Much has been said of blogging in recent years. Most website owners know they need a blog, but why? What is the point? What is the purpose of having a blog? In short, Why Blog?
A Brief History of the Blog
The initial purpose of the blog was to provide a tool to inform readers of daily matters of interest to them. People started blogs for hobbies, to keep scattered family members in the loop about their daily lives, to tell customers about the latest widgets and whatchamacallits, to (fill-in-the-blank). In essence, the blog was a journal of sorts to keep readers up on the latest news.
Then the blog morphed into something else.
WordPress took blogging to a level not expected. WordPress offered their source code free to anyone who wanted to modify it. This was done with the understanding that they could sell their added functions as long as they offered a free version.
Suddenly, people found ways to make a blog as functional as a website. In fact, all anyone needed to do to build a website was start a blog; no money needed. Once the site became popular enough, they could spend a small amount to obtain their own web host and begin to reap the rewards of owning it.
Many know they need a blog. And most website owners use it the best way they know how, but many fail. The reason is because they do not understand the purpose of the blog.
Blogs largely keep readers informed about latest news, trends, or anything else of interest related to the site containing the blog. But it does more.
Remember that the first rule in sales (by way of extension, business) is trust. If your customers trust you, they will do business with you. If they trust another more, they will do business with them.
A blog is a great way to keep them in touch with what readers care about. Give them information that is useful. Keep them in the loop. Remember that they are not interested in your business or that Mary in Merchandising is going to attend the latest conference on building better whatevers. They may, however, be interested that the Merchandising Department will be improving their in-store experience and how.
WIIFM? for Blogging
When writing a blog, there are two important things to remember.
The first is the old acronym, WIIFM? This simply means,
“What’s in it for Me?”
That is the number one question in the back of every customers mind.
When they read your blog, they want to know why the information is important to them. If it is not, their level of respect, which is linked closely to trust, is diminished. If the information is useful to them, their trust in you and your business grows. Increased trust translates into increased business...customer loyalty. It is that simple.
How Long Should a Blog be?
The second thing to remember is that you should give your readers enough information for it to be useful to them. This varies by subject, but the blog post should contain enough information that your reader feels he/she has spent their time wisely.
As a general rule, the search engines (ala Google) have applied a loose 300 word rule, but recent changes to the algorithms used indicate that longer is better. How long? Some say 400 words.
At Oakes Writing we believe that the best way to approach this is to offer readers a five to seven-minute read. This comes to between 500 and 700 words. Essentially, the same length as an average video on YouTube or news story in the paper.
Just remember that your readers come to your for your expertise on a subject. They return if they trust what you say. As they become loyal followers, your business grows. This is the real purpose of a blog when you get down to it.
If you would like to learn more or need help with your blog, contact Oakes Writing today at 337-660-4774, email us at CJOakes@OakesWriting.com, or complete the following form.