That's the question lots of people are asking - and the answers are as varied as all the blogs out there in cyberspace.
Oh, and in case you don't know what blogs are, they're web logs that are updated regularly, sometimes daily, kind of like an online diary. Even if you're aware of blogs, you may have thought they were reserved for your teenage daughter - but think again!
Millions and millions
Blogs are growing like - well - blogs. Literally hundreds of corporations now have their own blogs. If you're thinking names like Microsoft, Cisco, Sun Microsystems and IBM, you're right. But add to that some surprising bloggers, including Boeing, P.R. firms Hill & Knowlton and Burson-Marsteller, Stone Creek Coffee Roasters and even a Savile Row Tailor, Thomas Mahon, and you'll get an idea of just how big the idea of creating on-line logs has become.
In fact, there are more than 9 million blogs out there, with 40,000 new ones popping up each day. Admittedly, some are just plain silly (and not just those teenage girls). But even assuming that 99.9 aren't worth reading, that leaves at least 40 new ones- every single day - that could be talking to your customers or engaging your employees.
So, what does it all mean for business?
Blogs have evolved into the latest approach to web content. Whether blogging is a here-today, gone-tomorrow fad or proves to be a new way to communicate with customers - either existing or potential - remains to be seen, but it deserves at least a closer examination.
Many companies under pressure to keep website content fresh and attractive think blogs are the answer. Innovative content is becoming a must for online businesses, both to be found by search engines and to give visitors a reason to return (and to buy).
Business blogs let companies give customers industry news and tell them how their products can be beneficial. And the fact that copy is updated daily increases the chances that search engines will find your site.
Ready to jump on the bandwagon?
If you decide to use a blog for your business, you must set a schedule and stick to it. Tell your readers what to expect and when to expect it. Blogs can direct attention to areas of your business that you want to showcase. You manage the content, but let your readers and customers guide you.
Blogs may or may not be for you, but you can't afford to ignore them, because they're changing how businesses communicate. Deciding to blog or not to blog is undoubtedly your decision, but keep in mind that ideas circulate at warp speed and customers are always out there, sniffing around for deals. And thousands of companies are looking at ways to collect ideas from blogs, dust ads into them, and even determine what their competitors are up to.
Whatever you do, have fun and good luck!
Short note about the author
Allison Nazarian is president and chief copywriter of Get It In Writing, a Florida-based company that helps businesses nationwide harness the power of words to sell, inform and publicize.
Copyright © Get It In Writing, Inc. May be reprinted without permission of Get It In Writing, Inc and Allison Nazarian if in full, unchanged format and with complete attribution to author.