Teaching a New Blog Old Tricks
By now, organizations around the world have begun to realize the benefits of creating a corporate blog. In fact, a new weblog is created every second of every day. The benefits of creating a weblog have quickly become more well-known: online publishing is easy, weblogs invite and display feedback from readers (which is often some of the best reading on a blog), and most importantly, search engines love weblogs because they are content-centric and are updated on a frequent basis.
There are distinct differences, though, that separate weblogs from traditional websites – the main difference being that blogs tend to be far more dynamic than websites. Websites are designed to be content-static, and I can think of many things easier than getting a webmaster to update content in a timely fashion. When your webmaster finally does get around to updating your content, he or she is updating pages, whereas with weblogs, updates are made to posts or entries.
Another difference is the ease of updating weblogs compared to websites. Blog publishing programs make it extremely easy to add new content to a weblog. Once your blog is set up, you simply write an entry, “publish” it, and your weblog is instantly updated. You don’t have to be experienced with HTML or FTP to add content to a blog.
Communities are another distinct characteristic of weblogs. While websites may promote limited feedback with such community-based tools as guest books and message boards, weblogs actively encourage feedback from readers by making it easy to post comments. Blogging tools such as trackbacks, comment functions and tag boards transform a monologue into a community of responsive, contributing readers or customers.
While there is no set of rules that lists the clear-cut differences between weblogs and websites, the customary characteristics of a blog include the ability to post comments from readers and communities, time stamping articles, sorting posts in order from newest-to-oldest, and offering an RSS feed, which allows readers to subscribe to and stay up-to-date on your blog posts through an RSS aggregator.
As I stated before, search engines love weblogs because they are content-centric. Regularly updated content combined with community-based feedback and backlinks attract search engines to weblogs, in some cases more so than traditional websites. For this reason, optimizing the content of your blog, properly setting up a linking structure, and knowing how and where to distribute your blog can pay off in a huge way.
When creating a blog, it is important that it is done right in order to capitalize on the unique benefits weblogs provide over traditional websites. Blogs can be a great deal easier to manage, update, and add new content to. In the new world of Web 2.0, if you aren’t continuously updating the content of your site, you’re becoming increasingly harder to find as fresh, new content saturates the search engine results.