As I explained here, I’ve been getting more requests to design websites for people then ever before, so I decided to take a little time to write a page about my current design philosophy. While I don’t own a design studio anymore, I often do freelance work for people who are looking for a quick and easy website or blog. I believe the best way for both businesses and individuals to go these days is with a weblog. Blogs have become an Internet evolution and the benefits of this evolution depend directly on how much you buy into the idea, so here’s my sales pitch.
So how do blogs and the social network help to increase your readership? It’s simple, blogs lead to more web site content, which leads to an increased readership, which leads to increased sales conversion. How? Using blog software as a content management system to run a web site will lead to more content because writing and publishing is so easy. For a business, more content will lead to higher search engine relevance (i.e. the more frequent your updates, the more relevant your site becomes to search engines like Google), which will lead to increased readership, which can lead to increased sales conversion. For individuals, it will lead to more content, which will lead to higher search engine relevance, which will lead to increased readership, which leads to increased advertising revenues if you set up contextual advertising systems like Google Adsense.
But that’s not all, the simple act of using the content management features of a blog engine such as WordPress will generate traffic because of built-in technology that pings (alerts) others whenever you add content to your site. By others, I mean Technorati and a host of other information portals that millions of people read.
Anyone who reads BusinessWeek on a regular basis has seen the surge of how blogs are storming the business world. In an August, 2004 article titled, “Blogging for Business,” Jonathan Schwartz, the president of Sun Microsystems asserted that blogs will become mandatory for every executive.
“It’ll be no more mandatory that they have blogs than that they have a phone and an e-mail account,” Schwartz says. “If they don’t, they’re going to look foolish.”
I will try to outline the power behind using a blog and even show how it can be much more beneficial to use a blog as the foundation for any web site (even corporate sites) than a traditional web presence.
You have to look at blogging as a “live conversation” that’s taking place on the Internet right now. By understanding the social impact of this, it will become much easier to take advantage of it. The great part about using a content management system like Wordpress is the social networking that comes as a result of the software through trackbacks and pingbacks. Using other social networking tools like Del.icio.us for social bookmarking and Flickr for photo sharing will drive tons of people your way. This is done primarily by way of tagging (a method of collaborative categorization, also known as Folksonomy) your content with words and phrases that are meaningful to others. It’s truly amazing how it works. If reputation building is important to you, then a blog combined with social networking tools is the way to go.