When it comes to promoting your website online, you’ll often hear SEO (or SEM) gurus putting a plug in for a blog. The idea is that by creating extra content on the topic of your choice (normally something commercially-oriented e.g. if you sell widgets then your blog is about all the cool stuff you can do with said widgets) to attract search engines (hopefully boosting your website in the search engine result pages (or SERPs) for the term ‘widgets’. And, ultimately, attract widget buyers who are wowed and wooed by your awesome knowledge of widgets and how they can make your carpets spotless in seven different languages.

Blogging – What’s it really like?

A lot of people are described, or describe themselves, as “avid” bloggers. What exactly that means I’m not really sure but you see it around, particularly on fashionable web 2.0 style company profile pages, such as this one from ProWorkflow. Now I’m not singling their CEO out in particular, as this is a common discrepancy, but Julian Stone is described as an “avid” blogger, yet clicking through to his blog shows the last post as May 25 – that’s over two months ago – no post in two months is not avid blogging.

Like I said I’m not picking on anyone here, I’m just trying to highlight the fact that blogging is not easy, so don’t start imagining it is! If someone who is described as an avid blogger hasn’t posted in over two months, then what hope is there for the rest of us! I’ve managed to write over 100 posts so far on this blog but it’s only been sheer determination and a ‘one-post-in-front-of-the-other’ mentality that’s made it possible. The fact that I actually enjoy sharing something newsworthy with my readers has helped but it doesn’t always make it easier; you still have to have the stickability to maintain it, week after week, month after month.

Blogging: Is there an easier way?

The blogging idea has probably been responsible for the creation of millions of spam blogs (or splogs), written to do one thing and one thing only, and that is to try and game the search engines. They were actually doing pretty well for a while until the search engines wised up to it and, particular since Google’s Panda update, have struggled to get rankings ever since.

But it hasn’t deterred the sploggers. They’re still out there, pumping out meaningless content for the machines, getting paid $2 an article or using article-spinning software to rehash the same article a hundred times so each one is “unique” (but equally meaningless). To be honest I don’t think it will end because real blogging is hard work – it’s quite challenging to write good quality content on a regular basis. So wherever there’s hard work, there are cheats, and in this case, sploggers.

So if you’re considering starting a business blog on your website, then make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into – it’s hard work and it never ends. But if you’re prepared to stick at it and do it for the right reasons, it’ll pay dividends. If you’ve already started, feel free to put a link to your blog below – always happy to help out a fellow blogger.

Christchurch Snowday!

On a completely different note, Christchurch (and much of NZ it seems) has come to a standstill today because of snow. Woohoo! We all love a bit of snow – I’m seriously contemplating riding my snowboard off the roof after work, or maybe down the sand dunes at New Brighton beach (pic credit: @martinluff). Living near the beach and seeing it blanketed in snow is an amazing sight!

Hope everyone made the most of it, built a snowman, posted all their pics on Facebook and most important stayed warm!

Blogging – Not as easy as it looks
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