A blog is a Web log, an online journal. Blogs started out as online diaries, in which diarists shared their everyday lives with the world. From their beginnings as a weird Web fad in 1998, blogs have moved on, and are well on the way to becoming a standard business tool.
Why? Because in February 2003 Google.com bought Pyra Labs, the company which owns the Blogger weblogging tool. Blogger.com, one of the main sites providing blog software and hosting, boasted a million hosted web logs in early 2003.
Google.com’s interest in blogs indicates that blogs are mainstream. A blog help your business in many ways, depending on whether you create a private or a public blog. Blogs are so useful that you’ll want to create both.
Your business’s private, internal blog
These days, no one works alone. Even if you’re a solo business operator, you have colleagues — partners, contractors, and suppliers with whom you communicate daily. A private blog makes working with a group easier, because you can streamline your interactions, saving time and energy.
A private blog can contain notes to yourself, or to colleagues. It’s a place to store information and tips that might not warrant a special email message. You can post information like meeting notes, project tasks and summaries, and updated price lists. You can also post links to large files — no need to email, fax, or mail them to and fro.
Your blog is more useful than email, because blog postings are dated, and easily searchable. You can post a message you want everyone to read, and the message stays on the blog. With email, you read and delete, or read and forget.
If you’ve worked on a project with someone in another state or on the other side of the world, you’ve blessed email, because it makes sharing information so easy. Using a blog to share information is even easier than using email.
Your business’s public blog
A business blog is a marketing tool. A blog can add value to your Web site, or it can take the place of a Web site. Look on it as a combination “What’s New” Web site page, and an online journal. Because of a blog’s freewheeling nature, it’s friendly and relaxed.
If you don’t have a site, your blog’s a place to put your online CV, portfolio and client list. You can, and should, use your blog to express your personality and expertise.
If you have a Web site, your blog page builds loyalty, because if you provide interesting content, your visitors will return to your site. And because it’s a Web page, your blog will appear on search engines, attracting new clients.
Google has been treating blogs differently from other Web pages for a couple of years. Whereas it takes a standard Web page/ site a month to be indexed by Google, blogs are indexed daily. This means that your blog is mega-cheap advertising. You can post something on your blog and have it indexed by Google within a day.
Will creating a blog help your business? As I suggested in the article: “Get Googled And Build Credibility”, because Google.com is so popular and indexes so comprehensively, if you focus some of your marketing and promotion time on getting your name out on the Web, you’re building your credibility, both online and offline.
So go ahead, blog your business!
Createyour own free blog(s) www.blogger.com Blogger provides a template for your blog, and makes adding to your blog as easy as writing an email message. The “Post” and “Publish” buttons on the interface update your blog.
Weblog.com – recently updated blogs
A clever and useful little freebie to write and format your blog posts offline, then automatically post them when you go online.