Why a website & blog should be your online hub - Aug '10 Bright Ideas Blogzine
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Blogging Bistro | August 2010
Why a website and blog should be your online hub
Today I received an e-mail from my friend and writing colleague, Carolyn.
She writes: "I've been researching the possibility of setting up a website and beginning a blog."
You might be thinking, "Doesn't everybody already have a website?"
Nope. In fact, upwards of 50 percent of the folks I meet - particularly owners of small businesses - do not have either a professional or personal website or blog.
If you're on the cusp, wavering about whether to launch a website/blog, the following information will help you make an informed decision.
The value of a website
Always open for business.
If you have a brick-and-mortar business, you hang a "Closed" sign on the door several hours each day. But your company website -- your virtual storefront - is open 24/7.
People from all over the world can window shop, learn more about you, and get directions to your physical location. If you install a shopping cart system on your site, they can even buy products from you while you sleep.
Makes you easy to find.
If you don't show up on Google, you don't exist. It's a sad but true fact of life in our wired world. If someone wants to find your business, the first thing they'll do is Google you. And if they don't find you in 30 seconds or less, they'll likely take their business elsewhere.
A website -- one that effectively incorporates keywords that turn up in Google's search results - ensures that others can find you...
...and that brings us to blogging. A blog (short for web log) is an interactive website.
A theme-oriented blog that's embedded into your website will encourage visitors to:
spend more time at your website
explore more pages on your site
return to your site more often
purchase more of your products and services
Blogging is both a quantity and quality thing. It takes 8 to 10 "touches" before your name (or your company name) lodges itself in someone's long-term memory. A blog allows you to touch people's memory banks on an ongoing basis.
Quantity. Search engines index every blog post, so the more articles you publish, the greater your chances of being found by people searching for information about your topic.
Quality. Engaging, insightful blog articles help your readers learn to trust you. Tailor each blog post to one primary key word or phrase (so search engines know how to index your post), and use that key word naturally in the body of your article.
Isn't blogging overdone?
According to a Nielson Company study, 20% of U.S. adults who are online publish or own a blog. That means there's still plenty of room for growth in the blogosphere.
And lots of people read blogs - 75% of U.S. households visited a blog or other social networking site in May 2010.
Nearly 1 in 5 small business owners are integrating social media into their marketing plan, and if the predictions hold true, those numbers are going to drastically increase during the next five years.
If you don't have a website and/or a blog, now is the perfect time to begin building your virtual infrastructure, with a website/blog as the hub of your online presence.
What publishing platform should I use?
Is Blogspot.com truly the slum of the Internet?
What's the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
How can I create an all-in-one website/blog combo?