The decision to start up a blog is not one that should be taken lightly. At Vanguard Communications, we had to consider whether our insights and commentary on communications issues would benefit the already robust public relations blog community. Since you’re reading this post on our blog, you know which way we decided, and you can read more in Maria Rodriguez’s post about why we chose to launch it. There are many reasons to start a blog and countless benefits to your brand when you do. Here are a few less obvious reasons to consider blogging as a tool to boost your online communications efforts.
- Blogs are flexible. Blogging give you a platform that allows you to communicate positions, opinions and ideas that may not fit neatly into your existing website. You can react to news and events with commentary that frames an important issue for your company or organization, while not interrupting the normal flow of information on your website
- Blogs are personal. Blogs allow members of your organization to write on the topics that they know best and care the most about in a voice that is their own. This gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your organization’s personal ties and investment in the issues that drive your day to day business. What’s more, it can show that you’re following ongoing updates in your field. Giving the public a window into the minds of your employees can ultimately help your messages resonate.
- Blogging helps with search engine optimization efforts. Search engine optimization (SEO, for you acronym-lovers) is a big, tricky industry that is built entirely on trying to figure out how to maximize returns from the algorithms that drive search results for Google, Yahoo, Bing and others. Blogging, however, is a simple way to help increase your search standing. It is basic math – if you have more content related to the core concepts of your website, more people will be able to find your website using search engines. This can help drive more traffic to your website – not only to your blog, but to your core web properties.
- Blogging builds communities. Yes, yes, I know – blogging is so 2003. Shouldn’t I be talking about Twitter or foursquare or Gowalla or Facebook or [insert your favorite social networking outlet here]? Sure, social networking may be all the rage these days, but don’t underestimate the power of a blog. If you’re supplying good content, you’re developing a community of loyal readers that will share your message, champion your causes, and react when you ask something of them. If you’re using social networking platforms, your blog provides valuable content that can help keep conversations going.
Before starting a blog, think strategically. Like any other communications platform, decide who your audience is and develop materials accordingly. You’ll need to provide regularly updated content that is valuable and interesting – but if you’re able to make this commitment, blogging can become an important asset in advancing your organization’s online efforts.