The pros and cons of a blog on your website

As a WordPress web developer, I like to discuss the pros and cons with my clients for placing a blog on their site. Most people understand the pros:

1.  Search Engine Optimization

Having a blog is one of the best ways to drive new traffic to your website and to improve your rankings within search engines like Google and Bing.  When determining if a site is current and relevant, Google checks for new content.  By posting new content on a daily, weekly or bi-weekly basis to your blog, you will be maximizing your chances that your search engine ranking will improve.  Putting relevant tags in your blog posts and using keywords will also help your search rank for those terms.

2.  Getting the Conversation Going

With many of my clients facing stiff competition within their business community, customers today are more drawn to business that have a relationship with their customers.  A blog allows potential customers and clients to see comments posted by existing customers.  By establishing communication and relationships with people you can build trust and credibility.

3. Does this Person Really Understand their Business?

Ever wonder when you visit someone’s webpage whether they actually know what they are doing? For those businesses where there is little tangible evidence of work well done, a blog can help show off your expertise. If potential clients can see you as someone able to provide relevant information about your industry,  you will be more likely to win their business.  Relevant content will also drive traffic to your website with inbound links. The more quality inbound links your site has, the more Google will love your site.

4. Staying on Top of Your Industry

Okay, so now you look like you know your industry, but wait….. doing the research for your blog has actually sharpened your mind and your industry intelligence is not all smoke and mirrors. This leads to other intelligent conversation with potential clients out in the world. Your confidence is up, you feel like sharing what you’ve learned and your business grows.

Okay, now we will get to the cons….. (okay so there is really one, but it’s a BIG one!)

1. Doing the Work

Okay, so you are now excited about getting your blog started. You figure out what your first topic will be, you do the proper research and you publish your first post. Success! You feel great.  A few weeks go by, and you get busy, and you forget about your blog. Oops, it’s been a month and you have failed to do another post. With slightly less motivation than before, you sit down to write your second post. Writers block consumes you. Although you succeed in posting another topic, the experience has been exhausting. You realize that you really don’t like writing, or that your inner critic is just too strong. You let it lapse, and suddenly your newest post is several months old.

This is not an uncommon phenomenon but what harm is really caused by old content? First, you’ve just eradicated all the pros from above and worse, you are now telling your audience and Google, that you are no longer active in your business.  Are you even still in business? People move on to another site….. My point here is this – if you plan to do a blog, you have to stick with it, and post often. And when I say often, I mean at least once a month but the more the better. WordPress has a great feature that allows you to schedule your posts. They will automatically populate at the time you specify. For those who find it easier to work on blog posts during a block of time, this can be a lifesaver.

Most of all, it’s important to know yourself and your willingness to dedicate the time needed for establishing a successful blog.