Remember when blogging was the hot new trend and everyone was sharing their every thought online? Personal and professional blogs were sprouting up everywhere and blogs became one of the first forms of social media. But is blogging now a thing of the past?

With the increasing significance of social media for businesses, it’s very easy to abandon blogging for the newest trend. There is no doubt that Facebook, Google+ and Twitter are valuable content platforms, but it is still important to keep your blogs up to date in 2012. Here are five reasons why:

1. Increase Website Traffic

Blogging is one of the easiest ways to organically build search engine traffic. Websites can get around seven times more traffic with an actively-managed blog. If posting business and industry-related content once or twice a week will get your page more views, why wouldn’t you want to blog?

2. Develop a foundation for social media

Blogging should be the basis of your social media activities. Twitter is limited to 140 characters and Facebook mostly relies on short posts and photos. Blog posts allow you to present a more personal and more detailed representation of your company’s persona. Your blog probably won’t be the first place that people encounter your company, but if tweets and Facebook posts are interesting, people are more likely to visit your blog.

3. Prove you’re an expert

Blogging allows companies to build brand equity and to develop authority. Posting about industry news and sharing advice based on professional experience is a great way to increase credibility. Educating your audience is a perfect way to promote your skills and expertise. Just make sure that posts are consistent, relevent and accurate.

4. Create some buzz

Stir up conversation with your target audience by blogging about what consumers are interested in. Although a blog is a good place to promote your own products and services, don’t just talk about your company. Talk about what’s going on in the industry, engage with readers through the comments section and encourage participation. Propose new ideas and share your opinion. Ask readers what topics they would like to know more about and they will be more likely to return.

5. Voice of the company

Blogs are a great way for businesses to get personal. By using a range of contributors—perhaps people from different departments or guest collaboratorsreaders get to see a different side of the company. This is a great way to illustrate your unique selling points in a subtle way. For example, if you provide organic products, a blog post could be about the farm where the products were grown. If you are an event planning company, your photographer could blog about why event photos are so important. Extra Tips Creativity is what will separate your blog from the rest. Don’t use the default templates; do add personalised photos, logos and designs instead. Keep designs simple but interesting and your readers will be impressed. Some great corporate blogs that are featured on many ‘Top Blog’ lists include Google, Twitter, Garmin and Whole Foods. All are great examples of the above five reasons to keep blogging in 2012. And if these companies are blogging, why shouldn’t your company be blogging? If you are just starting a blog, don’t expect to gain 500 readers in two weeks. Establishing a loyal following will take time. But here are 365 blogging for business tips that will definitely help you out. Blogging is still an important aspect of online marketing and networking. Just keep your blog posts interesting and keep them coming often and your company could have a great online presence by the end of 2012.

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