I get asked all the time by clients “what is a web blog and why should I do it?” I must admit, that I too struggled with this one when I moved full time into the online space some many moons ago.
I had heard about people making money from blogging and I just couldn’t get my head around it or for the life of me, fathom out how that was even possible.
To many website owners, the thought of carefully crafting content on a regular basis fills them with dread. In fact, for most of my clients, they often even struggle with content for the main service or product pages of their company website.
Of course, many do get great satisfaction from regular blogging, but for most of us, it’s a necessary evil.
What Is A Web Blog?
In it’s simplest form, a blog or blog post is nothing more than an online diary. It is the addition of small informal articles added to a site to update others on your news. They can come in any form you like. Clearly, if you are a engineering firm producing deep sea drilling equipment, your interested public probably won’t want to hear about your Sunday trip to the Zoo with little Johnny or how the dog chewed yet another pair of slippers (the latter happens quite a lot in our house, although only to my wife as 1. she leaves them lying around the place 2. I don’t own any).
But anyone involved in your industry WILL want to hear about company news, product developments, industry news etc. And a blog can be a perfect place to keep readers informed of such events.
But That’s Not All…
The main reason people blog today is because they know that blogging is one of the best ways to attract traffic to their website.
I’ll say that again…
Blogging is one of the best ways to attract traffic to a website.
In late 2010, the almighty Google decided it was fed up with much of the trash and spam that was increasingly appearing in it’s search results. Being the worlds largest search engine, they wanted to be absolutely sure that anyone conducting a search on it’s platform was rewarded with relevant results. To a degree, that had stopped happening, because clever SEO’s found a way to game the system.
Think back a couple of years and how often did you carry out a search, only to land on a page that had nothing to do with the search criteria you entered? It happened a lot!
So to begin combatting this, Google launched a series of updates to it’s algorithm (the clever mathematical calculation that it uses to determine where websites will rank for certain keywords). Sadly, along with the rest of the world, possibly with the exception of Mat Cutts (Google’s head of Webspam), I cannot lay any claim to knowing exactly how the algoritm works, other than to say it is indeed a complex beast. However, being involved in the SEO industry, I do take the time to keep on top of developments.
So we know that Google wanted to eradicate spam and one major way for them to combat this was to reward quality content. There has always been a saying that “content is king” and this has never really changed, although we did seem to loose sight of it for a few years, especially when people discovered they could still get good top 10 rankings without it.
Since the various Panda & penguin updates (Google likes to give it’s updates silly names), we have seen huge ranking changes where sites with quality content have received major ranking improvements, where the spam sites have been hit hard.
The updates did address other issues as well, especially related to linkbuilding, but the message has been rammed home hard. Content matters!
However, there are some other maybe less obvious advantages too. Google hates to see ‘static’ websites. In other words, the style that was common 5+ years ago, especially in business circles, whereby the company website was simply an online extension of their corporate brochure. Today, Google is looking for sites that are interactive and most importantly continue to grow. And what better way to do this by regular blogging?
However, blogs have another extremely important function. By adding content on a consistent basis, your site grows. This means that the search engines have more to feed off, in relation to the niche you are blogging about. As this content grows, they can start to position you in their results because they know that your topic is relevant to the search criteria.
And in the natural manner of writing content, we string together individual words, phrases and sentences that may not have been written before or if they have, only very infrequently. The search engines can then show your site when someone searches for these terms. This is known as attracting “long tail traffic”, whereby a long tail keyword is a phrase of 3 words or more (eg: “what is a web blog“). Typically, many of these long tail keywords have significantly less competition than their short tail counterparts and they are often very (very) targeted. Hence, if you are blogging regularly, you are attracting a whole stream of targeted visitors to your site.
Providing your content is good and engaging and you have effective calls to action, these visitors could become regular followers of your blog posts or indeed even a subscriber and maybe a customer.
So blogs are very powerful additions to the online marketing arsenal. In the next blog post, we will look at blogging in a bit more detail and discover exactly how people can (and do) make money blogging. Can it be done – you had better believe it….
So now when somebody asks you what is a web blog, you will be able to refer them here, or even tell them yourself.
If you are interested to know more about my preferred money making blogging platform, take a look at the following: My Blogging Platform Recommendation