Well, maybe it is. Except for those times when it isn’t. Sorry if I’m talking in riddles, but I’ve been seeing it a lot recently. I visit someone’s website and get excited when I see a link to a blog. Then I click through to find out that it’s actually something else.
What am I talking about? Read on to find out…
Why do I get excited about blogging?
I love blogs because they’re a great way to communicate with your audience. I can sit down and write my blog feeling as if I’m having a conversation with you, the person who’s been kind enough to click through and read my ramblings.
It’s a real treat for me, which is why it makes me happy to see other people getting involved. It means that you’re communicating with your audience in a really direct and personal way. Even people who are already your customers can benefit from the things you share so they come back for more. It helps new customers to get to know you and existing ones feel valued.
So why isn’t your blog really a blog?
A blog isn’t the same thing as a news article. I’m seeing a lot of blog posts that talk about an upcoming event or a new initiative or product that businesses are offering. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t promote these things, of course you should. But it isn’t a blog, it’s a news item.
If you want that type of information on your website, put it somewhere else. Create a news and events page. Create an event on Facebook and invite people from there. Your audience need to know what’s happening, but a blog isn’t always the place.
There are exceptions, of course. A piece announcing that you’re off to an awards ceremony tomorrow night is a news item. However, a piece telling your audience about the event and what you learnt from it could be a blog.
How is a blog post different from news?
Think of it this way. When you listen to a news bulletin in the morning, does it feel as if you’re part of a conversation? Probably not. You learn some facts but not much more. On the other hand, if you then go on to watch a discussion programme about the same subject, you feel more involved. You might not be able to take part in the conversation but there’s more insight, a personal perspective on the issues involved.
That’s what a blog should be like. If you’ve hosted an event a follow up news item might tell your audience who was there and how much money you raised for charity. A blog post on the same subject would take your reader through your personal impressions of the event. You could use it as an opportunity to share what you thought went well or what you’d do differently next time. Sharing what you learned lets your readers learn from you, as well as see you as a human being. In a blog you can be funny, friendly and chatty.
What’s more, a blog post doesn’t have to be limited to news or offers. You can talk about things that your readers will care about even if they’re only slightly related to your business. For example, I sometimes talk about time management. I won’t be coming into your office to tell you how to work more efficiently, I’ve had help with that bit myself. What I can do is play a part in taking stuff off your plate.
So, if you’re at all in doubt, remember: news = facts, blog = chat.
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