BLOGS VS TRADITIONAL WEBSITES
Let’s first start with some of the positive things about blogs. When blogs started, they were seen as personal diaries – although this is not the case anymore, one can still find blogs which contain personal aspects of someone’s life. Nowadays blogs are mainly a place where one posts VALUABLE information – and I can’t stress enough the value in the word ‘Valuable’ – blogs are NOT a place where one writes garbage and scammed articles, as like this the life of the blog will be very short lived. Readers don’t visit blogs to read constantly about this and that product, where the author is pushing a sale – unless the posts are professional reviews, where the reader can actually benefit from reading the post.
LET’S NOW REVIEW 8 COOL THINGS ABOUT BLOGS:
1. They are alive. Whereas traditional websites are static, blogs are constantly changing – and this depends on how often the ‘author’ adds pages and posts to the blog. Once there is always valuable information being added to a blog, readers keep coming to the blog to read the latest post, they will even subscribe to the feed, leave comments, and so on – and eventually the ‘author’ is viewed as the-person-to-go-to in his / her niche.
2. They are interactive. I write a post, someone leaves a comment, I comment back, another person leaves a comment, I comment back, and on and on it goes. Withing blogs there is a sense of something ‘alive’ behind the scenes, since there is communication going on – unlike with traditional websites. And people LOVE leaving and reading comments, especially when the ‘author’ comments back. I have seen blogs where the post was written 3 years back and people are still leaving comments. The more comments one has, the more the blog is viewed as professional and the ‘author’ as an expert, because it’s the way people psychologically think.
3. Posts are placed in an ‘archive’. Your posts will still be accessible and ‘pulled’ by the search engines when someone researches one of your keywords – even years on. So all the hard work that one puts into writing articles will not die after a few days or months. In addition, the posts go in archives, and one can easily access them through a search box, or by means of category or date, through your blog. So, although on the page of your blog where you have your posts, there might appear to be only a few posts, at the back there is loads of articles that are easily accessible. So one can spend hours on a good blog.
4. Easy to create & update. Another positive things about blogs is that one does not need to know any html or special computer ‘language’, to be able to create a blog. Nowadays it’s so easy to build a blog and to update it regularly.I am in favour of self-hosted blogs where you own the blog, as opposed to a blog where it is hosted somewhere else where you don’t have any control. Although building such a blog (self-hosted) takes a bit more time and determination, it’s worth the effort, knowing that you can fully customize it how you want and that you own it. In addition, it is very easy to add pictures, links to social media accounts, videos, audio recordings, recorded training calls, shopping carts, forums…
5. Your blog is your voice. The blogger or ‘author’ has total control on what information to give out and what kind of message he / she wants to pass on to his / her readers. Moreover, the blogger usually chooses a topic that she / he wants to write about – usually a blog revolves around 1 topic, and the blogger also chooses whether to blog as a hobby, part-time or as a professional – the difference being the amount of articles posted per week, the amount of time spent on the blog each week, and hence how much money is to be earned from the blog.
6. Can be a stand-alone business. Those who blog professionally, earn an income from their blogs. There are various ways in which one can monetize one’s blog – I will be dedicating a future article dealing with ‘Monetizing Your Blog’.
7. Blogs can supplement an offline existing business. Keeping a blog, can help your company to be regarded as a leader within your industry. In addition, prospective clients can read your blog, interact, and purchase products and services from you.
8. Can enhance your career. Through your blog, and hence a greater visibility, you can experience positive changes in your career and business, and build a reputation for leadership in your particular industry.
THE VERY FEW DISADVANTAGES THAT I CAN THINK OF
1. One has to commit. If you want your readers to keep coming back for more, there needs to be articles or other type of information posted regularly for them to read, as otherwise your blog will die a slow sure death. Depending on your purpose of blogging, should be a clear indication of how often you should post a new article. I recommend, at least 2 posts weekly – or you can go down the route of having a ‘solid’ post weekly, and other small supporting articles the rest of the week.
2. Too personal. One has to balance out what to write. Some people keep it strictly business, although a lot of readers like reading blogs because it makes the blogger human – so some might decide to put in a bit of personal information. One has to be prudent and realistic what information to place on one’s blog – you don’t want your reputation, business or career to be put in jeopardy.
3. Hot topics. Same goes for controversial and radical topics – one has to weigh really well what to write about. It’s OK to place your opinion about someone or something, but remember too much negativity will after a while get boring, and a blog can be potentially viewed by 1.6 billion people.
4. Too much spam. I bring up this topic once more, as it is the basis of a good blog with many viewers and subscribers, and a ‘ghost’ blog. People search the internet for valuable information – the more ‘free’ value you can give your readers the more they will visit again and again. Then once you build a relationship and you are viewed as an ‘expert’ in your field, then you can start looking for ways to monetize your blog.