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  • 4 Very Real Reasons To Have A Blog

    Blogging  

    Apr 08 2009

    I have been blogging for several years now and am a big proponent of blog use. In fact, last week I was conducting a webinar and got carried away preaching about the importance of company blogging. During the webinar I was asked again if having a blog was “essential” for a company. The questioner wanted to know specifically why I felt having a blog was important and wanted specific examples and ideas of good blogs so they had some direction in their blog planning. In other words – don’t just tell me to have a blog because its important, but tell me why it is important and give me specific examples and ideas of blogs who are doing things the right way. So, I gave my spill of answers. But then I got to thinking if the people who are following me on Twitter had the same or similar answers – and they did! (BTW, I appreciate all of you who answered me).

    My Question was:  “Should businesses have a blog?  Why or why not?”

    Using Twitter To Research Blogging

    Using Twitter To Research Blogging

    Here is the general summary of the Twitter answers above, and I will expand on each one.

    1. A platform to be the expert – This is your industry, you have the opportunity to set the bar high. With a little research on places like Twitter, Yahoo Answers and other questions and answer websites, you can figure out what questions people are asking about your industry and provide them with (your) industry standard answers and insights. This is one of the best ways to add much needed content to your site, provide value, and become an expert online in your field. By the way, creating blog posts with this kind of information is one of the best ways to start blogging for those of you who are afraid to get your feet wet.
    2. Give your company a personality – Be yourself. If you can come across as an individual who cares, rather then a corporation pushing a product or service it will serve you much better! Let potential customers get to know the person behind the company and trust will follow.
    3. Search Engine Optimization – Think about how awesome it would be if you could create a piece of content, and have it indexed and ranking on Google (or other search engines) on the same day. If your website is providing enough value, and has enough trust, this is exactly what can happen. Having a blog gives you more of an opportunity to be found for additional keywords that you normally may not be going after. It is much easier to link to good content inside of blogs too, and we know how important people linking to us is. Blogs have many built in capabilities for sharing content too, which helps with the link building.
    4. Help with staying relevant – Don’t just have a blog to have a blog because everyone else is doing it. The goal of your blog should be to help you company be more relevant from an information standpoint. Because, that is what people are looking for these days – news and information from individuals, companies, etc. Your blog is also one of the best facilitators for interacting with and embracing social networks, which in turn allow people to share your content. If you are using blogging platforms like WordPress for example, there are many plugins that make sharing your content and information with others easy. That alone helps you stay relevant, people who use these platforms to find information understand that your blog is an up to date relevant source of information.

    These 4 reasons in some form or another really do sum up my feelings as to why online businesses need blogs. Of course there could be more advanced additional answers that might include… push viral content , syndicate videos, etc. But we need to take baby steps, and for now you I think that if you can both understand and start to implement the above 4 things, you will be setting out on the right path!

    • http://mollermarketing.com Nate

      Thanks for the great reminder about why blogging is so important. One thing I found yesterday, as I took your advice and got back to blogging consistently, was that blogging is a way to vent too. Granted, for a business this may or may not be appropriate, but as I blogged yesterday and shared my thoughts about social media, things just seemed better.

      It used to be that businesses that didn’t have a website sucked. Now, if a business doesn’t have a website, active blog AND a social media strategy, they’re competitors are going to PASS THEM UP!

      Great post!

    • http://www.iamaudi.com Portland Audi

      Mat,
      I can’t tell you how often I am criticized for keeping a blog, some people understand but most do not. I have always made it a point to let people know why I believe what I am doing is valuable; however they rarely try to see my view. This is a great contribution that I now have as a tool to explain why what I do is valuable.

      Thanks

    • http://www.dreamsystemsmedia.com/mat-siltala.aspx Mat Siltala

      @Nate
      Thanks Nate I appreciate your thoughts here.

    • http://www.dreamsystemsmedia.com/mat-siltala.aspx Mat Siltala

      @Portland Audi
      Its amazing how critical people are when they don’t understand. Maybe they are jealous they can’t do what you are doing .. who knows, but those of us that understand will continue to benefit from it huh? Thanks for the comments!

    • http://www.indyarealtor.com/ swasa

      Very nice and useful information about blogs.The comments provided and the information you gave about blogs makes all to realize the importance of blog.

    • http://blitzmagonline.com BLITZMag

      Your explanation of why blogging is important is brilliant. I’m going to incorporate this into our corporate strategy immediately. If done effectively, its definitely a powerful marketing tool.

    • http://www.pmamediagroup.com/blog Brandon Buttars

      Yeah bro. It’s amazing how quickly you can find information about certain topics and things and how you start to associate different topics with different companies based on where you find those answers. I remember when we started blogging and how excited you were. You have stuck with it way better than I have. If it wasn’t for blogs I’m pretty sure most of us wouldn’t know what we know.

      You definitely know what you’re talking about.

      Brandon Buttars’s last blog post..Social Networks and Posting Effective Comments

    • http://www.dreamsystemsmedia.com/mat-siltala.aspx Mat Siltala

      @Brandon Buttars
      Never to late to get back into it and make it work for you though! Thanks for commenting bro!

    • http://www.squeezemyleads.com Carson

      Thanks for the post Mat. It’s definitely important, it may not make sense for every business / entrepreneur right now, but that could eventually change.

      In contrast, here’s a hilarious USA Today article that I thought was upside down. They give reasons why entrepreneurs shouldn’t twitter / blog.

      http://tinyurl.com/cb7rea

      Reasons they provide:

      - #1 You are in the business of selling products or services – you don’t have to be their friend. (huh? are they from 1985?)

      #2 It offers just too much information. (people want visibility)

      #3 It requires too much time. (find someone to do it for you then)

      #4 What can you say in 140 characters? (a lot, you can push people to your blog, or other value content)

      Thought you’d enjoy that….

      Carson

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    • http://www.dreamsystemsmedia.com/mat-siltala.aspx Mat Siltala

      @Carson
      No wonder I don’t read USA Today … lame

    • http://www.organicapex.com Thomas Larder

      Blogs are like fresh little nuggets of goodness, hot new content that Google andthe search engines just love! Search engine bots returning to the site for a crawl and see the freshly made BLOG….ah so rich with keywords and newness. Yet another breadcrumb to your site…Great points served up by Mat!

    • http://www.dreamsystemsmedia.com/mat-siltala.aspx Mat Siltala

      @Thomas Larder
      Glad you liked it .. thanks for commenting!

    • http://www.wchingya.com Ching Ya

      It’s true, Mat. Blogging can offer a lot more than just for personal reasons; Corporates & companies are gradually moving towards the blogging fanatic, same thing for Twitter. As you’ve mentioned, blogging offers a great platform to show expertise while connecting to the readers, I do believe that Twitter, as a microblogging gadget, could do well in helping to promote one’s blog/articles via~ http://bit.ly/hJx6

      It’s a new trend that we’re all gladly to adapt ourselves with. :)

      @wchingya
      Social Media/Blogging

      Ching Ya’s last blog post..5 Easy Twitter Style To Promote Your Article

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    • http://www.ecommtips.com Dan Patterson

      The way I look at it blogs give you one more way to connect with people, and if you do it right it’s one more page to have showing up in the SERPs. You look at the sites that do well and a good number of them have a sense of community, they give their visitors and way to connect. That’s where blogs come in. But then again, you already know this :)

      Dan Patterson’s last blog post..A Review of Online Marketing Strategies to Use

    • http://utahcribs.wordpress.com/ Spencer Janke

      Great points, it really is true. It gives a personality,not to mention credibility. I think building a presence and being apart of the industry is important. I know from a real estate perspective it has help give me credibility in the UTAH market. People know my blog and go their for real news and information. That has helped my business tremendously.

      Spencer Janke’s last blog post..Concerts in UTAH.. SALT LAKE CITY CONCERTS

    • http://www.searchengineoptimizationjournal.com/ Nick Stamoulis

      Any business that is serious about their online marketing should without a doubt have a blog for their business in order to stay competitive and keep lines of communication open.

      Nick Stamoulis’s last blog post..Is There An Anti-SEO Approach That Works?

    • http://www.dreamsystemsmedia.com/mat-siltala.aspx Mat Siltala

      @Ching Ya
      I couldn’t agree more! Thanks for commenting.

    • http://www.dreamsystemsmedia.com/mat-siltala.aspx Mat Siltala

      @Dan Patterson
      Its amazing how (if done right) the blog post can rank so quickly. Making sure to have everything set in place so it continues to rank is a key factor too. Thanks for commenting Dan! You the man!!

    • http://www.dreamsystemsmedia.com/mat-siltala.aspx Mat Siltala

      @Spencer Janke
      People that experience it, like yourself know – and people who are skeptics, need to listen and do everything they can to embrace it!

    • http://www.dreamsystemsmedia.com/mat-siltala.aspx Mat Siltala

      @Nick Stamoulis
      Hey Nick, thanks for commenting and you hit the nail on the head – any business that is SERIOUS!!! Great point!

    • http://www.mothernaturespetshop.com @labsRus

      Good post. I just started blogging last month. Your reasons give me incentive to keep going – Thanks!

    • http://dannybrown.me Danny Brown

      @Carson

      With regards #3, isn’t the point of blogging to offer *your* voice? If so, then having ghost bloggers kinda defeats the object a little bit.

      Blogging (as I’m sure Mat will agree) does take a lot of time, effort, commitment and love to make them work. If you don’t have this, then you shouldn’t start a blog. To me, an unfinished blog is worse than not having one at all.

      Danny Brown’s last blog post..Connecting the Dots

    • http://www.dreamsystemsmedia.com/mat-siltala.aspx Mat Siltala

      @@labsRus
      Glad I can help!

    • http://www.dreamsystemsmedia.com/mat-siltala.aspx Mat Siltala

      @Danny Brown
      Thanks for commenting, but I think @Carson was just sharing an article of what he thought was funny. But yea I 100% agree you should not blog if you are not committed to it – its like buying a car and never putting gas in it.

    • http://www.simplefuzz.com Jeremy Martin

      Great article Mat. As usual. I think a lot of people, me included are or were scared that blogging is just regurgitating info over and over and why would anyone want to reread it. It is simple. Everyone has their own view on things and it is still equally as valuable the 50th time it is said.

      Jeremy Martin’s last blog post..How To Fix Your Stinky Landing Pages For Good!

    • http://www.dreamsystemsmedia.com/mat-siltala.aspx Mat Siltala

      @Jeremy Martin
      Glad you liked, and you are right – there is something to learn from everyone! Everyone has their own unique experience that they can throw into the mix and for me – real life experiences are a better teaching tool then any book or teacher. Good points! Thanks for commenting and visiting the site!

    • http://dawidryba.com/Blog/?p=74 Dawid Ryba – Make Money Online

      Great article Mat,
      I believe their are more Reasons to have a Blog like
      finding new partners for example, Any business that is serious about their online marketing should without a doubt have a blog for their business in order to stay competitive and keep lines of communication open.

      Dawid Ryba – Make Money Online’s last blog post..Search Engine Optimization for Affiliate Marketers

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    • http://www.fabulousphotogifts.co.uk Fabulous Photo Gifts

      Hi Mat

      There’s nothing simpler than constantly reminding yourself why you do something – helps you keep your aims and goals in mind (although with time these can shift or change of course).

      What was once described as “you’re not on that damn computer again” is now actively encouraged as we all try to find our niche in the blogosphere. As was predicted, those that started earliest are now reaping the most rewards.

      Our’s is a corporate blog but I like to wander off-subject (our photo gift ideas) with more personal snippets and feedback we get from our customers. It’s a lot easier (and as I say to companies) cheaper to update a blog yourself with testimonials as they’re received rather than pay your web designer to update your website every time.

      I appreciate that people and in particular companies may be cautious of blogging – all that un-proofed content could do untold harm to a brand but you’ve got to have faith in the people that work for you and confidence in their judgement. Then you’re company blog will really start moving forward.

      Perhaps a style sheet for employees to follow – it doesn;t hurt to lay some ground rules about what can and can’t be discussed and an overview of acceptable english and grammar without stifling the creativity of your best resource.

      Jonathan
      http://purple13.blogspot.com

    • http://www.dreamsystemsmedia.com/mat-siltala.aspx Mat Siltala

      @Fabulous Photo Gifts
      Thanks for dropping by and commenting. You share some great value here in a side of blogging I did not address. Very important!

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    • http://buy-fence.com Keith @ Superior Fence Products

      Jeez Mat! You are giving away all my “secrets”! I hope no other fence guys read this :-)

      Seriously though, blogging helped my fence contracting business (recently sold to concentrate on an online store) go to the top of ALL the local searches and in turn I was able to operate with $0 advertising!

      I stand by blogging for business because of that!
      .-= Keith @ Superior Fence Products´s last blog ..Vinyl Vs Wood Fencing =-.