Blogs are sally ports of a sort, I’ve concluded, a middle space between the blogosphere and your corporate website.
In the Middle Ages, sally ports were small spaces in the castle or city walls that allowed besieged troops to sally forth to attach the enemy without compromising their own fortification. Today, sally ports control entry into restricted military or civilian areas. People, materials, or vehicles can be thoroughly checked, with the first door closed behind them prior to allowing them through the second door.
Business blogs, in a way, are reverse sally ports. While guards use the sally port space to check out would-be entrants, deciding whether to allow them in, with blogs, it’s the opposite. Online readers who enter the "sally port" of the blog post check you out, deciding whether they want to "come" in to your website!
As a professional ghost blogger who also trains employees to blog, I often liken blogs to booths as a trade show. The matching process of organic search (with search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) has placed readers in the vicinity of your "booth". Your blog post title grabs their attention, assuring them they’ve come to the right place for the products, services, or information they need.
Now that those searchers are in the "sally port", scanning the content of your business blog post, they decide if they want to go through the second door (by clicking on the link to one of your website landing pages or following one of your blog’s Calls to Action)
In a military or civilian sally port, if a person or vehicle is found to be unauthorized, the guard can lock down both gates. The individual or vehicle in question is trapped inside until police can neutralize and remove the offender.
The business blog sally port situation is in sharp contrast to that. The searcher remains in full control of the situation and can "escape" with a simple click of the computer mouse. The business owner has no power to force the reader to come into the corporate website – in fact readers must be invited to take the next step.
With business blogging, it’s the searchers doing all the sallying forth!