The Guide: Bloggers – they’re coming for us all!

Did you write a diary when you were younger? Then you’re probably familiar with blogging too. Its popularity and value has soared in recent years, with personal bloggers becoming quasi celebrities and as a result, businesses sitting up and taking notice of the branding and advertising benefits it can bring.

What are the origins of blogging?

The concept of online diaries emerged from the bulletin board and internet forum trend. Users would post about their personal lives, with entries appearing in chronological order, which other readers could comment on. The earliest account of this was in 1995, with the term ‘weblog’ being coined by John Barger in 1997, before being shortened in 1999 to the ‘blog’.

These early blogs tended to be primarily text based, however with the rapid evolution of technology, they have transpired into many other forms. Photoblogs, music blogs, video blogs (vlogs), podcasts and microblogging are just a few variations adding to the blogging phenomenon.

Why is blogging so popular?

Blogging did take a while to catch on, but Blogger, WordPress and Tumblr are now amongst some of the most popular blogging tools used today. Blogger is one of the earliest, launching in 1999. WordPress was founded in 2003, but now has over 74 million blog sites worldwide, with 60 million new posts being added each month. Meanwhile Tumblr, a slightly newer contender within the market, founded in 2007, has a staggering 231 million blogs worldwide.

It’s hard to ignore these impressive figures, but when did blogging turn from just a few simple online diaries, to an activity which involves millions, if not billions of people?

Many believe the turning point for blogging was in the early 00s, when on several occasions bloggers broke political stories and started to become the driving force behind political events. This gave bloggers greater credibility, helping to wipe away the perception that blogs were just a platform for gossiping.

And from there the trend has continued to grow. Not only is blogging free, almost instant and easy to get started with, it gives people the chance to publish their thoughts, opinions, share information, start a debate, showcase skills to progress a career, plus much more.

How can blogging benefit your business?

Since the first glimpses of blogging in 1995, we’ve not only seen an increase in personal blogs, but also multi-author blogs, opening up the space to businesses.

A simple Google search for ‘business blogging’, will bring up streams of ‘help and advice’, guiding you towards creating the perfect blog, regardless of whether you’re a small business or multinational organisation.

But what is the importance of blogging for your business? Here are just 4 key reasons why blogging can considerably help to drive your business forward:

  1. It can help to position you as an expert within your field.
  2. Sharing your blogs is a good way to market your business.
  3. Posts can boost your website’s search engine optimisation (SEO).
  4. You can develop stronger relationships with your customers.

Why are bloggers valuable to your brand?

There’s no doubt that running a blog requires a lot of time and dedication. However it’s worth considering the positive effect influential bloggers can have on your business.

You might have read The Londoner, or Jack’s Gap. Or perhaps you’ve heard of Zoella, who turned her passion of blogging into a full-time career. With more than six million subscribers and 12 million hits on her vlogs each month, plus millions of followers across her social media channels, Zoella is able to earn £20,000 a month from advertisers. Appearing on recent YouTube TV adverts, she’s a prime example of the so called blogger celebrity.

Bloggers across the world are having more and more influence over people and so why not harness this power and use it to benefit your business? Organising blogger events and running outreach activities are just some of the many ways you could get started, for customer acquisition, for brand visibility and marketing of your products and services.