A blog is a website or part of a website that is meant to be updated on a regular basis.

Blogging is a term used to describe the act of creating the updates for the blog.

Since the late 1990s, blogging has grown from the hobby of Internet enthusiasts into an activity millions of people do today. The number of blogs grows each day and has been growing more with each passing year. As the Internet becomes more accessible and fast for people, blogging seems to be a way for people to both consume and create content. It’s a powerful feeling to create something that someone else finds valuable to consume. I think that’s where the simple power of blogging lies.

Types of Blogs

Blogging takes many forms. There are blogs with long posts, short posts, photo posts, video posts, and just about every form of content you can think of. Blogging is constantly evolving and trends and cycles take over. Photos might be popular in blog posts today and tomorrow it might be video. I think that, over time, there will be a blend of all forms of content that make up blog posts.

The form of a blog is important. You can have great idea to share, but that’s only part of the challenge. In order to communicate with people it’s necessary to find the best way to speak to them. That’s where the visuals, sounds, and text come into play.

A blog is a way to communicate with a targeted audience. If you have ideas to share with a core group of people that you know they’ll find valuable, the next step is to figure out how that audience wants to be spoken to.

In most cases, simple writing does the trick. You can’t beat text. Most people know how to read. Some people even enjoy reading. In fact, I’ll share a secret – people actually love to read if the text they’re reading has insight into making their lives easier, more enjoyable, and comfortable.

Business Blogs

In the last few years, individuals have used blogs as a way to increase traffic to businesses. This traffic often turns into revenue and profit for the business.

In this guide, business blogging is defined as the act of individuals at a business using a blog to do these things: increase traffic, sales, and profit.

Profit is what makes business possible. That’s always the goal of any business activity and the same should be true for any blogging activity.

And I believe blogging is a great long-term profit source.

Business blogging is a change in marketing mentality. Blogging is an inbound marketing technique. Inbound marketing means creating something that has the ability pull potential customers to your product or service.

Inbound marketing is the opposite of push marketing. The goals are to find customers when they are looking for something. They have realized a need and want to discover a way to improve their situations.

Push marketing is different. There are many forms, but the main idea is that push marketing occurs anytime a person is interrupted with a marketing message from a company. You probably encounter push tactics every day via the radio, TV, and billboards. Push marketing is everywhere and it does work, otherwise companies wouldn’t spend billions of dollars pushing their message out to their (assumed) target audience.

To recap, push marketing means interrupting your target audience with your branding message. You’re trying to get their attention and make it known that you have something to offer that will improve their lives.

Inbound marketing means having information available so that people can discover it on their own time and usually when they are looking for such information and content. Search engines are usually the method folks use for finding this kind of content, but folks also subscribe to blog updates via RSS, email, and social media channels. It’s another method of opting in to a company’s updates.

It is important to note, that there is still a bit of interruption with inbound marketing. When a company shares something useful, like a blog post, readers often share the content with their circle of peers and friends. This person usually wants to be seen as valuable to others in their circle. The person feels that by sharing the useful content they will be appreciated as a great source of information.

In this instance, the readers of your blog act as the push marketers for your business. It’s a more natural way for your company to interrupt the lives of your customers and get them inbound to your blog and website. This is an aspect of inbound marketing that crosses over with push marketing.

The inbound nature of blogging is what attracts today’s business leaders. Rather than interrupting customers, brands can offer their messages via a blog with various forms of content and capture the attention of customers when the customers are seeking it.

With inbound marketing, blogging included, there is a higher success rate. You have a higher response rate when you impress someone with your branding message when they are prepared to hear it than when you interrupt a person’s daily life.

This is the reason why business blogging has grown and will continue to grow.

Inbound marketing is the first hint of why blogging matters to businesses.

Continue reading Chapter 2: Why Blogging Matters