What is a Blog and Why do You Need One?
BLOG. The term itself is sometimes confusing, let alone trying to understand what it actually is, how it is used and whether or not you need one.
"BLOG" is simply the short form of WEB LOG as when they began in the late 1990's, that's exactly what they were - a log of an indiviual's experience, stored on the internet. Blogs are typically displayed in reverse order so that the latest entry appears first and originally they were very simple - one way communication, one place for all different topics and thoughts.
Over time Blogs became a lot more interactive, allowing entries (known as Posts) to be categorised and allowing readers to comment on posts and share their favourite posts easily between other websites and friends.
Additionally, the term Blog has become a word used to describe actually writing the posts, so if someone is going to "Blog" about something, they are simply going to write about it and "post" it to their Blog.
Now you know what a Blog is, do you need one? The answer to this depends on a few things, though two important questions to ask yourself are:
Have I got the time?
Blog posts don't have to be long, in fact to some degree, the shorter they are the better. That said, writing a good blog post will probably take you about an hour - so that gives you an idea about one blog post, but just how often should you actually post?
The key to a successful blog is to post regularly - not necessarily frequently. In my opinion, once each week is sufficient, however once a fortnight or once a month would also be frequent enough. Any longer than a month between posts and some people will forget the Blog exists, any more than once a week and some people will stop reading them - after all, reading your Blog takes their time as well.
Have I got something to say?
Most people who have never 'Blogged' before think that they couldn't do it because they are not good at writing or wouldn't know what to say. Sound familiar?
Writing for the sake of writing takes a lot of creativity and skill. Writing for the sake of sharing information and knowledge simply takes experience - which everyone has to varying degrees.
Additionally, Blogs are more often than not found as a result of an online search. It makes sense that most people search for the solution to a problem.
Therefore... If your Blog posts simply explain a problem you have had and how you overcame it, or they explain how the way you do things overcomes a common problem, then you don't need a degree in English to have a successful blog, you just need to tell it how it is. Your personal writing style and the relevance of the information will be welcomed by the reader.
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So do you need a blog? Probably not. Would you benefit from having a blog and would others benefit from you sharing your knowledge?
There are many more benefits to having a Blog than just information sharing and generating "traffic" - more than can be outlined here - however if you have at least an hour to write regular Blog posts and you have some answers to common problems and questions within your industry, then you should definitely consider starting a blog.
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