April 18, 2014

Why should businesses blog?

It is often seen that businesses are guided by their IT advisers to go for large portals and have their presence on social networking sites [right now, very fashionable]. Anything that is more sensible but not ‘in vogue’ soon loses importance in the eyes of such star-grazers. Blogs fall in this category.
Yet research by international social-media sites as well as marketers themselves have shown that blogs give lots of value to the blog, which websites and social networking presence do not give.  

  • Blog content is more permanent than that on social networking messages. Social networking sites, especially Facebook and Twitter, create content so fast that unless you are always creating content or are repeating your content again and again (and this could be irritating), your content will be swamped by content that is constantly posted by others. 
  • Blogs have more authority and higher credibility than other platforms. Research shows that a significant number of online purchasers or searchers take blog content as more reliable than information and recommendations on other platforms. Similarly, a post on a company blog looks more credible than the company’s press release, and it is unobtrusive. 
  • Blogs are very easy to maintain. Businesses can have blogs as part of their big portal or as standalone sites. Some good companies even have blogs on Blogger or Wordpress platforms that are mapped to independent domains. [Though Indian Top Blogs is neither a company nor big, indiantopblogs.com is an example of very cost-effective way of running a blog.] You can have many interactive functionalities on the blog freely, by way of widgets. In addition, you can easily bring about design changes while retaining the content and its basic metadata such as date of posting, links and geo-tags.
  • Blogs are a cost effective means to reach people. In addition to the free blogging aspect we mentioned above, blogs pay back much better than other means of reaching prospective clients. It has been found that blogs produce many more leads from the unit cost, as compared to social networks, organic search, tele-marketing, direct mail, paid search and trade shows.
  • Blogs act as long-term resource-base. What you create keeps adding to the resources. 
  • Research shows that your overall presence on the web grows up well if you maintain a blog. Blogs act as magnets for traffic as they have a large number of fresh pages which are indexed by search engines. Research shows that blogs not only drive traffic to websites, they generate inbound links and are better amenable to action by visitors. 
  • From non-traffic perspectives too, blogs complement all other web-places seamlessly, including websites and social networking sites. While too much of email pushing, Tweeting etc can look obtrusive, you won't generally be disliked for too much blogging (unless you are suffering from narcissus complex or such other psychic disorder). 
  • You can connect with your clientele in a very friendly and mutually beneficial manner. You can carry articles to educate consumers about your industry, provide advisories, give them free solutions to routine problems, help in grievance-redressal and in meeting government regulations and so on, without trying to sell your product. You can use the blog to showcase your socially-relevant,  philanthropic, visionary self and generate goodwill for yourself (your company). We find that when CEOs maintain a blog in their individual capacity, it helps in generating enormous goodwill for the company.

You might like to read our earlier post related to this subject: Blogs score over Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

April 16, 2014


The strawberry Head

"Pink with Grays. Kitsch & Cliches. Pastels & warm whites. Little boxes, Faerie lights. Alice in wonderland. All sorts of ampersand. Lettering done by hand. Bus rides & Trains. Origami Wishing Cranes. Karaoke & Coffee Shops. Doodling on Table-tops. Hot Chocolate in cuddle cups. J.D. & Turk in Scrubs. South Bombay shores. The smell of Bookstores. Alan Fletcher, Shawarma wraps. Collecting badges, notes & scraps. Making lists and Pointless rhymes. Cookery shows on NDTV good times. Chunky peanut butter on bread. This is the blog of a strawberry head."
- Shivani

April 13, 2014

A request regarding blog directory compilation

We are forced to write this post of no long-term value; do forgive us for that.

After we published a post announcing the compilation of the Directory of the Best Indian Blogs by May, we are flooded with email requests for inclusion of blogs. Though we have made our selection criteria very clear and also announced a pause to detailed review of blogs, we get numerous requests of various kinds. 

We request blogger friends desirous of seeing their blogs on the Directory of Best Indian Blogs for 2013-14 not to send requests of the following types, as it does not help you in any way and makes our task difficult:

  • In this Directory, we include only the blogs that are predominantly in English and are maintained by Indians [or if not by Indians, are on India]. We include Hindi blogs in another directory that we bring out later in the year. At present, we do not have directories for blogs in other Indian languages and non-Indian blogs. 
  • We suspended detailed review of blogs last year after we found submerged in the heap of requests. If we start it again, we'd announce that on ITB.
  • Please do not mix your request for showcasing your blog on ITB with the request for inclusion in the Directory. For showcasing a blog, we need the blogger to write a small USP about the blog. We are unable to showcase blogs unless they have a minimum standard and are updated regularly.
  • Please do not ask us to include the blog in the Directory if the blog does not fulfill the criteria mentioned in this ITB post.