What is a Blog?
You have a company website but are wondering if you need a blog. How is a blog different from a website? A blog is a website made up of blog posts and content that is published in reverse chronological order with the newest posts appearing first. Each post has a headline or title similar to articles on a website, however, they are also time- and date-stamped.
The idea behind blogging is to publish content easily and frequently. Blogs require consistent updating to gain a loyal following. While there is no hard and fast rule about the optimal frequency for blogging, weekly posting can help you build momentum and an audience.
Other standard blog features include different ways to organize and access content such as:
- Archiving by month, week or by a visual calendar.
- Archiving by category and the ability to create custom categories.
- Archiving by keywords, also called “tags”.
- A search function to find content.
You can create a blog using a free or fee-based blog publishing tool or platform on the web. You can also use blog publishing tools to build static website with easy-to-use content management systems and social media integration.
Here’s a list of reputable blog publishing tools:
WordPress.com - Offers free hosting with many free and low-cost design templates, and an editing tool that functions like a basic word processing program. Paid features including custom URLs and premium design templates.
Tumblr - An easy-to-use multimedia blogging solution that showcases images and video.
Medium - An elegant blogging platform created by one of the founders of Twitter that encourages long-form posts.
Blogger - Owned by Google with the ability to ad Google AdSense to earn advertising income from your blog.
LinkedIn Blogs - Publish to a built-in audience - your LinkedIn contacts. The blogging tools are basic and easy to use.
Quora Blogs - You might not think of the Q&A site as a blogging platform, however, they do offer a blog feature to showcase your expertise.
Facebook Notes - If you have a Facebook Page, you can blog on it by adding the Notes app to your Page, Facebook’s simple version of blogging.
WordPress.org - The WordPress software is free but you need to pay for web hosting. More feature-rich than Wordpress.com.
SquareSpace - Offers variety of design templates, eCommerce, hosting, galleries, analytics and more.
Typepad - Customizable design, sell products, run ads, and Google Analytics integration.
The blog publishing tool you use should be based on your specific needs as well as the user interface you prefer. If you will have multiple bloggers, make sure your blog publishing tool accommodates for that and provides different access levels such as administrator, editor or contributor. Tumblr and WordPress are two blog publishing tools that accommodate multiple bloggers.
Different Types of Blog Posts
There are many different blogging styles and types of blog posts. Here are a few popular post formats:
Narrative Post - The format of an article, story or a personal diary entry.
Referencing Post - This post links to another post or article online and includes some commentary to provide context.
List Post - A popular post style to read and easy write. Consists of a numbered or bulleted list based around a theme.
Opinion Post - Like an OpEd, the opinion post can generate a lot of comments. Be careful mixing personal opinions on your company site if they aren’t compatible.
Multimedia Post - This post uses images, video, animation, even audio as the content.
Blogs tend to receive more attention with the popularity of social networks. People spend less time reading longer form content in favor of short posts that they can simply “like” and move on. Still, blogs are an easy way to publish fresh content online and can accommodate longer-form content than social network posts.
Should you have a blog for your company? Yes, blogs can be useful if you have valid business reasons to publish content online on a frequent basis. Meeting the demands of blog publishing can be daunting for any business owner who is not a writer or in the publishing business.