Note: 12 Minute Marketing Co-Creator Rick Strater returns with Part Two in this Blogging Basics series.
My 2 Cents on Why Blogging Rocks
The benefits of blogging are numerous. In fact, considering the possibilities, it becomes unclear why people doing business on the Internet would prefer a website over a blog.
First of all, blogging allows you to create a conversation. That’s HUGE. By allowing comments, you are able to engage your readers.
Additionally, in many cases you will find that visitors return to monitor new comments on a given post. Depending on the popularity of a particular post, you might find people returning to comment on other comments, thus creating a lively debate and racking up page views.
Page views I might add, that are vital if you ever plan on making cash from your blog.
Secondly, blogging allows more freedom than having a website. You can vary the topics on your blog as much as you wish, plus you can vary the length of your posts. There is no reason to bore your visitors with the same information day after day; blogs allow you to spice things up.
Plus you can fiddle with your writing style and approach from time to time and get away with it, while any changes in tone or style would immediately stand out like a sore thumb on a static website.
Thirdly, the most popular blogging platform – WordPress – allows for a multitude of plugins with which you can add additional functionality to your blog.
(Editor’s Note: Of course we talk about WordPress in the 12 Minute Marketing program. A lot.)
You can add anything from an online contact form to creating a custom site-map for search engines. Some plugins will add visual changes, while others will simply work behind the scenes to make your blog more efficient.
Trust me this is uber cool when it comes to increasing the usability and functionality of your site. And your visitors will love the results!
Fourthly, blogs possess an RSS (real time syndication) feed. As a result, every time you add new content, a number of services are notified of the update, resulting in attention from the search engines.
Additionally, this feed can be routed to your Facebook or Twitter account, allowing you to share your blog updates on your status without even logging in. Visitors can subscribe to your RSS feed to stay updated on new content, or even subscribe to the comment’s RSS feed to follow new conversations.
BONUS: the structure of blogs make them search engine friendly by nature, which means it’s ten times easier to attract search traffic than it is with a static site.
Finally, the blogging platform makes it possible to change the appearance and layout of your blog in seconds. No really, seconds.
You can change the colors, the sizes and the layout of your sidebars by simply selecting a new theme (template set). This, along with adding plugins, can be done from within the admin area of your blog – something which is not possible with any other website built on any other platform.
(Editor’s Note: We use The Thesis Theme for WordPress – that’s an Affiliate Link.)
Ease of use and convenience is – of course – an important factor for many people. While it does take some time initially to set it up and install your preferred plug-in’s, etc, adding new content afterwards is as easy as pie.
The best part is that you can add all this new content, tweak a new appearance and install new plugins, without any knowledge of FTP (file transfer protocol) or PHP (the coding language on which WordPress was written) required. Pure heaven for you techno-phobes out there.
The WordPress platform is continuously being improved. Every few weeks there are updates available for the platform itself, as well as frequent available updates for plugins and themes.
Updates can be done in a few clicks from inside the admin area – something which again is just not possible with your typical static website.
Considering all the upsides, it is sometimes hard to see why anyone would still prefer to waste their time with the old school static sites anyway.