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Thursday, 14 February 2013

What are the Pros and Cons of blogs for Personal use and for Business?

Hellooooo world! How's it going in your neck of the woods?

Now-we know what you're thinking, yes that's right we're back on the topic of social media again, we are very sorry but we feel that it's huuuuugely essential in todays digital era-let's face it there really is no getting away from it as more and more of us are tapping in to create our first Facebook and Twitter accounts, not forgetting to mention the various other social networking sites out there! Oh and we almost forgot, today is our 6th birthday and so to celebrate we thought we would treat you this extra long and very informative blog post :D

Although we are back on the subject of social media, we are moving away from the likes of Twitter and Facebook because we want to talk to you about blogs. 

Many of you find the thought of starting up a blog pretty scary, are we right? We thought so-but you need't be, and why? because we are going to tell you all about them and then you will be so inspired that you will want to jump onto your computer straight away to create one!

Before we go any further on the subject, we would just like to take some time to explain to you what a blog is, as many of you sort of have an idea but are not quite 100% certain. So-without further ado, let's begin.

WHAT IS A BLOG? 

A blog is simply a discussion/informal site that contains a collection of text, images, audio and video that are published on the worldwide web for anyone who has access
to the internet to view, think of at as an online diary. The blogs that you write and publish are often displayed in reverse chronological order, the latest being displayed at 
the top.

A blog is a platform that allows for you to share anything from your own personal thoughts on a specific subject, to inspirational content i.e. your works of art, useful links to various topics of interest, video tutorials; absolutely anything you like! The idea of a blog is to spark off discussions about various subject matter which in turn, entices readers to leave a comment in response to those thoughts that you have voiced. It is this quality that distinguishes a blog from that of a static website, transforming it into another means of social networking. The ability of readers being able to leave comments in an interactive format is essential to the increased popularity of a blog.

It wasn't that long ago that a blog was written by an individual, usually from a small group writing about a single topic of a specific subject. It's not until very recently that blogs have become 'multi-author' (MABS) which are professionally written and edited; examples of this include MABS from newspapers, universities and other social media outlets.

Not only are blogs used as a means of creating thought provoking content, but also a great marketing source for advertising your business, again this is another element that is quite new to the blogging world. You can create an array of posts that explain who you are and what you're all about. Like a general blog post, a business edit can contain anything from just plain text to poster advertisements, which you can then publish and share across a vast plane of social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. This allows for other businesses to discover you, which in turn can lead to potential clientele.


WHY DO WE BLOG?

Hundreds upon thousands of us tap into our computers to write and publish blogs every day. But have you ever thought about why you blog? What is it that you are trying to accomplish from passing on all this useful information to the world that you could in fact keep all to yourself, and utilise for your own benefit? Think about it whilst we explain.

Apart from it being the cool, hip and happening thing to do, there are lots of reasons for why we blog,whether it be for personal pleasure or to voice our opinions on a specific subject matter; however- when it comes to business the bottom line is that we blog in order to gain interest and build relationships between ourselves and potential clients. Although for us at Pix and Mix we blog because we like to think that we can contribute to educating your lovely selves about the tech world that we have come to endure.


WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF BLOGGING?

OK-so we have many reasons for why we blog but then there's that other big question that we find ourselves pondering over; am I blogging for the right reasons? The simple answer is that like anything, it has its pros and cons which is where we come in (of course); we are going to sum up the positives and negatives of blogging so, without further ado let's begin:


WHAT ARE THE PROS OF BLOGGING?
  • HELPS BUILD STRONG RELATIONSHIPS: Yes that's right, by writing blogs about your products/services (or both) along with lots of useful hints, tips and tutorials. 
  • A blog allows your customers and potential clients to build trust in you, knowing that not only do you provide a great product and service; but that you also offer useful information on a regular basis that enhances the learning of others.
  • A REASON TO VISIT YOUR WEBSITE: Blogs allow for the application of more in-depth content, a voice so to speak. If you write a blog that contains varied information, it will entice readers to head over to your website. If they like what they see then potentially you have another client. 
  • ENHANCED SEOs (SEARCH OPTIMISATION): Unlike a newsletter which often requires a newsletter archive, a blog is scanned on various search engines on a daily basis, making it far more easer for someone to stumble upon you; plus there's the benefit of not being accused of spamming because that individual has found you, not the other way around!
  • ENHANCED READERS: Because blogs are so open to the public it allows for a high number of people with a variety of interests to engage with you. Most blogging platforms allow for the insertion of 'labels' which are basically a collection of words that are related to a subject, making it even more easy for someone within your profession or who shares an interest in your field of expertise to find you.
  • GREAT POST, WOULD LOVE TO HEAR MORE!: If an individual finds a post (or two) interesting, they can leave you a comment, which of course will increase the likelihood of finding you in search engines, boosting your readability credentials! Comments are also a great way of analysing views of the public eye on your business. If there is a particular service that people like the sound of, you can perhaps create further posts about it. By showing the fact that you listen to your customers will of course enhance loyalty and trust between both the public eye and your business/organisation.
  • EXPAND ON YOUR EXPERTISE: Expanding on your expertise through comments shows readers that you know your field, which can result in other niche blog owners who read your posts leave back links to your blog; this is great for link based SEO (search engine optimisation).
  • PERSONALISED DIRECT CUSTOMER COMMUNICATION: If you're part of a business organisation who runs an information enriched blog about your products and/or services; You can provide a comments section that allows for you to respond to any queries, feed-back and complaints that your customers may have. More importantly, you'll more than likely be answering the same questions that many other potential clients who are looking to buy into your service at the same time; talk about killing two birds with one stone!
  • OPENLY GIVE OUT USEFUL ADVICE: Hosting a blog that contains advice on varied topics within your field of expertise is a great way of gaining readability. It also highlights the fact that you care about your readers needs and that they are of high importance to not only your growth, but their knowledge. It leaves that fluffy feeling of good will and public relations value. "We enjoy teaching our clients about our profession, the fact that we have contributed to their understanding is hugely rewarding, it leaves us buzzing!"
  • ENABLES YOU TO BECOME A BETTER PERSON: Believe it or not, blogging can actually effect your people skills and the ability to face criticism. As many of you will know from reading this post so far, a blog allows readers to comment on your post. Peoples views will have an effect on not only you but on your business. If a negative comment is left it may shock you but NEVER delete it as it will just show that you are trying to hide, digging yourself into an even deeper hole! Instead-by embracing this and doing something about it, you will learn how to deal with these situations which will not only show that you are a trustworthy, but also help you in your daily lives.

WHAT ARE THE CONS OF BLOGGING?

We hope that all the info we have voiced so far is useful to you. Now we shall continue with 'the cons' of blogging:

  • POINTLESS COMMENTS, ABUSE AND INSULT: It goes without saying that the stupidity of pointless comments and abuse is of course nothing new to the social networking world. All sorts of arguments can spiral on subjects that are not agreed on which result in the escalating of abusive comments. In some case and we don't know why, but there are some individuals out there who think that posting abuse for all to see will gain them fame, well have we got news for you-no it doesn't, it's not cool nor is it in any way clever so don't do it!
  • EASY TO START, DIFFICULT TO MAINTAIN: You specialise in making had crafted cupcakes and decide that you must start a blog. You plan on not only showcasing your latest inventions, but also fun recipes, tips and tricks for readers to enjoy. Although it took you a matter of minutes to create your account, you soon realise that time is of the essence. Blogs are terribly time consuming! If you're going to write them you need to dedicate an hour or two of each or a couple of days a week to create and publish a post.
  • TO POST OR NOT TO POST: Similarly to other social networking platforms, the time you post your blog is hugely essential to the amount of reach it receives. Think about what you do during the day and at what times in relation to the rest of the world-for example, if you were to post a blog at 4:30pm in the UK, folks in the U.S.A will see it as they are between 5-8 hours behind us (depending on which State).
  • BEING IN THE RIGHT MIND SET: It's all well and good being a great blog writer, but when you are stuck for words have a break! There's absolutely no point in creating pointless babble as all this will do is deter the reader from your site.
  • INACCURATE INFORMATION: Don't believe all blog content that you read from others, just because it's been written doesn't mean to say that the information provided is necessarily correct. Make sure that if you're going to cover a specific subject that you research it thoroughly; even if you're an expert there will be elements that you won't be aware of.
  • COMPETITION: Like most things in life, competition is a major element of the blogging world. There are thousands of great blog writers out there and so undoubtedly you're competing with others to get into the higher rankings on search engines, as we previously explained; the higher your popularity the higher your ranking will be. If your blogs are poorly written with incorrect content then you'll just sit festering amongst all the other jargon.
  • HONESTY: Be careful not to expose yourself and what you do too much. If you have a good idea, others may want to commit to steal your success. also, If you have experienced the worst client in the universe, don't go blabbing about it as it could just make things escalate out of control, leading you back to bullet point one of this section!

All the above info is through our own experiences and a little bit of research along the way.



Right-well I think we have covered pretty much everything however, if you do have any pointers to make please do share with us. It makes us happy to know that we are engaging with all of you lovely people.

Like we always say, please do check back now and again to see what other fun topics we have to talk about. We try our best to publish posts as often as we can.

Take care and best wishes to you all :D

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