If you’re a blog owner, you’ve probably contemplated what, why, and how you write.
It seems to me there are several different purposes for publishing a blog and depending upon the purpose you choose, the format and content of your blog will differ significantly from other blogs, even in the same specialized niche.
First, let me say that some blogs I’ve read seem to have no real purpose at all. The author might have decided, on the spur of the moment, to start blogging because he wanted to express his opinions to the world. But for what purpose?
There are blogs authored by web site owners that are used to drive traffic to the main web site and to “personalize” the owner by exposing his readers to his personality beyond what he is able to show on his site.
There are blogs that corporations set up specifically to allow their employees or a dedicated spokesman or team to talk with prospects and customers in a more relaxed and one-on-one environment that blogging affords.
Some blogs are strictly personal journals. They are written without the thought or purpose of making money or driving traffic – they’re just an open forum for the writer to keep friends and interested readers informed of the author’s experiences, travels, preferences, moods, or quirks.
There are blogs created with the sole purpose of sending traffic elsewhere. Often, these sites are filled with Adsense advertising (or similar). They present key word rich content in an effort to attract search engine interest and high traffic counts. The blogs earn a few cents on each visitor that clicks on one of these ads. Over time, and with heavy enough traffic, the clicks become a source of income for the blog owner.
There are news blogs in every industry. They are created for a number of purposes from making money via advertising to reporting on a particular industry or trade. The news blog can drive traffic and targeted customers to other “selling” sites.
Then there are instructional and educational blogs. They too can have different purposes including money-making, traffic generating (for a business), or simply to educate the reader and position the author as an authority.
Many blogs are filled with content that is mostly the author’s comments of other people’s content and thinking. These blogs are filled with links to many different sites and they seek to spread their presence around the Internet hoping to get as many backlinks and mentions as possible to aid their own site’s search engine popularity and ranking. Traffic can be monetized with advertising on site.
The difficulty I see with sites filled with links to others’ works is this:
1. Pages online come and go like the wind – they’re here one day and gone the next. You have no control over the other end of the link. So over time, your own blog’s archived pages may be filled with dead links. And these links can be very annoying to the reader and a sure sign that your site has not been updated in a long time.
2. What use are the archived pages if all they contain are links to other people’s work? As soon as someone is sent away on a link chase, they are bound not to return to the author’s blog site. Who wants that?
3. Stale news is not news at all. Yesterday’s news winds up in the trash as soon as news is made today. News means the information is worth headlining. But yesterdays headlines are no longer news and are always replaced.
4. Links drive traffic for only so long. People keep their interest in a writer’s comments until they get bored, or tired, or they want to get another perspective on an issue. Blog posts full of active links will soon start to decay and become as candidates needing replacements – they’ve outlasted their useful life.
Here’s my case for rich and educational content that stands alone and doesn’t rely on outside linking only:
1. Great, original, helpful content can be read yesterday, today, and tomorrow and still have the same useful benefit to the reader.
2. Content that stands alone or fits into a broader collection of similar topics makes excellent educational material for compilation in a book at a later time.
3. Content that is filled with keyword and industry niche phrases will be seen as having more credibility and authority than content which merely regurgitates what the author has read at other sites.
4. Because this content is instructional and educational, it has a much longer shelf life than content filled with links to current happenings. Remember, as soon as tomorrow comes, today’s news is no longer current or news.
5. By not sending readers away from the site, chances are much better that the viewer will stay longer, become more loyal to the blog, and trust the author to give the viewer what he has come for.
The bottom line seems to point back to the top of this post where we suggested that the blog author would do well to understand why he is blogging. Knowing that, the blog content and linking activities can be better implemented to fulfill the purpose of the site.
To your online business success!