Making the Web Work for You – Part 4

Sprechen Zie Blog?

Although your first reaction might be ‘Why would I want a blog on my website?’, a better question is likely ‘Why wouldn’t you?’.  You have yourself a well-designed and functioning site, you have done your due diligence with respect to Search Engine Optimization and you are keeping tabs on your site with some statistical analysis, these are all good things, but a blog can be a very nice addition.

From a business perspective, a blog is an easy way to reach out to your clients and visitors and provide up-to-date information on things that may affect them.  It provides your site with dynamic content that is useful and interesting, and also is a means to drive both new and repeat traffic to your door.  You do not have to be James Joyce to write a blog, entries can be short and to the point and should be written like a newspaper – in very plain English.  Content can highlight industry changes, your company’s activities in the community, or provide tips to homeowners like how cleaning your gutters prevent ice dams in winter.

Adding a blog to your site does not need to be a technical nightmare – if you have an in-house web server and the expertise, then deploying WordPress is not much of a chore.  If that is too much of a technical undertaking, you can rely on a hosted solution – and are both free and a decent web designer can integrate these solutions into your site quite easily.

I really cannot stress enough how big of a bang-for-the-buck a blog can be.  The only caveats are – be careful what you put in print, have your entries proofread before you publish to avoid any embarrassment or damage to reputation; and for those hosting their own, stay on top of the blogging application updates and patches.

Another aspect of blogging I wanted to touch on, even if you don’t want any kind of blog on your site at all – you may be able to contribute to other blogs.  In return for your content, perhaps you could throw a link back to your own site in your posts.  Something like that could even be done here on AU or over at the ASCNet Community, the drawback to the latter being that it’s not accessible to the public, so the traffic bonus could be limited, but it does all depend on your intended audience.

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