At least that’s the question most of my clients pose when discussing the design or re-design of their website. “Is blogging really necessary?” they’ll ask. “I mean … is anyone going to read it and, also, who has time to write a blog and … what am I supposed to write about?”
There are several answers to these questions:
- The point of blogging is to communicate to the public or to your client base pertinent information about what it is you do, or about yourself or your company.
- It’s a significan ingredient in a marketing campaign and essential in search engine optimization (SEO). If you want your website to be considered relevant by the search engines (Google, Bing, etc.) and be ranked by them, a blog is a critical component of most successful SEO strategies.
For those of you who want to know more about the why’s and wherefore’s of blogging, here’s a straightforward explanation of why it’s important — and a few thoughts on how to go about it.
Content Is King
There are millions upon millions of websites on the Internet – far too many for search engines to monitor in real-time. Therefore, how often they visit or “crawl” a given website depends in large part on how often content is added. A search engines only purpose is to provide content to those who “search” for information.
For example, Google might crawl a website after an absence of three weeks. If new content is added, it will be more likely to return after only two weeks. And if new content is continually being added, it indicates to Google that this website is a font of new information and it will crawl it even more often.
However, if Google never finds any new content, their spiders might not return for a month or even longer, which will mean that site will do poorly in search results.
So adding new content to a site is a significant way of promoting your search rankings, and the easiest place on a website to add new content is … a blog.
What To Write About?
Writing anything is not easy, but writing a blog on a regular basis requires not only dedication to the act of writing, but an ongoing commitment to developing topics to write about. Keeping a list of ideas as they come up or you come across them is a great way to start.
And don’t edit your thoughts at this time. You need to feel free to write down anything you think might be of interest regardless of how mundane or silly it may seem. The is the first step in the creative writing process and you don’t want to short-circuit that process by being judgmental. Here are some general topics to help kick-start the process:
- Client problems and the solutions you provided
- New developments within the company — new employees, a new office
- Developments within the industry — Is there a new product available? What technology is pushing your industry to change?
- Fun topics — company parties, company pets, a particularly interesting project
- Writing specifically for keyword phrases. For example, a client of ours is a landscape designer and contractor. She and I decide on topics and write a bi-monthly blog that deals with the many aspects of landscape design and it’s construction, linking back to those pages in her website that relate to each topic.
A Final Thought
In addition to what I’ve mentioned, blogging does two other things that are essential in building a business and establishing a client base.
- It establishes you as an authority in your field and provides you with both visibility and credibility.
- By providing information about who you are and what you do, you help establish a relationship with those who are interested in what you do.
Blogging can be fun, informative and genuinely help in promoting your business. But you should do it because you want to and not because you feel you must. If you think of it as sharing information about something you love with people you care about, it will be a lot easier to begin and a whole lot easier to continue.