What is blogging and why should I do it?
What is a blog?
I hear this question quite often because many people don't really have a clear understanding of what the word means. The word 'blog' originated around 20 years ago to describe websites where people kept some form of online journal, but blogging has evolved considerably since then.
Today, I describe blogging as the ongoing publication of a series of articles around a particular subject. This website is a blog filled with articles about social media and Dorset. Many businesses have a blog - click here to see how Comins Tea House does it.
Most blogs allow a reader to leave a comment. The success of your blog used to be measured by the volume of comments, but these are now less important because social media has taken over as the place where comments are made.
Why should I blog?
If you want more people to visit your website, you should blog.
People come to your website through various routes - social media, your newsletter - but the most significant route in is through search, and search means Google.
To make your site easier to find in Google means doing something called SEO - search engine optimisation. A few years ago SEO was a 'dark art', where experts tried to work out what made Google prefer one site to another, and then turn that knowledge into SEO techniques to push a site up the Google rankings.
However, Google's own advice is that the best way to get your site up the rankings is by "creating compelling and useful content". Blogging is a relatively easy way to do just that. The value of blogging for SEO was discussed very recently in this article from Econsultancy: Why it's time to leave old-school SEO behind.
A blog lets you add fresh new material to your site on a regular basis. It gives you something new to talk about on social media.
An unexpected benefit of blogging
Blogging also helps you to think about your business. Over the years I've come to appreciate that writing about a subject helps me to think it through and develop new ideas. Not all the blog posts I've written have been published, but they've all added value to my business by helping me come to a better understanding of the issues I am writing about.
This article was first published in the Dorset Social weekly enewsletter, which helps equip local business owners and marketers as they grapple with digital marketing.