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VTweb Article

The Benefits of Blogs
September, 2009
Julie Niles

Definition of a Blog: A Web site/page that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer(s).

If set-up and maintained properly adding a blog to your website can be beneficial in several ways.

  • If content is kept fresh, a blog can promote repeat visitors to your website.
  • A blog can allow communications about your product or service between you, previous and potential customers. Keeping people talking about your products/services makes them feel more connected to your business which increases the likely hood of future purchases.
  • Search engines, especially Google, love blogs. Search engines consider blogs to be more of an informational resource with continuously changing content vs. your typical static web page with sales lingo. This encourages the engines to visit blog pages more frequently and keep them indexed within their database.

Choosing the right blog platform for your needs is essential. VTweb recommends WordPress. WordPress has Search Engine Optimization (SEO)-friendly features and plug-ins allowing for optimal SEO. Here are a few examples of successful blogs which were created by VTweb and are maintained by the business owner:
http://blog.distinctiveinns.com/
http://blog.juniperhillinn.com/
http://blog.mainstreetmanor.com/
There is a plethora of information online about blog software so do your homework first. If you find you don't have the time or inclination to set up your own blog, VTweb runs WordPress blog software on its servers and for a one-time setup fee will install your blog with headers and styles customized to your own website.

While blogging can be great for your search engine exposure and for attracting repeat visitors to your site, maintaining a blog does take time. To get the best results you or someone on your staff should post editorial on your blog at least once a week. Posting more frequently than that is even better! You should write about subject matter that is related to your business, products or services. For example, a Vermont bed and breakfast might want to add blog posts about an upcoming event in the area. A website selling wool hats might talk about the benefits of Alpaca wool, etc. Subtly add links in your blog posts pointing to pages within your main website. Allow people to chime in on your blog and share comments and experiences. Periodically add photos into your blog to keep the posts more interesting and eye appealing.

If you really want to explore the benefits of blogging, but can't donate the time it will take, there are companies that will maintain your blog for you. Some consider these 'Ghost Blogging' services unethical, but when properly handled they are able to professional and frequently post content in your blog for the topics you provide to them. Here are examples of two companies offering ghost blogging services:
Profit Choice and SEO Creation Lab

VTweb provides blog consultations, blog set-up and customization. Periodic blogging seminars are also held in the Rutland, Vermont office.

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