Your blog is a never-ending News page

If you’re finding it hard to get your head around blogs, think of your business blog as a rolling News page for your site. Some companies want to make blogging too complicated: keep it simple. Your blog can be your News page, it can be the company gossip sheet, it can be an update site for investors — yes, you can have all your material on the one blog, or you can have several blogs.

Now that blogs are being used as Content Management Systems (CMS) your blog can even be your complete Web site. The blogging application WordPress has several static-page plugins which let you have a straight home page, as well as additional static pages, AND a blog. WordPress is hugely popular as a blogging application because it’s free, it’s customizable, and its VERY simple to use. If you can use an email program, you can use WordPress. I started using WP after using another CMS on one my sites because the other (nameless) CMS is a complicated nightmare. WP is charmingly easy, but powerful too.

The big benefit of blogging applications like WordPress is that you get to manage it all yourself: no need for IT people, temperamental Web designers, uppity copywriters (smile), if you want to tell the world about something, put it on your blog.

Make sure that you enable Comments on the blog. That lets you get the good and the bad news fast about how your products are doing in the marketplace.

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Is blogging a waste of time?

There’s been a lot of chatter in the blogosphere about blogging being a waste of time, and that blogging has peaked.

I dunno. It depends on why you’re blogging. I’ve been blogging in some form since around 2002. I’ve got a lot to say. :-)

I started with Blogger with a paid subscription, then Google bought Blogger and they stopped charging for the beefed-up sub. I got a nifty “Blogger” sweatshirt as a refund-replacement. I’m keeping the shirt to auction on eBay. Joke. I think…

Then I moved to Typepad, which still hosts my writing blog.

No idea how many blogs I’ve started, both for myself and for clients in the past few years — many. Some blogs just fall by the wayside for whatever reason. I’ve got two blogs on that I’ll be axing, because they’ve outlived their usefulness. I started The Creativity Factory as an experiment in using WordPress to blog, and I enjoy WordPress. My has a CMS too — ExpressionEngine, so that’s another blog. I need to study PHP so I can get more out of ContentBee — at the moment EE intimidates me. :-)

With all these blogs, I must be a blogging addict. I look on blogging as a marketing channel. What the heck, instead of blogging I could be writing a news release. :-)

There’s no real answer to the “Blogging is a waste” folks.

Marketer’s Eye points out:

For what it is worth, I don’t care if “Blogs as a business model” has peakedĀ. If it has, then some of the heart-not-in-it folks will drop off and clear the air a bit. You can’t force a good blog, and it is painful to see some people try, convinced that it will be profitable if they can just force it long enough.

Blogging takes time and energy. Even a short post takes ten to 15 minutes. If you feel that you don’t want to blog, that’s fine.
I enjoy blogging, but I’m not a blogging evangelist. Blogging has its shortcomings.

For me, the blogging drawbacks are:

* Blog posts are fast — and can be superficial; and

* Blog posts are hard to track, even with categories and tags.

So, although I’ll keep blogging, I’ll keep creating full Web sites and pages too.