By John Eberhard

Many people don’t realize that there are some great benefits to blogging. By writing regular articles (300-500 words) or shorter blog posts (100-200 words) you can drive a significant amount of traffic to your blog and then to your main web site. And unlike many other types of promotion, both online and off, it’s free.

I have several blogs: one for posting my marketing articles, one for press releases about my company, and one for client news, which contains press releases from my clients. I post something to my articles blog a minimum of once a week. Once I post that article, I send out a notification, called a “ping,” to a group of about 30 blog search engines.

Once that ping goes out, all those search engines will in short order come to the blog and get the new content incorporated into their search engine content. So when people go to those search engines looking for content on the topics I write about, such as website marketing, blogging, pay per click advertising, social media marketing, and so on, my articles will come up.

This drives a significant amount of traffic to my blogs. Then, my blogs are set up with sidebars that have links to items of interest on my main web site. Like my services, a book that I sell, and some free eBooks that I offer. So a certain number of those people will come to my main web site. Plus I also have a newsletter signup and direct contact information on the blog itself.

In my case, in the Internet marketing field, my blogs generate three times as much traffic to my main web site as does Google, and in fact the blogs are the single largest source of traffic to my main web site.

On the other hand, it is important to realize that blogs are good for some people and maybe not for others.

I personally think that blogs work better for companies that sell products or services nationally or internationally, as opposed to a business that serves one small local area. It’s not that a blog can’t work for a local business – I have a dance studio client with a blog that does well with it – but it’s just that by pinging the blog search engines, you can’t guarantee you’re going to get all local people. The people coming will likely be from all over.

And a blog works best for a business that is willing to write new content regularly. I put up something every week, and I think that posting something once a week or more often is ideal.

But on the other hand, you don’t have to write 500 words for every article like I do. You can just write 100 words or even less. You can find some video of interest that relates to your industry and post that, using the embed code on YouTube so the video player will appear right in your blog. You can post links to articles of interest written by other people that you found and thought would be of interest to your public.

Using these methods, blogging can be a powerful tool to generate traffic.