There are over 200,000,000 blogs on the web. 54% of all bloggers add content daily and upload their blog to Twitter.
Blogging is almost the perfect online marketing tool. Blogs can generate content that search engines rank and people will be happy to share on the likes of Facebook and Twitter.
People find what they need online in two ways. Either they a) use a search engine such as Yahoo or Google, or b) they hear about you via word of mouth. That includes social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Blogging on your website achieves both a) and b). How? Well, search engine love content and blogging is all about content. A well written blog is far more likely to contain keywords which will match what somebody enters in a search engine. Further, because you are creating regular fresh content, the search engines rank your website higher.
As for b), it's possible to link your website blog to the social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Which increases your interaction and number of 'friends' or 'followers', so increasing the chance of a 'word of mouth' marketing campaign.
The Dotnetnuke blog employed by WJP in it's packages is a good example of such a blog. When you enter content onto the blog it generates a 'Tweet' and a link to your blog on Twitter. This not only encourages more social networking followers, it can dramatically improve your search engine rankings. Which is a 'win', 'win' situation all round!
However, it's important to remember the rules of Social Networking. Be subtle in you blog by not just talking about your business. Make your blog interesting to as wide an audience as possible. Talk about aspects of your industry that are of interest to many, not just your latest product or service.
We're not talking blatant marketing here, but something that is more subtle and sustainable.
And keep your blog entries short. With more and more content on the web each day, a 'Tweet' type approach to your blogging has a higher chance of being read.