Blogging – you can’t live with it and you can’t live without; especially if you’re running a business online these days. There’s been a suggestion that blogging is dead and social media platforms are a better way to get your message across. There’s some truth in this, but the idea that blogging itself is dead is a little premature. Effective blogging for business requires a considerable commitment in terms of time and energy and if you’ve no natural inclinations towards writing you might be happy to get the coffin nails out and start hammering. Before you do, consider the advantages of blogging and a bit of its history.
Self-promotion from the word UG
You’ll have heard that blogging is a new sort of thing. Don’t be fooled, it’s not. The name’s been changed – you can’t put something online without changing its name or putting a vowel in front of it. However, the habit’s as old as the hills; well, nearly. Blogging dates back to the Stone Age, with those “look at what I killed on my holidays” pictures in caves. It stayed with us throughout history in one form or another, before finally going digital sometime in the last fifteen years. The message has changed a bit, but it nearly always starts with “look at me”. Blogging has been about self-promotion from the word go, or rather the word “ug”, and it still is. For businesses, self-promotion is vital.
Headlining on Twitter
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and just about any other social media platform you care to mention, are also about self-promotion. In the case of Twitter, the only difference is that it’s self-promotion in a very short space. This sort of promotion is no bad thing – the most important part of any bit of copy is usually the headline. The headline should act a bit like a fishing hook but without the pain element. Writing headlines is an art in itself and not an easy one to master. In terms of combining Twitter and your blog, think of the former as the billboard outside the local newsagent and the latter as the paper you just rushed into buy after reading “David Cameron models Sam’s Lingerie”.
Fresh Content Anyone?
In the content/copywriting world you’ll hear the phrase content is King. When it comes to websites this is as true as ever. Content is important and it’s important to get the right content in the right place. Unfortunately, you’re dealing with two types of audience. Robots and real people; this is where structuring the content on your site is essential. Robots like good quality, fresh content on a regular basis. Focusing on producing this is important if you don’t want to find your site languishing in the dead zone of the search results (page two – page billion). Yet balancing this with the needs of human readers is essential. At least human and robot audiences like one thing, and that’s fresh content. This is where your blog comes into its own.
Focused Content Management
Much of your content can be static but your blog will put life into the site, the sort of life that both types of audience are looking for. Static content is not going to kill your site, as long as it’s in the right place. Some parts of your homepage, large parts of your product pages and your check-out pages don’t need to be updated every thirty seconds. There’s no harm in updating these regularly, but with a combined Twitter and Blogging campaign drawing visitors to your site you can do this on a less frequent basis. Despite the occasional rumour about the demise of blogging, blog management is one key tool your website cannot afford to bury just yet.