BY RANDY DUERMYER
The word blog is a shortened form of its original name, “weblog.” These weblogs allowed early internet users to “log” the details of their day in diary-style entries. Blogs often allow readers to comment, so as they became more common, communities sprung up around popular blogs.
The content of blogs varies significantly. For example, travel blogs may feature many pictures with few written passages, while political blogs may weigh in with wordy takes on the news of the day. The popularity of YouTube and similar sites also gave rise to video blogging, or “vlogging.”
Like most internet-based innovations, many entrepreneurs saw marketing potential in having a blog, and the adoption of blogging among the business community helped further increase the popularity of the medium. Not only can a blog be used for marketing a business, but it can also become a home business in and of itself.
How Blogging Works
Blogging is as simple as obtaining a website and publishing original content on it. Tech-savvy bloggers can buy a domain name and build the website themselves. Those with less HTML knowledge can create an account with sites like WordPress that simplify the web design and publishing process.
Blogs are usually simple websites. Older pieces may be archived in separate sections of the site, and there may be a separate page with contact info or a bio, but the blog itself is usually just a single page that can be scrolled through—similar to the news feed on social media sites like Facebook. As with a Facebook news feed, a blog displays the newest content at the top of the page.
Another unique feature of blogging is interlinking. This occurs when a blogger links to another person’s blog within their own blog post. For example, if a music teacher maintains a blog, and they write a blog post about how to form a chord, they might link to a musician’s blog to show an example of the chords in action.
Pros and Cons of Blogging
- Good for SEO
- Maintains communication with customers
- Builds rapport with customers
- Generate alternate income
- Constantly requires fresh ideas
- Payoff is delayed
- Blogging in and of itself won’t generate income
- Good for SEO: Search engines love new content, and as a result, blogging is a great search engine optimization (SEO) tool. A defining feature of blogs is the frequency with which they’re updated, and that fresh content helps improve a website’s SEO performance.
- Maintains communication with customers: Blog posts can keep your customers and clients up to date on what’s going on, let them know about new deals, and provide tips. The more frequently you post useful content, the more often a customer visits your blog, and the more likely they are to spend money.
- Builds rapport with customers: Not only does a blog allow you to show off what you know—building your expertise and credibility—but people can also post comments and interact with you. That allows customers to get to know you, and hopefully, develop relationships that turn into purchases.
- Time-consuming: The success of blogging comes from having people return, and they only return when there’s new stuff to read. That means bloggers need to generate content at least several times a week to be effective at engaging readers and increasing SEO.
- Constantly requires fresh ideas: Posting several times per week won’t be beneficial if the ideas aren’t fresh and engaging. It can be draining to constantly conceptualize and execute fresh content. The good news is that you don’t have to do it all yourself. You can have guest writers or hire freelancers. Another option is to curate content from others. You can buy private label right (PLR) content and modify it for your blog.
Payoff is delayed: One of the biggest frustrations with blogging is that it’s time-consuming with little payoff in the beginning. It takes time to build up a readership and momentum.