Content Marketing: Understanding the Blog
When we talk about content marketing, blogs must be at the center of our conversation. Blogs are the easiest way to add content to a social media presence and as we have seen in the last two days, content is the digital key to online success.
I thought I would first explain what a blog is and then go over my favorite blogging platforms. First a blog is nothing more than a discussion-based, informational website. Blogs used to be personal but they have now found themselves to be a very valuable part of the business social media landscape. They are an organized collection of posts (or stories). These posts are usually organized into categories and can inspire great conversation. I like to think of a blog as an interactive newspaper. There are sections (based on broad topics), stories, and an opportunity to comment on the stories.
The cool thing about blogs is that it is very easy to add stories and post to a blog. It is relatively easy to set up a blog up but if you want a highly professional image, it takes a little more work and is often done better by someone who has a little knowledge of web design.
I thought I would briefly introduce you to two of the biggest (and my favorite) blogging platforms.
- TUMBLR – Tumblr is probably my favorite blogging platform (this blog is built in Tumblr). I think the reason is because it is built on a social network. It comes with its own network of followers and fans. You can create a blog (or multiple blogs if you are crazy) under a single account. Tumblr can handle the traditional blog, like this one, but also lends itself very nicely to microblogging. In short, it kind of fuses the traditional blog with a Twitter-like social network to create something new. What is very cool is that Tumblr allows you to quickly post different types of posts like pictures, video, etc. I think Tumblr is the best social blogging platform and I think it is very underutilized.
- WORDPRESS – WordPress is probably the biggest blogging platform. It is funny, it started as a blogging platform and has kind of morphed into a content management system. There is distinct advantages to this. WordPress lets you wrap your website around a blog and can make both of these elements work together without distinction. There are so many websites that are built around WordPress because changing your site as easily as changing a Word document. A WordPress site can be built with a variety of themes available for free or a small cost online but it really takes a web designer to initially build a professional site. You can use WordPress through wordpress.org or you can download it to your server account. The option to download it to a server account is meant for clients who use WordPress as their website’s CMS.
Chances are you were on a blog today – whether you know it or not. If you are reading this, you definitely have been on a blog. Online newspapers are blogs on steroids. If you visited a big company website, you may crossed through one. Blogs are everywhere. Tumblr is not the biggest blogging site by any means but boasts 166.2 million blogs with 73.3 billion posts. WordPress boasts 74.3 million blogs. They are everywhere because they bring great value. If you remember this, you have learned a great lesson.