What’s the Point of a Blog Anyway?

This is a question we get asked by potential clients regularly. Blogging can be a very time consuming process. As many disillusioned bloggers have experienced, just because you write a blog doesn’t mean people will read it. It’s easier than ever to set up a blog, and there are more blogs than there ever have been. Writing great content people want to read can be challenge.

So why invest the time and money? We decided to make a list of the key reasons to invest in a blog over the long-haul. Some of these are really good reasons, some of them are just small side reasons, but every company needs to figure out why they want to have a blog before they invest the time and effort.

Drive Sales

This is the first question clients always ask: “Will a blog help me drive sales?” The answer is yes….usually. But if you just want a blog to drive sales, you’ll miss a lot of the opportunity to be had with a blog. Plus, you can’t just create junk content and drive significant sales. If you want to drive sales from your blog, you need to create great content that people are willing to read and share. This takes a lot of effort and a hefty investment. So be sure you’re willing to put the time in – blogging isn’t a get-rich-quick-scheme.

Thought Leadership

One of the best ways to drive sales from your blog is to become a thought leader in your category. Thought leaders are people who you turn to when you need advice, tips, or just a fresh perspective on a topic. In the SEO industry, one of the thought leaders is SEOMoz. I read their blog often and respect what they have to say. Their posts are all well researched and full of valuable and useful information. At ProofSEO we were reading their blog long before we purchased their products.

Building Community

In the days of newspapers, it wasn’t possible to have an interactive community around a topic. Sure you could chat over a topic with some friends around coffee – or even write a letter to the editor. But you couldn’t have a community around an idea or topic. Today one of the best ways for a company to leverage a blog is to begin building a community around that blog. Communities are made of people who follow you. They are the first to buy or try anything you have to offer. They are your fans, but they also expect you to listen to them.

Developing Your Own Platform

Many individuals also consider blogging because it offers an opportunity to build a personal platform. It’s never been easier to promote yourself as an expert on a topic and build a platform around a personal brand. In fact, some companies now allow you to personal blog on your own time. They believe that employees with a strong online personal presence help boost the reputation of the company in addition to a personal brand.

For many companies, blogs also provide an opportunity to inform the general public what is happening at the company. Some companies even use their blogs to push back against negative press. Although this isn’t always a great idea, there may be times when it’s useful. You never know when your company will need to have it’s own voice.

Fresh Content

An active blog also gives your site fresh content. Fresh content is a factor in search rankings and helps show first-time visitors that your site isn’t just a set-it-and-forget-it site. It shows that you care about your online presence and are willing to devote some efforts to keep up online.

We’ve worked with several companies to help them create an active blogging strategy. Every company we’ve worked with always falls in at least one (sometimes several) of these categories.

Do you have a blog? Why do you have one? Where do you fit in these categories? These are the questions you need to ask as you begin developing a successful blogging strategy.

About the Author
Tyler Brooks
 is a SEO and video production specialist at Proof SEO.