Blogging No Substitute For Good Content

Awhile back our small, weekly newspaper invited me to write a blog. At first I was flattered. Then I wondered – since my pay would be in free photocopying and faxing – why should I do it? What would I write about? In fact, what qualifies as a blog?

The term blog was coined in 1999. Webster’s describes it as “a diary; a personal chronological log of thoughts published on a web page.” says to blog is “to write entries in, add material to, or maintain a weblog.” Sounds like posting a personal column online. I could do that, but why should I? Why should any individual, business, or organization climb onto the blog wagon?

Blogger and social media expert Gerard McLean says most businesses should not blog. “If you want your organization to be taken seriously, quit blogging, McLean says. “Or more accurately, quit calling what you do blogging. You are not a blogger, you do not follow people nor do you have followers.”

What businesses can do, McLean says, is engage and interact with people on their web sites. Organizations can provide clients with industry insights, post easy-to-research resources, present comments on services or products, and employ online tools for customer support. Gilberties Herb Gardens’ web site is a good example. The company does not blog, but it maintains a primo online herb guide.

Then, I got my own web site and in my quest to be found by search engines, I read this advice: Blog. The more activity on your web site, the more likely it is to be noticed by search engines. Since you may not be changing your web site content that much, blogging activity is a way to attract search engine spiders and robots. A blog also gives me, as a writer, another opportunity to show my work to potential clients.

Rest assured, I do not suffer from “Delusions of Blogger,” defined by Marketing Profs Daily Fix as: “An unshakable belief that since you can type you can blog. Often leads to hallucinations of publishing and speaking careers.”

Blogs are about voice, personality, opinion, and conversation. If there’s a niche on your organization’s web site for this kind of exchange – and you have a clear idea of what it is you want to accomplish – blog away. If not, save your word power.