Is it essential? No. Is it an effective marketing tool (long term) to demonstrate your expertise? Yes. Links, shareable content, questions to your audience to encourage participation and sharing of information they likely don't already know (in bite sized pieces) are all great elements to focus on. Infographics also work terrific as blog content.
A blog is another way to show thought leadership. But it takes work and commitment.
If you are not willing to do it on a regular basis, then do not do it. If you post every week for six months and then stop, your followers will think you are no longer in business and go away.
Blog is important these days as it helps in your ranking in Online presence as well as is key to make customers for long term. Its good for every business around to update customers with companies activities and more.
WordPress Blogs are easy to design and manage as well.
Please let me know if you are interested to making one.
Feel free to PM me.
A blog is only valuable if it augments your business in some way. A blog must be kept current so if you are not committed to providing thought leadership to customers then a lame blog will make you look bad. If you only update a blog a couple times a year, consider disabling the author and publishing dates from showing so your content does not look stale to new visitors.
Blogs, like other forms of social media marketing, are only successful if they have valuable content. Plus, they need to be maintained and contain fresh content frequently. I would seriously review other social media platforms in your early stages before venturing into blogging.
It depends on your business. If your business can benefit from connecting online with your customers, then it can help you. It also depends on you - are you committed to feeding it with meaningful content?
A blog is one of the many ways to build story around your business, and connect with the people to whom your business matters. If your business mainly connects in a different way with people, then a blog may not help you enough to be worth the effort.
For example, if you have a popular restaurant where people can count on getting the same quality food and service from an established menu...then maybe a blog isn't for you. Your customers come in on the same days with some frequency, and you connect personally with them when you greet them at the door. You're not looking to bring in lots of new customers from a different demographic, so the blog channel may not be for you.
On the other hand, if your restaurant is just getting established, and likes to mix it up with daily specials and frequent menu changes, emphasizing fresh ingredients from local farms...then you have a story to tell. Telling that story on your blog, with regular updates about the ingredients, your recipes, etc. can be a powerful way to build your business and encourage your customers to recommend you to friends.
Don't read the above too literally: I'm not saying restaurants don't need blogs. It's just an example attempting to show an effective use of a blog vs. a kind of business that may not have a need for one.
If you decide on a blog:
1. Get someone to help you build it so it looks good, and instruct you on how to feed it.
2. Keep it fed, with regular, meaningful updates. Having a stale or irrelevant blog is almost worse than not having one.
3. Tell your story! Don't just phone it in, make sure the blog tells me who you are, why you do what you do, and what makes your business special. Make me want to be your customer.
4. Promote it - there's no point in publishing to an empty house; put it on Facebook, business cards, Twitter, shout it from the rooftops...whatever you have to do to get it noticed. Looking at your blog is a low-commitment activity for me, and if the blog is well done, I might come to your business and buy something - but you have to bring it to my attention.
A blog is not enough. You need it for sure, yet, the content should be high quality and , your strategic clients /partners should read it. In other words, you need to have a good marketing over the web to engage them to read what you want to deliver.
Blogs are inexpensive to create but can be expensive on time
For B2C they are more effective.
For B2B depends on the industry
For the creative, marketing, advertising and technical industries yes.
First make sure your website tells visitors what you want them to know about you and your products or services.
Blogging is very helpful in getting your corporate website ranked. It is also helpful at positioning you as a thought leader in your business space. It is important that whatever you blog about is relevant to the people you are trying to influence.
There are plenty answers here on the need and use for a blog. If you're working from an existing WordPress theme, you should be able to have a working blog without much trouble at all.
It is not a matter of utilizing catchy elements but more about the purpose of your blog ie. What your business relates to and topics you want to discuss. You can of course use links and sharable content that draws attention but it should all be relative to who you are targeting and what your topic is.
You'll find that if you already have a core audience from your business it will become a process of trial and error. Usually figure 400 words, decent pictures, relevant links, and most importantly make it interesting to people who have no idea what you do.
Great responses here. I would add a tip that if you do decide to blog, choose a theme or topic stream that you LOVE.
It is so easy for me to write content for my blog about personal branding, because I love it.
Choose something you think about all the time and are compelled to write about and you will find it much easier to sustain the effort required.
A blog is definitely not essential!
My usual response (as I am asked this quite often), is what purpose would your potential blog serve?
Most people believe that they have information of value and consider therefore that others have a need to know. The truth is that most people’s information is already accessible and more readily available else ware.
A blog’s value to your site’s SEO should be scoped, ranked and prioritised, there are likely to be far more resource effective ways to improve your web page indexing.
Look closely at the blogs of your contemporaries and key competitors, how many views and comments have they generated? The vast majority of blogs are the scratching of individuals without an audience, and unless you are particularly good communicator and your subject matter is extremely topical, its content is never viewed by any of the folk you thought might be interested.
The key thing you want to accomplish with a blog is for people to come away feeling that the understand you and your business better. Ideally, while guidance should take customers step closer to reaching out to you doing business.
So, are catchy elements and reliable/attractive links required? Maybe, maybe not. You don't want the blog to be ugly, but if it gets out of its own way that's probably sufficient.
What's critical when writing a corporate blog is that you provide interesting, provocative, useful information which bonds those readers to you. Catchy graphics can help accelerate that process, but what really matters is the quality of the content.
So, I'm going to ask you: do you feel you know your business well enough to write short items about it that would intrigue people and keep them coming back? If yes, then don't sweat it about the links and artwork just yet.
By the way, if you want to improve your WordPress blog's look and feel right away, you may want to put out a request for proposals on a site called People per Hour. You can get a lot done that way for very little money if you use offshore contractors.
People judge books by their covers, and your blog is no different. You need to create something that looks good, that you can be proud of. Luckily, WordPress is ridiculously easy to use (and this is coming from someone who has absolutely no tech skills!). It shouldn't be hard to create something that looks professional.
Then, of course, you've got to fill it with content that's just as professional! Even the prettiest blog in the world won't succeed if it doesn't have content that draws readers in and teaches them something new.
A blog shows your leadership and knowledge of the products/services you provide. You need to work at it and dedicate the time to post blogs. If you don't have the time, hire someone who has the same expertise and able to spend the time to write blogs for you.
Prior to responding to questions, I scan any prior responses, Bill Barlow touched on exactly what I was going to say.
• It is necessary in getting your site ranked.
• It identifies you as an expert in your field - providing your content is relevant.
• The content should be related to your business. Don’t blog about subjects that aren't of interest to YOUR target market.
…and, make sure your blog posts are periodic, ideally at least once a week.
NivekTek Business Services – Providing Solutions to All Your Business Needs
We all are story tellers and our target audience love stories. Blog is an informal way of telling your stories. Use your style and freedom of expression to tell your stories. A word of caution, be professional in your content writing.
Important as another tool in your armoury for connecting with your current and potential customers. Lots of great answers here and as people have said, only commit if you are prepared to keep it up to-date and current. Nothing sadder than going to a blog and seeing the last post was in 2012.. Think of the old mantra " content is king "