Having a blog is not only a great way to create community through the comments, but it’s made up of dynamic content that is always changing which Google of course loves. I happen to prefer WordPress, which is a very powerful platform for several reasons.
WordPress has a huge community of developers behind it who are constantly creating new plugins and themes which gives WordPress tons of functionality. This community involvement has also led to an enormous amount of documentation which is readily available to users. Additionally, its rapid development cycle means features are cutting edge and security and bug issues are quickly taken care of.
Add to that the fact that it’s super simple to use, it’s free and inherently SEO-friendly and you’ve got a great way to get your writing out there. And why do you want it “out there” if you are in business? Because solid, regular content is king. The more quality content you create on the web, the more you are seen as an expert in your particular niche and the more you improve your search engine rankings. In terms of rankings, you also want to get lots of links coming to your site but that is another post entirely.
So how does social media play into this?
There are some great ways to integrate your blogging activities with your social media activities, kind of like a one-two punch for upping your visibility. Here are a couple of my favorites:
The Notes feature within Facebook. This application allows you to import the RSS feed of your blog. Every time you post to your blog, the post will pop up automatically as a Facebook note.
The Facebook Networked Blogs application. Once you haved “claimed your blog” this is an easy way to promote and invite your friends to become readers. I like to think of it as a “fan page” for your blog. This application organizes blogs by utilizing geographical locations retrieved from Facebook’s demographics. Your blog is also listed in a directory where it is organized by tags and popularity. This is a nice way for others to discover your blog. Many people still do not use or understand RSS Feeds for receiving content, so Networked Blogs is a good alternative for encouraging blog reading within the Facebook community.
Twitter of course is a great way to (sparingly) let others know about new blog posts. If you blog a few times a week I’d suggest you not tweet about every single one, but rather the posts you feel have the most value. This way you are not seen as being overly promotional. There are also several WordPress plugins which feed your latest Tweets into the sidebar of your blog. One of the better ones is called Twitter Tools.
Lastly, FriendFeed is really useful and I don’t think a lot of people realize its power yet. I like to share my blog posts using the “Share” feature of Google Reader which feeds them into my FriendFeed stream. I plan on writing another post all about why I think FriendFeed is an underrated killer marketing tool in the near future.
Let me know your thoughts. Are you using both blogging and social media in your business? Have any tools to suggest?
Also, if you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for my free social media e-course.
Photo Credit: Foxtongue