Recent events in the blogosphere have had us wondering about how the non-blogging world sees us – and by us I mean the people who spend the time to write and maintain a blog. This is an interesting question … but the people who are asking, as well as the people who read blogs already, they are probably one and the same person. The people who read this are generally not the ones who represent the other side – the non-blog reading/writing perspective… The question at hand is “are blogs as important as bloggers think they are?”
Everyone familiar with the blogging platform would generally agree that blogs are important. Most major corporations have one, and most media/news channels and publications republish their content through blogs. But just because a lot of people are doing it doesn’t make it important, just popular. The majority of traffic on the Internet is looking for news, information and solutions, and because blogs are current, proactive, and interactive, they are important.
If you were to do a search using the keywords “why are blogs important” the return hits you will get mostly focus on “increasing your company’s profile on the Internet”. Blogs allow a company to create a lot of pages of content which search engines like Google love. Blogs are also a key component in allowing people to share and distribute your information through social networks. Getting people to share their experience and talk about what you are doing has greater impact than if you were to deliver the message yourself.
Another important reason that supports the relevancy of blogs is that they inject individuality and can make a company seem more personal. Putting a face to the source of information projects the image of an individual who cares, rather than a corporation who is pushing a product. The ability to connect with the reader, insert personality, and earn the trust of your readers is the main reason to maintain a blog. I originally started my blog as a process to simply learn how to do it, but I have continued to operate my blog because I have found it surprisingly rewarding. When I talk about a business connecting with the client, I am speaking from first hand knowledge. People visit this blog and ask me questions, they send me emails, and they share information with me. This communication is two way and that has provided real value to me. It is the ability to communicate with the reader that makes blogs valuable in a way traditional media isn’t.
I wrote a post just a short while ago titled Social Media Superstar when the topic was addressing if social media isolated the individual – to which my answer, in typical round-a-bout Bob Borson style, was a resounding no. I didn’t choose to address that topic head on but rather come at it from the side and address how social media can connect people. Many of the same reasons I listed in that post are applicable here on why blogs (social media) are important. One reason that I didn’t focus on previously was content – and this might be one of the most important reasons. For people like myself who work in the design field, blogs offer a behind the scenes look at how I work, bringing attention not only to the place I work, but to me personally. In the past, my companies website would have been our only website presence. Since it was updated only once or twice a year at best, there wasn’t a reason for people to visit it very often. With a blog, I can prepare smaller, more accessible posts a few times a week that contain content specific to searches from the public at large. Interested in understanding Residential Construction Costs? Great, I have a post on that. Prior to the blog, there wouldn’t have been a good place to locate this information – certainly not on our website.
I’d like to think that my blog is the most important thing that ever existed – but I know it isn’t. For me, I wanted to have a forum to share what’s important to me, teach and learn something in the process, and connect with others in a broader geographic area than I am physically able to cover. Surprisingly, most of the people I know don’t read blogs … ever. Despite my new found appreciation for what they have to offer, I still think we are preaching to the choir just a bit, but I think the attitude towards blogs is changing as people’s knowledge of them changes – they have evolved are no longer simply online diaries.