What is a blog, anyway? The basics, explained

What is a blog? If you’ve ever been too embarrassed to ask such a simple question in your dealings with website designers, don’t be! In our experience developing, launching and managing custom websites for small business owners, we actually get this question much more often than you think. So, let’s explore the nature of business blogs in more detail, including how to utilize them to boost your small business online.

What is a blog?

Blogs are defined as “personal” websites or web pages that are updated on a regular basis with opinions and links to other sites. In other words, the nature of blogs, which sets them apart from traditional websites, is that they are of an editorial versus purely factual nature, are updated regularly (daily, weekly or monthly), and have an element of social engagement through referencing/linking to other websites or blogs.

Differences between a blog and a website

Since we are specifically covering how to use a blog for your business, it’s important to note the difference between a business blog and a business website. Your company’s website is a multi-page framework that features (on a basic level) details about your company, a list of services and contact information. Your company’s blog, on the other hand, is a section located within this larger website, a link to which is usually featured on the main menu. (Some businesses host their blog separately from their website and link to it; however, since your main goal with a business blog is to drive traffic to your website, we feel that hosting your blog internally is often the best choice.)

Differences between a blog and a newsletter

New blog posts are published directly to a web page or site online, which means blogs are constantly evolving and growing with new content. A newsletter is a one-time publication generated internally by your business and emailed directly to the inboxes of a subscriber list. However, an e-newsletter is a great way to generate traffic to your business blog by including teasers or snippets from the blog with direct links to each post. Ideally, this will, in turn, drive more visitors to your company website. Which brings us to:

How to use your blog to promote your business

As we mentioned previously, it’s a good idea to host your business blog on your company website in order to drive traffic—and ultimately conversions—to your website. After all, you’re not blogging for your health (unless, you’re a health blogger, of course!), you’re blogging to promote your small business. Accomplish this by determining what topics your customers are interested in and tailoring your blog posts accordingly in order to create quality, shareable content. Then, share links to your blog content on social media, including your company’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ accounts, as well as your company newsletter.

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