I had the honor of attending a convention a couple of weeks ago in Atlanta as an invited guest and one of the panels I was a member of dealt with utilizing social media. Someone raised their hand at the very end of the discussion and asked a question I was quite literally—yes, literally—shocked to hear in this day and age … or at least this month and year. “Would it help my business at all if I had a blog?”

I remember sitting there, eyes narrowing to mere slits, my mouth forming words and combining them into phrases that would make George Carlin do a double take, and wondering what planet this particular individual had been hiding on. Had we heard the question correctly? We must have since we were all twitching. Maybe it was a shared group aneurism. Suffice to say, six people set about making a point to this doe-eyed blog virgin.

First of all, YES! A blog will help your business if it’s utilized correctly. There’s a huge misconception that if you have a website, the great internet god Google the Gargantuan will send droves of eager customers and readers into your eager hands. Welcome to reality where things don’t work like we think they should. If they did, Facebook would legitimately protect our privacy and not sell it to third parties.

Whatever your business is, a blog will allow you to talk about it, share your excitement about it and fill people in on everything it can do for them. Over time, anyway. It can’t be all sell, sell, sell or people will go far, far, far away. So, yes, a blog can help establish your business, inform people about it and create a following, but it can do so much more than that.

Maybe you have a terrific business and maybe you’re so involved with it that you can’t see where you’re strongest or weakest. A blog allows for some one-on-one time with your customers and readers. Are you under the impression they don’t have opinions? Read Yelp reviews some time. Looking to create a new product? Maybe getting some input from your customers is something you should consider. Remember Crystal Pepsi and New Coke? Exactly.

When executed well, a blog will help build traffic to your site, interest in you or your product and create followers who coming back to read what you publish next. What you write in the blog posts is also going to be as important as how often you publish them. Once a month or once every two weeks aren’t going to cut it. The moment you let that much time elapse, kiss your post-MTV generation’s two-second attention span goodbye. *smooch* See? It’s already gone. Try to post a minimum of once a week to start with and increase from there as necessary. Just be sure you don’t go hog wild and try to post every day. You’ll burn out. Your readers will burn out and, in this case, it’s not better to burn out than fade away.

Social media is fleeting. It’s today, yesterday and tomorrow. Blogging, however, is past, present and future. Blogging is beautiful. And so am I, just in a handsome way.

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