Blogging is a powerful marketing, advertising and promotional tool, so it is little wonder that there are thousands of blogs online. A blog is a frequently updated log that might feature new content every hour, or maybe just once a month, depending on its size and purpose.
At OnPoint, many of the blogs we write are to inform our consumers about other topics that are relevant to a core subject, like tips for gauging the air in your tires on a website about driver’s licensing. In this case, however, we’re writing a blog about writing blogs to inform you about a core tenet of our typical content strategy and a type of digital publishing whose importance cannot be overlooked.
What makes a “good” blog?
An effective blog can turn a strong following into brand loyalists or new customers. Though blogs can cover everything from fashion to finance, successful post platforms all have a few things in common:
- Original Content – Blogs can be entertaining, artistic or informative, but original content is a must. Unless blogs posts offer a specific and tangible value to their readers, there is no reason for these readers to stay on the page, much less return to the blog another day. Additionally, search engines penalize duplicate content. If each post is not distinct, the blog will never rank on the top page of search results and will not be able to attract new readers.
- Regular Updates – A blog that has not posted new content in the last month is a blog that is losing followers. As a blogger, you need to place the most value on loyal followers, and you need to keep in mind that irritated readers will quit a blog entirely if it only posts sporadically. You will command more respect from your subscribers if you post regularly and show your reliability. Furthermore, your blog will rank higher in search engines as a result.
- Ongoing Promotion – If readers don’t know that your blog exists, it’s going to be difficult for your blog to succeed. Popular blogs don’t pour their content out into the web and hope that happy readers will stumble upon it. They make the effort to connect to the reader. A blog can attract new followers by running contests, having regularly updated social media pages and publishing guest posts on other blogs.
Different Blog Types
There are plenty of free blogging platforms to choose from, so bloggers can create any blog at any time for any reason. Furthermore, there is no limit to the content a blog can cover. However, the key is to keep on topic. For example, a fashion blog will not be able to build a loyal following if it alienates fashion-interested readers with posts about upcoming medical technology.
Blogs exist in many forms, but there are a few kinds that are especially popular today:
- Personal Blogs – The first blog that launched in 1994 was Links.com, a personal blog by then college student Justin Hall. In 2018, personal blogs are still the most common kind. Bloggers might keep a journal of their day-to-day life to share with followers, or they might populate the blog with their opinions on movies, products, etc. It is more difficult to generate reader interest in a personal blog, but with a strong voice and interesting content, personal blogs can see huge success.
- Topic Blogs – Topic blogs have a specific area of focus, such as travel, food or industry news. Unlike personal blogs, topic blogs are devoted to a special interest rather than the blogger. These blogs build a following out of existing interests and can attract followers quickly, but topic bloggers will have more difficulty differentiating their content than a personal blogger.
- Photo Blogs – Not all blogs have to be text-heavy. Artists or photographers create successful blogs by posting images. Slideshows, galleries and social media are excellent ways to create photo blogs. Like text-focused blogs, the quality of the content is the key. A popular photo blog can amass raving fans as effectively as any business blog.
- Microblogs – Twitter is not the sole platform responsible for the rise of microblogging, but it is the most popular. Microblogs are characterized by short and frequent updates, most often under 100 words. This form of blogging is most effective on social media, and the most popular microblogs have followers in the millions. A prime advantage of a microblog is that it is more flexible and less time-consuming than long-form blog posts.
Why should you create a blog?
There are plenty of reasons to get into blogging, regardless of whether you’re doing so on a personal or company level. Personal bloggers might create a blog for fun, run promotions on their social media or use a blog to become a professional digital influencer. Meanwhile, a company can use a credible blog to keep its clients up to date, interest new customers and create a brand personality to differentiate itself from competitors. In either case, quality blogs can generate profit for the content creator, either by converting readers to customers or selling space to advertisers.
The most important thing to remember about blogging is that content is the key. A blog that does not offer value to its readers is a blog that will not likely generate profits for its creator. Additionally, despite popular belief, a blog doesn’t need millions of followers to be successful. A few thousand or even a few hundred regular readers can easily transform into company customers, brand loyalists or a source of ad revenue for you and your blog. As long as your blog has a purpose and a value to offer visitors, you can build a rapport with readers and become successful.