So what exactly is a blog?
According to Wikipedia:
A blog (a contraction of the term "Web log") is a Web site, usually maintained by an individual , with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.
Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (artlog), photographs (photoblog), sketches (sketchblog), videos (vlog), music (MP3 blog), audio (podcasting), which are part of a wider network of social media. Micro-blogging is another type of blogging, one which consists of blogs with very short posts. As of December 2007, blog search engine Technorati was tracking more than 112 million blogs. With the advent of video blogging, the word blog has taken on an even looser meaning — that of any bit of media wherein the subject expresses his opinion or simply talks about something.
So basically a blog is an easy way to publish content. On a personal level, a blog is an online journal where you post your thoughts and ideas and share them with friends and family. From a business stand point a blog is more of a self-published journal used to educate, enlighten, motivate, promote or review products services or any other thing. You see because there are so many ways to use a blog many people have been confused on how to use or start a blog. Or why they should even care.
From a business standpoint a blog is a powerful tool. It is great at presenting the company's true personality. It is great at setting the company up as an expert in the industry. A blog is also great from a search engine optimization standpoint when it is used correctly.
So on a personal level, should you start a blog? Well if you have a lot of things to say, start typing away. It is very easy to get started. It is also very therapeutic to get all your ideas out of your head and out on paper so to speak.
On a business level, does it make sense to have a blog? Yes. It is a huge opportunity to start a conversation with your clients, prospects and others. Do not worry about people posting negative comments on your blog about you, your company or your service. Think about this. Let's say someone comments something nasty about your company. Now, instead of deleting this comment, let's say you respond to this person and reach out to fix their problem. This is an opportunity to help someone that is not happy and potentially turn them into an extremely loyal customer, maybe just by listening to them. Worse case scenario, you jump through all kinds of hoops to help this person out. Obviously, you might take a loss on this project, but how much will you make back by saving the relationship. What is better is that all the readers of your site see how dedicated you are to helping your customers. This is a great opportunity to prove you are not only saying you have great customer service, but proving it.
So you see blogs are articles you write to interact with customers and prospects. They are meant to offer advice and suggestions, tips and tricks and heck even entertainment.
So we recommend everyone out there gets a free blog and starts writing and sharing your ideas. Interact with the people online. Create unique and interesting content and you will start to build a following.
Good luck and most of all, have fun!