Before we dive into blogging FAQs, let’s first dive into the word “blog”. Where did it come from?
Well, it started life as “weblog”, a term coined by Jorn Barger in 1997, to mean a log of activities shared on the web.
Then, in 1999, Peter Merholz deemed weblog to be a mouthful and shortened it to “blog”.
Here’s a snapshot of this historic Internet moment.
Now, let’s move on to blogging FAQs.
Question 1 — If I Have a Website, Why Do I Need a Blog?
A website and a blog are different. A website is like a business card or brochure and a blog is like a newspaper. The information on your business card—like your phone number, website, and email address—doesn't change often. The information in a newspaper changes frequently.
And so, with a blog, you have a place online where you can update your audience as often as you like. Use your blog to promote flash sales, upcoming deals, featured products, and industry news.
Question 2 — How Does Blogging Relate to SEO?
Blogging is a key component of SEO. New, unique, and engaging content gives your audience and search engine crawlers a reason to return to your website. If you infrequently update your website, your audience and search engine crawlers have few reasons for return visits. New blog posts give them reasons to return.
When search engine crawlers return to your website, they crawl your new blog posts and add them to their index. Now, your blog posts can appear in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
And if you created a blog post that is unique, informational, and engaging, then securing a top spot in the SERPs is yours.
Question 3 — How Much Does a Blog Cost?
The cost ranges from free to thousands per month in hosting, development, and marketing services. Thankfully, there is a range, and you can find the monthly cost that works with your budget.
If you already have a website, you may have the option to add a blog at no additional cost. You can explore this further with your hosting provider or developer.
Question 4 — When Can I Start Blogging?
Today! Right now! You may feel like you can’t start blogging or promoting your business until this product or that service or this feature is ready. But don’t let that hold you back from promotion, from building hype around you, your brand, and what you do.
Question 5 — How Do I Get People to Visit My Blog?
Blogging is your key to getting people to visit your blog. Each of your blog posts are an opportunity to rank in the search engines. The more you blog, the more opportunities you have to rank in the search engines.
To illustrate, let’s say I sell vacuums online, and this month, I’m running a special on handheld vacuums. To promote my month-long special, I write a blog post about the best handheld vacuums for small spaces.
My goal for writing this blog post is twofold: First, I want to promote my current special. And second, I want to rank for the long-tail keyword “best handheld vacuums for small spaces”. My blog post will get people to visit if I created a piece of content that is unique, informational, and engaging; and if I optimized my content around the long-tail keyword “best handheld vacuums for small spaces”.
Now, let’s up the ante.
I can expand my reach beyond my website and the organic search results by sharing my blog post on social media.
And, I can also explore working with an industry partner. In the case of my fictional vacuum shop, I could partner with someone who vlogs about cleaning (yes, people vlog about cleaning, and yes, I’m a fan). My vacuum shop could sponsor one of their vlogs and I might see a strong boost in traffic.
The key, though, is to sustain the strong boost in traffic.
This is where we return to the importance of unique, informational, and engaging content. Whether visitors come from organic search, the sponsored vlog, or Facebook, if they like what they see, they will explore my other blog posts. And if they like those other blog posts, they will sign up for my newsletter so they stay informed of when I publish a new blog post.
But, they will only do any of this if they see value in the content. Place value in your content, and sustain the strong boost, by making your unique, informational, and engaging.
Question 6 — What Do I Write About?
“Write what you know.” Writers receive this advice all of the time and rightfully so. Because it’s hard to write about what you don’t know.
What you do know is your business, inside and out, so write about your business.
As an example, let’s say Martin sells ceramic mugs online. Martin can write about his creation process from formless clay block to finished product ready for hot coffee. He can blog about his favorite clay tools and his upcoming gallery exhibition, too.
And another example, Kelly designs and builds decks. Kelly can write about her process, too (we’re all about process here at Pathfinder!). She can write about the sketching phase on through to the end with a beautiful photo of the deck she built. Kelly can also blog about durable decking materials and her favorite architects.
Taking Away: Blogging FAQs
No, these aren’t the answers to every question about blogging. But, the questions and answers here provide a solid path for moving forward.
- Blogging is to a newspaper as a website is to a business card.
- Blogging is a key piece of SEO.
- The cost to blog can be free...or not. It depends on your budget.
- You can start blogging now.
- Blogging helps boost traffic to your website.
- “Write what you know.”
Jen enjoys SEO and writing, particularly when done in the Pathfinder SEO office in Basalt, Colorado. At Pathfinder SEO, Jen is a coach, content creator, and designer.