of a blog with multiple authors who are experts in their own field. Typically the blogger serves as the administrator and has complete control of the blog through admin rights. These rights could include managing categories, managing the blogroll, creating the look and theme, adding plugins and managing comments.
Blog vs Message Board - Privileges and commenting is one of the key differences between a blog and a message board. With a blog only the blogger posts the topic and readers generally comment on the bloggers topic, but not always because the blogger has the admin rights to allow comments or not. But the message board is the complete opposite because any reader can post a topic and other readers can chime in on the topic and each other at any time, and this can actually spawn into a huge online conversation between many different users. Basically the blog gives total control to the blogger, whereas the message board is more of a free-for-all community.
The traffic characteristics of the blog.
Ask an online marketer about the advantages of blogging and you’ll likely get an answer like blogs are a branding and a traffic optimization strategy, and I’ll give you a similar answer depending on the situation. But one of the major advantages that most novice bloggers are not aware of is the blogs ping alert to servers, which can result in immediate search engine rankings and traffic.
Notice in the Google screenshot below the link “Nascar T-Shirts Discounted”, to prove a point I posted that entry about my Website PoconoRacingGear.com on my blog MadCanoeist.com. You can see in the link that the post was ranked on Google only 15 minutes before I took the screenshot. So what’s the big deal with that? It means that by pinging your blog entries, they could be ranked on the search engines within minutes, while Web pages might takes days or even weeks to rank on the search engines. It’s like pushing your Web page to Google instead of waiting for Google to crawl your Website. Isn’t that something we all can appreciate?
Now that we know we can create blog entries and have them instantly noticed we need to learn to use it to our advantage. It’s about using your blog to elevate your brand, market your business, advertise products or services, communicate to the public or however else you could benefit. I’ll talk about that in my next posting.