ContentRobot has been attending the virtual tradeshow eComXpo this week. Today, we sat in on a discussion about business blogging, led by Ted Demopoulos, an early blog pioneer.

Below we share some of the interesting comments he had on various topics surrounding blogging (noted some have been edited for clarity, grammar, and/or typos).

What is the future of business blogging?

In three years, this is where I see biz blogging: The distinction between blog and website will fade quite a bit. Also, the day of the “formal corporate” website are limited. Sure, websites will still exist, but they are becoming less formal in general. Most of my readers do not care what they are reading, they just want great content.

Do you need a both blog and a website? Can the blog be launched first?

…you can blog before the company website is up, and you may not even need a company website (although you probably do). For example, Guy Kawasaki says he wished he never started his website, and his blog is sufficient. For me, I need both. I have some Fortune 500 clients and some of them expect a web site of some type.

Why should I have a blog?

A blog will allow you to extend your platform and have a two way conversation with people. Also remember that people like to be business with people they know. And with a blog, lots of people get to know you.

What should I put on my blog?

Entertainment is important! Just facts and thoughts don’t work as well. There is SOO much content out there, much of it dull, that entertainment really adds value.

Why do search engines like blogs?

Blogs, because of their social nature (links, comments, blogrolls, etc.), build traffic more naturally. I know my blog has an order or two of magnitude more traffic than my website, for example. Most small to medium businesses agree too.

Is there a way to increase or ensure traffic to your blog?,

Think valuable content, label it well (use great post titles for, example), and be social — link to other blogs, leave comments etc.

Where do your blog readers come from?

… about 1/3 of my readers come from search engines, mostly Google. Many of them don’t know they are reading a blog or care. Maybe 1/3 are regular readers, and the other 1/3 probably follow links from other blogs and websites. What they all share is that they are looking for information, so concentrate on providing valuable info.

What’s the best way to ensure success?

Make sure you do some planning first before starting! What are your goals, what topic will the blog be on, etc. Also, make sure whoever is blogging has been at least reading blogs for a couple of weeks.

Never start a biz blog just because you think you need one! Just because “everyone else is so” leads to failure usually.

I just refused to help start a Biz Blog for a great paying client because it was a “check list” item. The CEO said they should have one, no one knew exactly what is was, and they just wanted to write a check and have success! Doesn’t usually work that way.

Blogs seem time demanding. Are they are a good return on your time/money?

…there is a time commitment for sure. I won’t claim it’s for everyone, but for many it has greatly helped increase and sometimes redefine their business. The only way to be sure is to try it — and commit to a few months to see if it works. Most people find they enjoy blogging, even if they originally thought they hated writing.