You’d have to have been living on Mars for the past twenty years to have not heard about blogging. It seems everyone has delved into the blog party at some point over the past decade, everyone from heads of state and celebrities to stay at home mums have tried their hand at running a blog. It’s only in the last few years that the corporate world has realised the enormous benefits that can be had from running a blog. The reasons for this may not be immediately obvious to the innocent bystander. So, let’s take a look at what a blog is, how a business of any size can benefit from running a blog and why you should start immediately!
What Is A Blog?
Blogging has been around for as long as the internet. Blogs, or weblogs to give them their full title, we’re originally made popular by people who had a need to diarise their life or activity. Students could create blog posts on the go as they back packed across continents, they could include photos, some text and their families and friends back home could follow their progress as the posts would appear in chronological order, followers of the blog could comment on what they read, and there was an ability for followers to comment and receive replies, In essence a blog started life as an electronic, interactive diary. As technology has improved, handheld internet devices and smartphones have seen a surge in blogging, not just because of the ease in which they can updated but also the ease in which readers of blogs can now access the internet.
In it’s basic form, a blog is a collection of articles, known as blog posts, that are arranged in a chronological order with the most recent first. Many blogging platforms such as Blogger which is owned by Google still follow this classic format. Over recent years more platforms for blogging have developed such as Typepad and Live Journal. The major player today however is clearly WordPress. This is slightly confusing however as WordPress.com is a free blogging platform with limited functionality whereas WordPress.org ( same company) is where you can download free software that you install on your own hosting space. It is this self hosted WordPress that has transformed blogging and has caught the attention of businesses the world over.
How Can My Business Benefit From Blogging?
This is a question that I get asked many times, so much so that i’ve written several articles about the subject over the past couple of years. In order to understand how a business can benefit from blogging, we need to understand the basic function of major search engines such as Google.
Google exists to make money, sure it invests an inordinate amount of time and money in developing cars that drive themselves, contact lenses that can monitor blood glucose levels and large T Rex models in the grounds of their head office (check it out, true story) but in essence Google makes money, ridiculous amounts of money, from selling advertising. Last year Google turned over in excess of $50 billion, over 90% of which was from advertising revenue.
You’ll notice when you search on Google that the top 2 or 3 results are paid adverts as are the ones to the right of the search results, Google charges each time one of these adverts are clicked, depending on the search term these ads can cost anything from a few pence per click to well over $50 for keywords such as loans, mortgages, insurance etc. So, imagine you own Google, how do you ensure that you attract millions of people to your website each day, people that will click these adverts, the sort of massive, unbeatable web traffic that makes it the number one place on the internet to advertise?
SIMPLE – You provide the BEST search engine in the world, The sort of search engine that when you search for anything it returns the most relevant, original and informative websites in the results pages! And that is the key to why you should be blogging!
CONFUSED? read on…
So, we’ve just looked at how Google works, let’s refresh our memory and let it sink in:
Google makes money from adverts, Google needs to attract lots of visitors each day for that to happen, so it prides itself on delivering the most relevant, original and informative websites in the results pages.
The Secret To Why Businesses Need To Blog
You see the key is this, in order for your business to rank in the search results you need to be producing what? You guessed it! RELEVANT, ORIGINAL AND INFORMATIVE content. Now here’s the thing, you may already have a website, and if you do, chances are you’ve designed that website with aesthetics in mind rather than ranking high in the search engines ( we’ll cover this in another article). So, the beauty of blogging is that you can supplement your website by adding regular original and focused content.
You can decide on a search term that you want to rank for and then create an entire, detailed and original blog post around this search term. So, for arguments sake, let’s say your company sells beds, you may want to promote a new line of orthopaedic beds that are great for people with back problems. So, you’d write an article about your new range of beds, You’d go into great detail about bad backs, about what happens when we sleep and how your new orthopaedic mattress compares to a traditional mattress, you’d include images, testimonials, and even a video. You’d then perhaps link at the end of the post to your main website where people can buy this great new bed.
Essentially what you’re doing, is creating an article that is more relevant to the search term “The best bed for a bad back”, this is the sort of thing someone would type into Google, People ask Google questions so match your content to the question, if you create the most relevant article based around that question then you’re standing a damn good chance of ranking high on page one of the search results when people type in that phrase or one similar.
Ok I Get It! But How Do I Start Blogging?
Woah! Easy tiger! Let’s do one thing at a time, This article was meant for those that really didn’t get the whole blog thing. I blog for various companies, I also teach people how to blog and soon, schedule permitting I’ll be offering seminars up and down the UK teaching others to do the same. I’ll be writing more articles and publishing tutorials regularly on this blog about the very same thing. I’ll take you step by step through your blogging options including:
- How to blog
- Where to blog
- What to blog about
- How to create killer blog posts thank rank on page one
- How to research what people are searching for and then writing blog posts to target these people
So, if you haven’t already done so, fill in your email address at the top left of this page and I’ll email you as each article get’s published. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. If you’re not already blogging, or, if you are blogging already but would like to know how to become a ninja blogger then I’m happy to have you on board. Blogging is enjoyable, it’s something you can do to enhance your existing business but it’s also something you can do as a full time occupation! Fear not, as the days and weeks go by, I’ll share more information with you, hopefully some of you will have some input on things that have worked for you too which you can share in the comments section and we can all learn together! Let’s share the knowledge!
Read my next article in this series – How To Start A Blog