So, you have a website to promote your business, and you're thinking of starting a blog. Is that a good idea? In most cases, yes.
While the lines between "websites" and "blogs" have blurred to the point where the difference is almost indistinguishable in reality, for the purposes of our discussion we will consider a "website," as a "static" site that exists mostly as an advertisement or formal contact point for a business. We will consider a "blog" to be a site that is updated frequently, and is a less formal means of communicating with customers.
Here are some things that adding a blog to your website can do for you:
It will take you from "2D" to "3D".
A static web page is usually simply a place for your customers (who already know you) to go and read about your business and how to contact you. It's either one-way communication (as in "broadcasting"), or very limited two-way communication, if you've at least provided a contact or purchase form. A blog, however, invites sharing, social networking, and search engine traffic, and adds a very important third-dimension to your communication process if you hope to attract online business.
It will help make your site more search-engine friendly.
The search engines rank pages with fresh, original, current content and links (incoming and outgoing) more highly than a static page that rarely changes. This page rank is what will help you attract more traffic (i.e. new business) from the search engines.
It will give your online profile a "human touch".
Blogs which are updated frequently are more likely to reflect the personality of the blogger than a static web page. Your customers and potential customers will have an opportunity to get to "know" you and your business better by reading informational blog posts and discussions.
It will give you content to share on the social networks.
If you've visited social networks like Facebook or Twitter, you know that business owners typically post information occasionally about their business. But let's face it - you can only post your own web domain URL so many times before you're considered a spammer and deleted off your friends' lists. If, however, you have a blog that is updated frequently with fresh, original content, you will have interesting links to interject into your online conversations on the social networks.
So, what are you waiting for? Start a blog!
For ideas on how to get started, and what to blog about, see the WebRev "Blogging" archive.
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking.