Social media are here to stay, as evidenced by the ongoing popularity of tools such as Twitter and Facebook. However, if you prefer to convey your ideas in complete sentences or phrases longer than 140 characters, blogging may be the vehicle for you.
If you’re reading this, you are already familiar with blogs. A blog – a shortened version of the term web log — is nothing more than an ongoing series of articles or stories posted online on a particular website. These posts generally appear in reverse chronological order, newest first.
Your blog can stick to a specific topic – mine is generally about words and language – or can be a collection of musings on a variety of subjects. It can also be a tool to keep employees or clients up to date on the organization’s plans and activities.
For organizations and individuals, blogs can be a great way of keeping website content fresh, even if the majority of the site remains static. A clothing store’s blog, for example, might contain posts about the latest fashion trends and hints about wearing a particular item of apparel with style.
Before you take the plunge, however, do a bit of research to be sure that a blog is the right tool for you. If you’re going to put the time and energy into creating a blog, you want to make sure it meets your needs. Here are some key considerations:
- Who is your audience?
- What kind of information will interest/intrigue them?
- Who will write the blog? Who will they be representing (e.g., the CEO? The organization as a whole?)
- Who needs to approve the copy before posting?
- How often do you plan to refresh the copy? Once you begin, you need to be committed to adding posts regularly.
- Who is responsible for posting the copy and making changes, as needed?
- Will you allow comments? If so, who will respond to them?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’re ready to roll. All you need is content. I’ll address the guts of a post in my next blog entry. Stay tuned.