Everyone knows someone with a blog, whether personal or otherwise. Popular social media platforms, such as Pinterest, link to countless blogs telling eager readers everything from how to turn an old tire into a raised garden to how to start a multi-million-dollar business.

So, why are blogs so popular, especially for businesses? It’s because they work, plain and simple. A blog combines so many of the marketing strategies that are proven to bring in and keep customers. They tell a story, they are creative, they are easily created and even more easily shared, and they keep consumers coming back for more.

As a result, it is no surprise that many companies, firms and marketing specialists maintain at least one blog and encourage their employees to contribute their thoughts on the latest industry trends or, to provide the personal touch, a random account of the company picnic or customer feedback on a new product.

In addition, for the most part, blogging has traditionally been an inexpensive way to generate revenue. Hits on a blog and a faithful, returning readership means those advertising on blog sites are being seen, and that means income for the blogger.

However, the trend of raking in the dough by writing a blog entry and just sitting back and waiting for the ad visits to pay off is dying. Studies have revealed that less than one-third of blog readers actually click on the advertisements on the page. While the number of blogs has exploded in recent years, the ties to blog revenue have sharply declined.

Rest assured, however, that there is still money to be made through blogging for those who are willing to think outside of the box, find new investments to fund their endeavors and keep up to date on the latest trends, such as inclusion of videos and creative, personal storytelling.