blog

Having a marketing blog allows you to communicate directly with prospects, customers, vendors, suppliers and the like.

Unlike a website, a blog is easy to self-publish and in many ways can be used as a regular website.  You can post articles, news releases, photos, video, audio, calendars of events, photo galleries and more.

Yes, you can use a regular website to do the same things but with a regular website you’ll need to know a bit of HTML and be able to use an FTP program to upload your changes to your web hosting server.  Are you glazing over already?  Not to worry.  This is where blogging can help you focus on your content and messaging without getting bogged down in the process itself.

BUILDING A BETTER MOUSETRAP

A marketing blog, or any blog for that matter, allows you to login directly through the front page of the blog which sends you to a dashboard that has word processing-style controls.  You’ll recognize the usual formatting conventions such as “B” for bold, flush left, flush right, insert image, etc.

But what blogging offers, that websites really can’t, is the automatic generation of RSS feeds and the ability for readers to add comments (if you want them to).

Now, you may not know or care what an RSS feed is (stands for Real Simple Syndication) but trust me, the fact that your blog automatically sends out updated info through the RSS feed that’s simply built into every blog (it’s really what makes a blog a blog in my opinion) is huge.  Here’s why…

GETTING CONNECTED

More and more sites import blog feeds into their content pages.  Take a site like LinkedIn, for instance.  Once you have your blog up and running, you can simply import your blog’s RSS feed into your LinkedIn profile.  Or your LinkedIn Group.  Or your Facebook page.  Or your personal Google or Yahoo news page.  And so can others and that’s the real payoff.

If someone likes what you’re saying on your blog, with one click of a button, they can subscribe to your blog and whenever you update it, your new content gets sent directly to the subscriber through some type of RSS reader.  Sites like My Yahoo! and iGoogle are just two basic examples of personalized news readers that allow you to subscribe to these RSS feeds.

The point is, even if you don’t subscribe to other blogs (which you should but that’s a different article for a different time), those who want to and know how to do it, will.  And that’s a good thing!

Sending your messages to subscribers who want to learn more about you is akin to your own little broadcasting network.  Blogging is at the heart of what the term Web 2.0 is all about.  It’s about people publishing content, sharing that content, linking to that content, commenting on that content and virally manipulating and aggragating that content.  Publishing a blog will create opportunities for your content to appear on other websites and show up on popular bookmarking sites like Technorati.  Blogging also creates a reason to tweet, using Twitter,  But that, too, is a whole other story for another day.

Bottom line:  blogging represents a clear and effective way to communicate your messages while giving your readers built in tools to help them, and you, spread it far and wide.