What is a blog and do I need one?

Screen capture from blogger.com as I edit this post.

The technology world tends to get excited about new products and new ideas, blogging just being the example we’re going to discuss today. However, the average businessperson wisely views the technology world with some skepticism. We have learned that technology is never the magic pill to solve business problems. Blogs are no different. In themselves, they have no special power to solve business problems. Nevertheless, it is wise to ask, “What is a blog?” and “Do I need one?” This article will help answer those questions.

A simple definition of a blog

So, what is a blog? To start, this article that you’re reading is a blog. Put simply, a blog is a column, similar to a daily newspaper column, which is published on a website instead of in print. Just as a newspaper column can be a Dear Abbey, a column about sports, or a political opinions column, a blog can also be about any topic. Just like columns are a series of regularly published articles, blogs are a series of regularly published posts. Newspaper columns are typically read in print. Blogs are typically read online.

Differences between a blog and a newspaper

However, blogs are not exactly like newspaper columns. Whereas a newspaper column is published at most once per day, a blog can be published as often as you want. That’s because it’s cheaper to update a blog on a website than it is to print a newspaper. Some blogs are updated every hour. For example, just recently, a blogger published one post every hour for 24 hours straight about Kobe Bryant. Even the New York Times could not afford to print twenty four updates to their sports column in a single day. And who would buy all twenty-four copies?

Another difference between blogs and newspaper columns is that, while newspaper columns are controlled by the newspaper, a blog is controlled by you. You are the author, or someone you hire is.

Difference between an article on a blog and an article on another website

As I mentioned earlier, this article you’re reading on my website right now is an example of a blog post. But what makes blogs so special? How is this blog post any different from any other article on a website? The reality is that to most people there is no major difference.

From the reader’s perspective, blog posts may look no different than any other article on a website. If this is the case, then why is there so much buzz about blogging in the technology world?

This brings us to our next question, “Do you need a blog?”

The easy answer to that question is, No. A business can operate perfectly fine without a blog. However, blogging provides some advantages that make it a powerful tool for publishing communications to your customers.

A blog : first a very good and easy writing tool!

It is best to think of blogging as using a writing tool just like one uses Microsoft Word. Word let’s you quickly write what you have to say, save your document to a file, and print it or email it for someone else to read. Similarly, a blogging tool let’s you write your thoughts into an article, automatically applies a standard blog layout and format, and automatically uploads the blog article to your website to share with your visitors. The tool builds the web page for you so that you don’t have to be a programmer to put articles on your website.

In summary, if you plan to write lots of articles for your customers to read, then a blog can save you time. A blog helps make authoring and publishing articles on your website faster.

Blogs have a lot of other powerful features that also help you. However, there are so many features that they can’t be covered in just one article. But you wisely don’t start blogging merely because blogs provide cool features. Instead it is wise to start blogging because you have something of value you want to say to customers on a regular basis and you want to do that as efficiently and effectively as possible. If your goal is the latter, then the features provided by blogging might be just what you need.

In conclusion, blogs are just a way to publish articles on a website. Blogs consist of a series of posts published at a regular time interval on a website just as newspaper columns consist of a series of articles printed in a newspaper at a regular time interval. Blogs, in and of themselves, do not solve business problems. Nevertheless, if you wish to communicate with your customers through regularly published articles, then a blog is often the easiest way to do this. That’s why I write articles such as this through a blogging tool. Using blogging as a tool can save time and make it easier to share your articles with customers and partners, and to have their feedback and impressions through comments.

    Additional articles: 

  1. Blogger.com: “What’s a blog?”,
  2. PBS.org: “What Exactly is a Blog?”,
  3. WordPress.org: “What is a blog?”