Depending on who you ask, blogging can be a really powerful resource or platform for an individual, brand or group or it can be utterly worthless. Often, it falls somewhere in between but a lot of people don’t know how to value it properly. There are some simple ways to judge the effectiveness of a blog, but that’s a story for another day. While a blog isn’t the best idea for everyone one, it does hold a great deal of value – when used properly – but if a blog isn’t the right option, then there are alternatives for you to consider. The big question still remains: why have one at all?
Breaking down barriers
One of the best things about blogs is the freedom it offers you or your brand. The restrictions you face with copy and content on your website are dropped somewhat and you can develop a better tone and voice for how you want to come across to your audience. This allows people to get a sense of who you really are and they will relate to what you tell them easier. The same goes for individuals whether you work on one blog or appear on a few different blogs, people will get a feel for who you are and look out for content you post.
This is bringing you closer to your target audience all the time. They get a better idea and understanding of you while you start to understand them, who they are and what they want. This process becomes a two-way street and the better the content you provide through the blogs, the more comments and interactions you get, which helps you refine your process and also increases confidence in the brand as a whole.
Blogs go much further than simply breaking the barriers between you and your audience – you can use it as an informal platform to advertise yourself, your products and services, partners and raise issues and queries that may have come up recently in the news or in your company quite often. Quite simply, the content you can publish on a blog is wide and varied at all times but as long as your audience will find some use or value from it, there’s nothing to stop you creating and publishing it.
The blog is the one place where outright advertising, while possible, isn’t possible. If people are reading your blog, then you already have their attention and they’re looking for more balanced opinions and views. They want to understand your attitude to certain things and see how you can help them in general, with your products or services or without it. You need to look at the needs of the audience before your needs to get the best results.
One other thing to consider is your authority on the subject and area your blog is focused on. Your audience will look at where your information comes from and how much impact it has on them and on social resources and other blogs. Standing out is important but taking the wrong information and facts will not bring more attention to you – it will cause people to look elsewhere. Opinions are important but not everyone will share them. Finding a good balance is important and if you can back up what you say, then people will come back for more.
A blog isn’t always the right way to go, and having one for the sake of it will add no value to you, your brand or your social presence. Not only that, but you will spend a lot of time writing and researching content that is going to be pretty worthless to your audience (not in terms of actual value but if no one is going to read it, then there is no point in it at all). For some audiences, audio and video blogs can be a much better way to go. They might take longer to make, or even cost more to produce but if that’s what your audience is after, then the potential gain is going to be much better. This is something for your audience, after all, more than for you.