The word blog comes from a combination of two words: “web” and “log”.  According to Wikipedia™, the first web logs, or blogs, were online diaries created in the 1990’s.  Today, a blog is a website with a specific format that has become recognizable. Blogs consist of posts which make up the body of content. Each post has a headline or title, and then they are time- and date-stamped, which gives a sense of currency to the content. Blog content is presented in reverse chronological order so the most recent or current content is at the top of a blog page. Blogs require frequent updates, at a minimum of one new blog post per week.

Blogs also have other features that help organize content. These features can include:

  • Archiving by month or week or by a visual calendar
  • Archiving by category and the ability to create custom categories
  • Archiving by keywords, also called “tags
  • A search function to find content

Blogs can be created easily using blog publishing tools. Many different free and fee-based blog publishing tools are available, the most popular of which are:

Free

  • WordPress.com
  • Blogger™ (from Google®)
  • Tumblr.com

Fee-based

  • WordPress.org (hosting fees)
  • Typepad
  • Moveable Type®

The choice of a blog publishing tool should be based on your specific needs, as well as your preferences of a user interface. If you want to have multiple bloggers, for example, make sure your blog publishing tool accommodates that and also provides levels of access, from administrator to contributor.

Blogging is publishing content to a blog. There is no single way to blog. In fact, there are many different styles or types of blog posts. Here are just a few popular blog post formats:

Narrative post:  This is the most common and is similar to an article or a story.  It can even be more personal, like a diary entry.

Referencing post:  This is a post that references another post or article online and includes a link to the original content, then adds commentary.

List:  This is an easy post style to read and to write and can consist of a numbered or bulleted list. Lists are also some of the most shared content online.

Opinion:  The pure opinion post can generate a lot of comments and conversation because it can be provocative or controversial to get people’s juices flowing. Take heed that your personal opinion may not be well-suited as the official company viewpoint. And remember that anywhere in life – including on blogs – politics and religion can be risky topics of conversation.

Multimedia:  Many blog publishing tools allow you to embed slideshows, audio or video into a post.  Often little additional content is required other than some explanation to give context and a question at the end to stimulate conversation.

Blogging requires a different writing style than a web site and is considered to be more personal, more opinionated, and more controversial in many instances. People have come to expect a blog to be less about publishing and reading content and more about starting and engaging in a conversation.

The most popular blogs are the ones where the blogger or bloggers have strong opinions and distinctive perspectives and voices. A good blogger is not only a good writer, but also a good conversationalist. While comments are the key to conversations and community-building on blogs, some companies decide to shut off comments to “control” the content and messages, while others opt to moderate comments so only they can approve and post them to the blog itself.

Should you have a blog for your company? Only if you have good reasons to share and exchange information with your customers and potential customers, valuable content to share that is also worth being shared by others, and the ability to maintain the demands of blog publishing, which can be daunting for any business owner who is not in the business of producing content.

 

The information contained herein may not represent the views and opinions of Nevada State Bank or its affiliates.  It is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice.