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To Blog or Not to Blog?

Should you blog? Do you need one ready in your back pocket to post on your site to market your business, your service or, well, you?

Yes … and no. Quite simply, it’s complicated. So I’ve broken down the “to’s” and “not to’s” for you – because blogging has gone from merely puffing it up with keyword content fluff to an actual SEO-content marketing combo tactic to gain search rankings.

To Blog

Content is key. Even blogging that’s injected with keyword-related content is likely relevant and informational, in tandem. And, because it’s written by you, that only helps to entice and build a stronger link to you, the authority, and to your site. Plus, adding social sharing functions on your blog allows your audience to engage. Is your content good enough for shares and tweets? If so, you’ve just created free promotion of your content to the masses.

It’s your site that gives you control over your content. That’s when and how it’s displayed, what imagery will go with the blog, etc. Unlike Google+, on which you’ll always be able to decide what goes on your blog, but you can’t know or control what Google is going to do with its social media platform in the future, i.e., the recent repeal of Google’s real names policy. A lot of established bloggers are ditching their blog and throwing their content onto social, but having your own web presence – and posting to it regularly is probably still the best way to go – at least until you reach the mass of followers they have.

Power to the blogger. Blogging gives the content that’s already on your site a power boost. The more relevant information you add to your site, the more there is to be indexed and discovered. It’s easier for users to bookmark and locate old posts again later on your site than in social.

Be social. Consider using plug-ins for your own social commenting system that bypasses the traditional barriers and opens up a two-way window for dialogue. Or better yet, you can post your material to your blog, share to social, which links to the post from your social accounts, and then invite engagement on Google+ for the best of both worlds.

Not to Blog

A plus for Google+. While there aren’t a whole lot of reasons to dump your blog, one may be the speed and ease of social media sites like Google+, where you can share your content among different circles, discover other great content, and engage with other users, without having to wait for comment approval. It’s a lot more interactive than your typical blog comment module. And if the point is to engage readers and develop a following, and both of those things are easier to do on a social network than on a blog, why bother hosting your own blog?

Voted most popular. If you’ve nurtured a large-scale social audience over time and make your followers happy with captivating content and engagement, you don’t need a blog. While a blog would provide additional content opportunities, you don’t need one. You don’t. You really don’t.

Reliable resources. If you’ve generated a wealth of on-site content via resources or “evergreen” content and an informational series of articles, as well as integrated social sharing functionality on these pages, you don’t need a blog.

So which one is it?

That’s for you to decide. But, bottom line, blogging can’t hurt your organization’s bottom line.

Many big brands blog, but these sites originally gained their organic search dominance via their link and social audience attainment. The blog may help them, but it isn’t their ace up the sleeve.

Keep in mind that, even for those who stand to benefit the most from writing a blog, you can’t rely on blogging solely for success. It’s a platform that stands sturdy with the other functions and features we’ve mentioned to achieve success and get noticed.