This week we take a look at blogging and how its use has risen over the past decade. A “blog” is an abbreviation for “web log” that allows a user (such as business rep, private individual, or ad agency) to post content that is available to everyone on the World Wide Web. Many businesses are currently using blogs to keep their audiences informed about the current state of their business. The popularity of blogs has risen substantially over the years, which has increased the need for companies to establish their own blogs throughout the Internet.
According to Joe Pulizzi’s guide, blogging has been a steadily increasing practice for most companies. Business-to-business marketers increased their use of blogs by 27%, making blogs the 3rd most common content marketing activity. The ubiquity of the Internet is responsible for such growth, which is now requiring companies to establish an online presence through the use of popular blogging systems such as Word Press.
Costs and Maintenance
How much is this going to cost my company? I’m sure that’s a common question asked by many business owners when deciding to create a blog. Referring to the previously mentioned guide, there are several aspects that need to be taken into account when attempting to calculate a cost for the blog. Depending on the types of platforms you use or resources that are employed, the costs can vary greatly. Some factors that will affect costs are the following:
- Company size
- Location (taxes, regulations, etc…)
- Are you hiring in-house or outsourcing to an agency?
- How much content is being posted and managed?
- Hosting fees / ISP fees
According to Jay Baer’s article, calculating the cost and ROI for your blog can be done in 9 steps. The specific calculations are listed in the article (see link above), but seem to concentrate on assertions of how many hours per month your resources are spending on the blog management.
Overall, blogs are great way to inform and interact with your audience about content that’s relevant to your company and customers. This is a popular tool that is being used by companies around the world to establish a more direct relationship with their community of users.
We’ve already discussed the benefits of having an active blog in your community, but what about internal management of content generation? How are you going to plan for future content? When will it be posted and made available to the community? When will the community post content?
Say hello to the editorial calendar. The benefits of the editorial calendar can be found here. The editorial calendar allows community managers to stay focused on mid to long term goals and provide members with regular initiatives to drive content creation. Such calendars can promote teamwork and allow for easy delegation of tasks.
Overall, blogs are a popular trend that is not going away any time soon. There are many different services on the net that enable a business to create a blog, but there are many steps needed to make it successful. The referenced guides promoted the concepts of successful blog posting and content generation that a business can use to further develop its online community via blogs.