The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Before computers existed, people began to write their personal thoughts, ideas, and stories down on paper, using a pencil or pen. It was the ideal way to express oneself. There were no discussion forums, websites, or anyplace else other than on paper where people could express themselves. For the more daring, some would get up in front of an audience and read their poetry or inner-most thoughts to others. There were plenty of others who would run group discussions about topics, or form clubs or organizations in order to discuss common interests. Then came the Internet – complete with websites, chats, discussion forums, blogs, and vlogs – ultimately allowing for anyone to release tons of information about themselves and their thoughts and ideas.
In spite of the recent popularity of the blog and the video blog, in which people are no longer writing their thoughts and ideas, but expressing them in videos, this article solely focuses on blogs and blogging. There are many people who choose not to vlog – who don’t feel comfortable being in front of a video camera, but prefer to continue writing their thoughts. This is still the most essential human aspect that makes us human – the ability to express ourselves in writing. Writing, which is no longer done on a piece of paper, but on a computer, with the potential to share it with the world.
Why is blogging so important? Blogging is important to many people who utilize it because it is capable of being shared and seen by people around the world. It is one of the greatest forms of communication that exists. There really is no right way or wrong way to blog. Blogs can be about any topic – personal or professional. Before blogs, there were Internet Journals and websites that offered services to people for free to write down whatever they wanted. These journals could be kept private or made public to be seen by anyone searching on the Internet or sharing a link to their journals with friends. When it comes to blogging, many companies are just beginning to understand the importance of the concept. Over time and advancement of the Internet has provided many new blogging systems and ways to even set up your own website containing a blog. Every person can easily set up and have a blog in minutes. People who want their own websites with blogs can do it in under an hour.
It is almost expected that companies have a blog on their website. What these companies do with their blog is completely up to them, but it is expected that the blog contain information about what is happening in the company, more specifically, what most visitors would want to read – what is the company doing for them. Companies who have blogs and learn about their audience can generate leads, customers, and repeat visitors who are generally interested in what the company has to say and what it is doing.
Having a blog in this day is almost essential for any company. It is important that a company understands how to operate a blog and utilize it to their advantage, especially by sharing the content on social media networks. Blogs also help a company to get discovered by search engines and people around the world.
Having one or multiple authors for blogs is very common and a stream of high quality articles that share ideas, research, and information about future products is important. These types of article generate interest for businesses and with interest comes hype about what a company may be doing.
When it comes to blogging, a company should focus on what its target audience wants to read. While blogging may never be successful at first, there is never just a first time and then one fails. Bloggers have many chances to gain popularity and success. Adding Google Analytics or other analytics statistics to your website or code can help you improve upon specific topics covered.
When it comes to blogging, you do not have to be an expert on your topic, but you should have a very good understanding of the topic you discuss. You should be encouraging of others to participate in the conversation, which means you should have a comment area where people can join in the conversation.
A blog is a very powerful tool that opens all communication channels between a company and their customers. A blog gives people and companies a voice, an opinion, and a personality. There is so much opportunity that a blog can present and a blog can be used for anything – advertising, marketing, discussions, presenting expert knowledge, presenting research findings, etc, or it can be used to present all of the above. It is up to you and your company for the type of information you want to present and be made available to the public.
This Ebook, presented by Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute, provides advice to help manage your blogging efforts, from creating a blog, to gathering and writing quality content, to leveraging and disturbing your content for maximum impact to benefit you and your business.
Download: The Ultimate Guide to Blogging (Right-click for save options)
Matthew Gates is a freelance web designer and currently runs Confessions of the Professions.