What is a Blog vs an Article?

When many people think of blogs, they think of an individual’s online journal, possibly sharing what that person had for breakfast, along with rants and raves about the details of their lives. That is one type of blog, but to be beneficial to your business, a blog should be more focused, providing useful information on topics that are helpful to your customers and related to your business. A blog can be very much like an article, and I often interchange these two terms. Technically speaking, blogs are typically shorter, less formal, updated more frequently, and more personal. Whether you call it a blog, or a series of articles, regularly adding to your business website provides a whole variety of benefits.

Why Blog?

  • Improves Search Engine Optimization – Google, and other search engines, constantly look for new content to index. By providing a wide variety of new content, you can cover more keywords and improve your website’s search engine ranking, so customers can find you.
  • Remind Customers that You’re in Business – Fresh content also gives your customers a reason to revisit your website, where they might come across your latest special or notice that thing they’ve been meaning to buy.
  • Establish Yourself as an Authority – If you’re providing customers with valuable information, they’ll assume you must know a lot about your business. Actually, research for an article or blog is a wonderful way to stay up to date with the latest improvements and trends in your industry, so you will know a lot about your business.
  • Develop Relationships – Blogging can help develop a rapport. Readers may post a comment, send a social media message, or email you with questions. This can lead to a discussion and a potential new client. Blogs are also a way to develop relationships with bloggers in related businesses. For example, a massage therapist might refer people to a chiropractor and vice versa.
  • Social Media Benefits – New articles or blogs give you something to post about, if you are active in social media. Once you do post, others can boost your marketing efforts by sharing, tweeting or liking your blog.

How to (Blogging and Article Tips)

When you write for the internet, it should be short and concise. Internet surfers are short on time, scanning for information, not looking to read something like War and Peace. One of my favorite books on writing is The Elements of Style, which emphasizes not saying more than you need to. Other tips include:

  • Search Engine Optimization – In order to get the most SEO benefits from your blog, research and optimize your keywords.
  • Write Regularly – We have busy lives, and websites get neglected, including mine. Schedule a regular time to post, so readers know what to expect and you keep the content flowing.
  • Include Images – Photos, graphs and illustrations can grab attention and can convey a message quickly. Like they say, a photo is worth a thousand words.
  • Make it Worth Reading – Storytelling and reaching your readers emotionally will keep them coming back for more.
  • Questions – Asking and answering your customers questions is a wonderful way to start the conversation. What is it they want to know?
  • Call to Action – What do you want readers to do? Consider letting them know in the final paragraph.
  • Promote Your Article or Blog – If you have a newsletter, be sure to include a teaser along with a link to the full article and do the same with your social media platforms.

A Few Blog Statistics

If you’re not convinced yet, I’ve got a few blog statistics for you. Company websites with blogs have 97% more inbound links, a big plus for SEO and bringing in internet traffic. Thirty-seven percent of marketers believe blogs are the most important type of content marketing. Sixty one percent of consumers have bought something based on a blog post.

If you need help developing a blog or website, Shuksan Web can help.