What is a blog and why does my business need one?

tl:dr;

The default talk these days is 'you need a blog'. But is a blog really what you need for your business?

3 min read

Let’s start with the basics …

What is a blog?
What we now know simply as ‘a blog’ started life as a weblog – an online journal displaying the writers thoughts and journeys, usually presented as a list with the latest blog posts appearing at the top. Most times the content would come from a solo source, and sometimes a group of writers sharing their views on a common subject.

Nowadays people have many reasons to start blogging, sometimes for personal reasons and sometimes for writing about their business or interest.
SEO gooroos recommend businesses blog in order to get their websites ranking higher in Google – which, obviously, means ‘mORe BuSinESs’ – naturally.
This advice could not be further from the truth – it’s not as simple as that.

So, why blog?
There are many others running the same business as you, offering the same products or services, some worse, some better, plenty cheaper and some more expensive but, ultimately you’ve no real USP.
As a business you need to prove to your prospects that they should be buying from you.

Proof that you know your shit, as opposed to ‘proof that you’re shit’ comes from displaying your knowledge in an easy to digest format – in other words, blogging or, as I like to call it, writing business or industry related articles – top ten lists, how to guides and the latest ‘thing’ in your industry are generally regarded as the staples and a good place to start.
Ultimately, though, you need to get deeper than that, producing content that not only shows off your skills more succinctly, but, shows that you are the market leader.

Start with a video
Strangely the best place to start publishing a written article is with video.
Videos are gaining importance in the online world and more social media platforms have video options – some pre-recorded uploads and some live.

Of course, none of us really have £10k of kit sitting around our purpose built recording studio but, we all have a mobile phone.

Once you have produced a video you then have a ton of content to work with.

Here’s a list of content options that can be extracted from this one simple video:
Video – upload to YouTube, Vimeo and any of the other many social video platforms available around the web.
HINT: Get the video transcribed and include subtitles.

Podcast – There’s currently a trend for producing podcasts so why not jump in there. Extract the audio from the video and you’ve got yourself a podcast show!

Text – As you’ve sent the video off to be transcribed, using the text as subtitles for the video, you can then create a full blog post or article.

More text – You can now take the big article you published and break the content down into separate articles honing in on a specific area of discussion.

And then?
So, you’ve now published the article on your website but the fun doesn’t stop there.
Create a list of social media platforms that you and your audience hang out and start posting on them.
Remember to refactor the content for those platforms, an article posted on Medium would be different to something posted on LinkedIn, to a tweet etc.

And then?
Of course, a picture speaks a thousand words, so don’t forget to include a relevant image, possibly taken from the video. There’s many sources that list the preferred image sizes for each platform.

And then?
And finally, when you post externally from your website, don’t forget to link back to the original source.

Hopefully this article will give you a few ideas, but of course, feel free to get in touch when you are ready to publish more content for your business.

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