- Posted by Dave Chartock
- On January 24, 2016
- 0 Comments
- blog, blog writing, Blogging, professional writing
Have you ever asked “What is a blog?”
Blogs began as an online diary — a personal chronological log of thoughts.
But, blogs have evolved into professionally-written articles. They have become not only marketing tools that serve to publicize an individual’s, group’s or company’s online message, but as an alternative press by which messages can be passed along through an arena of “influencers”to create and garner awareness of a product, service or viewpoint. With regard to the latter, blogs are even considered a modern-day “editorial” or “column,” expanding the scope of traditional media that, prior to the Internet, included newspapers, newsletters, broadcast television and radio, and, going back several hundred years, pamphlets, such as Thomas Payne’s “Common Sense.”
Some blogs now include art or video, the latter known as “vlogs,” or audio, better known as podcasts.
Blogs can also include links to other information, especially if it is used as a marketing tool. As a marketing tool, blogs serve an educational need. Like a traditional newspaper or broadcast, they serve to inform, educate, influence and intrigue, arousing curiosity in the mindset of the reader as a good teacher would when intellectually challenging a student.
One of the key benefits of a blog is that it creates visibility. Like a company that undertakes frequent advertising, the visibility, especially if it is positive or educational, can serve to overcome negatives. Thus, a blog can be a vital addition to a reputation and/or crisis management effort.
Blogs can serve as a resource or source of information to print and television broadcasts, expanding their resources and sources, when needed, for a specific story or story angle.
And, when researched like a news or feature story, a blog serves to add credibility and credibility leads to an increase in followers or visitors (in the old, pre-digital days, we called them “readers.”)
As an added feature, blogs also can have a space for a reader to leave comments, creating a form of social networking.
Furthermore, when social media is used to promote a blog, it can help to increase traffic not only to it, but to a company’s website to help increase sales of a product or service. In other words, a blog can also serve as an additional sales tool in a company’s cache of individuals and collateral marketing and advertising materials used in new business development and existing business development used to grow revenues.
Blogs can also be used to enhance social media presence, making a blog and the social media platforms symbiotic.
Blogs can also help generate new sales leads. Once a visitor uses a link to your website, say it’s for a free offer mentioned in someone else’s blog, he or she is brought to your site’s landing page which contains a form for them to fill in with their information. Once the form is filled out and submitted, the visitor or prospect can receive the information, free offer or even a discount coupon to further turn the prospect into a sale or even a client, depending on the nature of your business.
Even if a sale does not result, the prospect will have spent the time to read and learn what your product or service is and become more knowledgeable about your product or service. So, at the very least, you still got into their mindset, and if and when they’re ready for your product or service, they may return and become a customer or client. And, if not, they still filled out the form on your website, which means you have the information to contact that individual at a later date to encourage a sale.
Another benefit to a professionally-written blog is that it can serve as a way to test campaigns by generating interest, comments and visibility.
Why, blogs have even led individuals to their own TV shows, and, as such, led to greater visibility (and stardom).
Blogs can serve as a foundation with which to build or start a business or career too. Or, it can be used to help sell a product or service. Whatever purpose for which a blog is used, it should be researched, contain information from an authoritative source, and/or include one or more interviews of others in the field (such as The Attitude Group’s blog on “The Importance of Industrial Design“), and, above all else, try to inform and educate.