Blogging Introduction to Blogging

A blog is an online journal. Today, blogs are a core focus of small business websites.

Why? Among other things, blogs help small businesses come up in Google searches. Debbie Weil, author of the Corporate Blogging Handbook, says the term "blog" stands for “Better Listings on Google” (though Wikipedia opts for the more traditional definition).

In this section, we’ll take a look at how you can get started blogging. 

What's Blogging?

The face of business is evolving, now it’s just as important to be human as it is to create better widgets. A blog gives your company a way to showcase its personality and culture in a sort of online headquarters. 

There are a lot of software platforms available for blogging, including Blogger, Posterous, Tumblr, Movable Type, and TypePad. We’ll give you a quick lay of the land, but we're going to focus on one of the most popular blog platform choices: WordPress.

Why Blog? The Benefits of Blogging:

Demonstrate thought leadership: Share your smarts with the world and show that you’re a leader in your field by continually sharing your insight on the things that matter most to your customers and prospects.

Improve SEO: Or “Search Engine Optimization." Remember, because you are sharing great content about topics related to your organization, you'll get higher rankings on Google and other search engines.

Build brand awareness: When people are searching for topics related to your business online, they are more likely to find you if you’re blogging regularly, which means more people will get to know your brand.

Build relationships: Be everywhere your customers and clients expect you to be—chances are they will be looking to your blog to bring a human element to your brand.

Provide customer support: Blogging provides a platform to resolve customer issues, address consistent problems, and highlight your solutions..

Build community: Build great content and an inviting forum, promote it, and people will make your blog a destination. 

Communicate news: Keep your customers and non-customers informed about the latest and greatest delevopments happening with your products and services.

According to a study by Hubspot of their customer base, the average company that blogs has 55% more website visitors, 97% more inbound links, and 434% more indexed pages than those that don't.

Know Your Options: Blogger

Blogger is the grandfather of the blogging world.

Pros: It’s quick and easy for beginners to setup and get started. Blogger is owned by Google, so your content will live on their servers. Expect the blog to run near 100% of the time, and lots of integration with other Google applications.

Cons: Blogger only offers a hosted solution, which means that it will be harder for you to make customized changes. If you’re serious about blogging, we recommend WordPress.

Know Your Options: Tumblr

Tumblr & Posterous are both a cross between a micro-blog (like Twitter) and a full-fledged blogging platform (like WordPress).

Pros: Tumblr & Posterous break posts up into content-specific categories like photos, quotes, music, etc. Part bookmark, part blog, they are both awesome ways to keep a live stream. Posterous is famous for their post by email feature, while Tumblr is a great service to build community around finding and sharing new ideas.

Cons: Both sites aren’t the easiest to fully customize, and they can be confusing for beginners.

Know Your Options: WordPress

WordPress is one of the most popular blog platforms available today.

Pros: WordPress comes in two flavors, WordPress.com the hosted version, and WordPress.org the source code. This means that you can get started right away, and as your technical expertise grows, your blog can grow with it.

It’s free, easy to customize, and supported by an incredible community of volunteers who work hard to improve the platform every day.

Cons: To fully customize the hosted version at WordPress.com, you might need to upgrade your account.