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 to Date
The purpose of the blog was initially to provide a tool for websites to inform their 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 that let people tell others whatever they wanted to tell them.
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 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 just as functional as a website. In fact, all anyone needed to do to build a website was start a blog; no money was needed. Once the site became popular enough, they could spend a small amount of money to obtain their own web host and begin to reap the rewards of owning their own site.
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 today.
Blogs largely keep readers informed about latest news, trends, and anything else of interest to them 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 they care about. Give them information that is useful. Keep them in the loop. Remember that they are not interested in your business and the fact 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 this 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. 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, naturally, depending on the subject, but the information should contain enough useful information to feel as though they have spent their time wisely.
As a general rule, the search engines (ala Google) have applied a 300 word rule, but recent changes to the algorithms used indicate that longer is better. How long? Some say 400 words.
In general, at Oakes Writing we believe that the best way to approach this is to offer readers a three to four minute read. This comes to between 500 and 700 words…essentially the same length as an average video on YouTube or an average news story in the paper.
Just remember that your readers come to your for your expertise on a subject and they return if they trust what you say. This translates into more business, which 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.