3 huge benefits of blogging for businesses


Businesses can benefit from blogging in many ways. In all cases, blogging indirectly improves customer relations and loyalty and in most cases, blogging leads to a better return on investment (RoI). If you have a small business, you must write a blog to promote your business - and it will pay handsomely in the long run.

Having a blog shows you are a serious player.


Look at the competition. Those who run their business as old style shop will not have bothered to make a blog if at all they have a website. So when you have a blog (and it MUST be maintained well), you are on a higher pedestal, other things being equal.

Blog helps in building reputation. Blog helps the business in acquiring the status of industry leader. A well-maintained, information rich, blog makes you a thought leader in your industry.

Blog means regular updation, and your website and brand get a better ranking from search engines, and better traffic from social media.


Unlike a regular website, the blog is regularly updated. This sends a much bigger positive ranking signal to Google and other search engines. This, in turn, leads to a better placement of your blog on search pages. I need not tell the enormous advantages you get when your website/ blog is placed on the first page of Google. In short, it means huge traffic and improved reputation - and these can convert into dollars.

Blogging helps in improving SEO in other ways too. You can optimize blog posts for search ranking much better than the information on a static website or portal. Blogs are also likely to be talked about among people who are related to your industry, much more than your website.

Blog posts are shared on social media and thus get distributed organically without almost no effort and spending on your part.

A well-maintained blog connects to customers and helps in building brand loyalty.


You should use social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter for social discovery and engagements, and I am not suggesting that you use blog for these actions. But having a blog takes engagement with strangers as well as existing customers to a different level: you can showcase developments, discuss technology and industry, explain things in detail if they go wrong, and so on - things that cannot be done effectively in the fleeting social networking space. 

In fact, blogs have a natural synergy with other social media. You can make posts on the blog and share them on the social media - this model has many advantages for businesses than just having social networking accounts. 

Blogging is great for your business whether you are in a very competitive niche or when you need to create a market for yourself, because it gives you the customized exposure that the website, social media and even advertisement do not give. 

I will not make more points for the sake of adding to this list. Let me share some empirical data to support what I said above, from Hubspot (https://blog.hubspot.com):

  • Companies that blog are reported to receive 97% more links to their website than those who don’t. 
  • A recent study that firms that blogs got 55% more visitors to their websites.
  • A content marketing survey found that over 55% said that blog was their most critical content marketing action. 
  • Blogs have been found to be the fifth most trusted source for online information.

blogging for business

Before closing, let me conclude by saying that blogging gives many benefits to businesses. Allow me to add that the benefits accrue only when you maintain the blog properly and use it for genuine engagement with visitors.

Visit here if you are interested in learning how to create a professional blog in 2019.

Social media faces control by authorities and indiscretion by users: recent examples

In this edition of social media updates, there are stories from around the world about control of the medium - sometimes with clearly good intent and sometimes not so good, even nefarious - and misuse of the medium. It was not intended this way, but so many such happenings have occurred that we have made it a post exclusively on these aspects, leaving blogging and other types of social media happenings for the next edition.


Nepal government to enact harsh social media law.


The Nepalese government has proposed a new law with harsh punishment for posting improper contents on social networking sites. 

Under the proposed law, authorities will now be able to book if they find that the content is meant for character assassination or attacking national sovereignty. The penalty includes a hefty fine of up to Rs 1.5 million and/or five years imprisonment.

As expected, national and international media has criticized the government for trying to gag social media.

Azerbaijan is contemplating to close global social networks after creating its own.

 
A report in OC-media says,  the ruling party is thinking of creating a native social media platform so as to protect the country against 'moral terrorism' from global social networks. A leader is reported having explained thus: ...They try to discredit the state and the authorities on social networks. They do this for deliberate political purposes.

An earlier similar attempt yielded no result, the report says.

Bangladesh's popular blogging platform shut down by authorities.


In a crackdown meant to control pornography and gambling,  Bangladesh government has ordered ISPs to shut down
about 20,000 websites. The list includes a popular blogging platform, somewhereinblog, which has denied that it was fostering any such content. This platform, in Bangla language, hosts over 2,50,000 blogs.

Interestingly, the Bengali version of Google Books has also been closed down!

India warns social media giants to behave during elections.


With general elections for the country's parliament round the corner, Facebook and Twitter have seen efforts by interested groups to manipulate the platforms. Trolling, fake news, advertisements in the garb of news and other inappropriate ways to influence voters have muddied the social media space very badly. WhatsApp, the instant messaging platform, is reported being used for spreading misinformation and for intrusive advertising.

Though the Election Commission is reported to be working closely with social giants and also is monitoring social messages closely, Indian parliamentarians have taken note. A committee first called Twitter bosses and gave them a deadline to answer questions that it has raised, and that would follow demanding answers from Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
 

When Facebook is called a 'digital gangster'


A UK parliamentary committee has come down severely on Facebook for making indiscreet use of user data - and breaking privacy and competition laws - for making profit.

The committee held an 18-month investigation into the working of the social media giant and even said that it was behaving like a 'digital gangster'.

Facebook out of control

What seems to have specially peeved the committee is that Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook boss, refused to meet the committee.
 

Indian media website exposes how celebrities are prone to making favorable recommendations and comments for a fee.


Cobrapost, a website known for exposes, has come out with a report that exposes about 3 dozen Indian celebrities for accepting offers to promote a political party. In the website's sting operation, Operation Karaoke, its reporters posed as public relations guys and offered different sums; the celebrities - mostly known Bollywood actors - accepted the offers and wanted their fee to be paid mostly in cash to avoid any banking trails!

 Social media in times of war


In the face of an attack by terrorists camping and being trained by Pakistani forces, India entered into Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and damaged terrorist bunkers.  It later led to a short (so far, at least) dogfight of aircrafts. 

While the action occurred at the border, Indian and Pakistani mainstream media and social media played their role in flaring up emotions. As expected, rumors and photo-shopped images made rounds, and people on the two sides used the worst type of language against each other. Even some government sites were hacked.

In many cases, the 'breaking news' on social media spread far and wide and even attracted comments from knowledgeable persons before it was trashed as rumor.

Serverless web hosting: should you go for it?

The use of 'serverless' in hosting/ computing parlance is not new but this concept is gaining ground because of its high versality and low costs.

Bloggers and individuals/ small businesses who maintain their own websites can gain from this type of hosting. It is especially useful for those in the business of offering apps and computer codes.

serverless web hosting and computing

Now Microsoft Azure is offering serverless website making on its platform. Amazon's AWS already has serverless offering on Lambda. Google is offering it since 2008 and claims to have improved it significantly in latest versions.


What is serverless computing?


Wikipedia defines serverless computing like this:
Serverless computing is a cloud computing execution model in which the cloud provider dynamically manages the allocation of machine resources. Pricing is based on the actual amount of resources consumed by an application, rather than on pre-purchased units of capacity. It is a form of utility computing.
Serverless computing still requires servers, hence it's a misnomer. The name "serverless computing" is used because the server management and capacity planning decisions are completely hidden from the developer or operator.
As said above, serverless does not mean there are no servers that host the application or code. However, they are fully managed by the hosting company and the developer does not have to bother at all about server-related tasks. This is what is called FaaS or function as a service model and is a more hassle-free, fully managed, version of cloud computing. You pay for the functions that your code performs on the web, and it is the responsibility to keep it running.

For small purposes, such as hosting minor applications or a small website, serverless hosting is becoming a very tempting solution, especially because the top-end companies offer it, and at a very low fee.

The following video tells how AWS Lambda works:



By embedding this video we do not specifically recommend Lambda over other offers, but we have put the video here because it beautifully tells how a serverless service works.