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Uses of Blogs Explained

Historically, blogs came into existence as a way for individuals to express themselves online. Over the years, the growing importance given by search engines to social media, "recent news", authorship and frequent updates have resulted in the emergence of blogs as a powerful marketing medium. Today, a blog can be used by individuals and companies alike in different ways to get their message to their target audience and to engage with the readers. Below are five of the most common uses of blogs:

Blog Use 1: Personal Diary

This is the most common use of a blog to  this day. The number of people using a blog as a personal diary -- to log personal experiences, opinions, thoughts and content -- is still growing. Followers of personal blogs are usually those who identify with the blogger's viewpoint or value the opinions. Using a personal blog as a way to express one's self continues to be a growing use of a blog.

Blog Use 2: Corporate Newsletter

For companies, happenings within the company aren't always news-worthy enough to merit a press release. Yet, communicating the activities and events within the company can be an effective way to show how alive the company is. Depending on how a company uses a blog, it can even be a platform for employees to express themselves, write posts around their domain expertise and establish thought leadership.

Blog Use 3: Informal Engagement

For businesses, the corporate website provides a formal channel of communicating to its audience. However, there is a need for businesses to engage with the audience at an informal level. This kind of informal interaction is best facilitated by a blog. More and more businesses are using their corporate blog not just to talk to the audience about happenings in the company but to get feedback, interact and engage with their target audience.

Blog Use 4: Rich Media Portfolios

If you are a professional or amateur photographer or film maker, showcasing your work on YouTube or free image sites is one option, but it isn't the same thing as having them on your own website. On a static website, publishing image galleries or videos may not be the easiest for a non-technical person. A blog for showcasing rich media not only makes it easy, but because a blog is about new and recent content, the chance of getting it indexed and ranking in search engines faster is more likely on a blog.

Blog Use 4: Building a Community

For individuals and businesses alike, having a community of followers is very useful. Not only does it build a steady and regular audience base, it helps them build a network of followers who are most likely to refer them to others. A community of followers allows you to reach the followers either as a community or to individual followers to get your message across. While email marketing is one way to achieve it, the informal environment of a blog lends itself to far more informal interactions and engagement with the community.

The days of one way communication through a blog are gone. Today, the blog has emerged as an extremely potent marketing and engagement channel. When you start a blog, it is important to be aware of the various uses of a blog and evaluate how you want to use your blog to get the most out of it.

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