A blog is a standalone website, or part of a website, comprised of regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, opinions or the experiences of the author, or the company the author works for. Entries, called posts, are usually arranged in reverse chronological order (most recent at the top) and uses text, links, images, video, audio, and music to interact with audiences.
There are usually two reasons people include a blog in their web design. Some people want to share something: information, their options their creative talents, and others want to sell something. Whatever the motive the underlying need is the same - CONNECTION. The main purpose of a blog is to connect with audiences. Whether for ultraistic or financial gain the design techniques and principles used are the same.
Blogs are a great website feature. An important element of blogs is that they are interactive. Users are able to leave comments, follow links, watch videos, and listen to music. Readers can actively participate with and in the creation of content.
If designed successfully audiences of blogs feel a bond or relationship with the authors and trust their opinions. This is where the value of a blog is found… trust and credibility. Many companies include a blog in their website design as it is a quick way to give their version of news and events. A company is able to build a relationship with audiences by sharing stories and information about their company and letting readers comment on it.
Who should not include a blog as part of their web design?
Blogging can be time consuming; it requires regular updates of interesting and fresh content. Content is key. People don't visit your blog to see the flashy gadgets in your sidebars, People read blogs for the content. Users are more likely to return to your blog, and thus your website, if they know they will find new and interesting material.
As a minimum, a blog needs to updated with interesting stories, special offers, a video or a good photograph, once a week. This is the absolute minimum; otherwise your blog will not be an effective website design tool.
If you, or your company, do not have the time to create content at least once a week there is no value in including a blog in your web design. If there is nothing interesting or funny happening at your company then your company can not produce interesting updates so there will be no value including a blog in your website design.
A blog can be a good place to start your social media presence. They are relatively easy to create, most platforms cater to those with no technology training. A blog gives you a platform to start reaching out to audiences without launching a whole social media campaign in one step.
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