April 08, 2014

The Benefits of Blogging

Blogging can have a reputation of being for niche businesses or individuals with an opinion or agenda. Those who write about fashion, music, politics, parenting, or food tend to be thought of first when you think of the term “blogger.” But blogs can (and do) exist in all industries and trades, including government.

Georgia.gov, Department of Public Health and Georgia.org are all taking advantage of blogging through clear information and fact sharing. These agencies are utilizing the informal and concise way of sharing news and reaching citizens. As long as there’s information to be shared, then blogging is a means to share it. And possibly one of the most important ways an agency can advance their online presence.

If you’re not blogging, or don’t see a valid reason to, take into consideration the following benefits other agencies are experiencing:

  1. Blogs build trust.
    Trust is rare and valuable, especially with your online users. Start regularly blogging to build trust with citizens by informing them honestly and accurately with current events and hot topics. Over time as you write more posts and share more information in your area of expertise, your blogs will become a powerful illustration of your industry knowledge. With consistent, relevant, and timely blog posts, citizens will see you as a reliable source of information and industry experts, trusting you for their news.
  2. Blogs proactively address concerns and new issues.
    Blogs are a great way to address new events, frequently asked questions, and announcements. Think about a new law that’s changed the way your citizens will pay taxes. Or an update to the way your citizens can be healthy. Chances are people are coming to your site for information regarding issues that affect them. Tackle these concerns and questions with relevant and updated blog posts, and provide them with answers in a timely and efficient manner.
  3. Blogs keep your site updated and fresh.
    When a website is first launched, all of the pages and content are fresh and new to the search engines. This helps boost your rankings when citizens are searching for your agency and services. But over time, if a website is left inactive, the search engine rankings will decrease. Instead of rewriting your website content, create a blog on your site that you regularly update with new information and topics. This encourages search engine robots to continue indexing your website, keeping it fresh and SEO rankings high.
  4. Blogs help create an online identity.
    The great thing about blogs is they don’t have to be formal and official. They are actually more effective when citizens feel like they are reading something familiar, easy, and clear. Help your agency become less governing and more approachable by creating an online identity or persona through blogging. Create an environment that’s informal and intimate for your citizens, and engage them in good news and light-hearted topics. Create specific author profiles for each of your writers, and encourage more creativity and flexibility with blog ideas. Citizens will start to feel like they’re interacting with a human, rather than a big government entity.
  5. Blogs increase agency engagement and response from citizens.
    Posting your blogs to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts will increase your agency’s awareness and citizen engagement, and help provide accurate and relevant content for your social media accounts. Done correctly, teaser posts to your blogs can get users to interact with your agency through comments, likes, and new followers, building a friendly connection between your agency and state citizens.

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