Blogging

To Blog Or Not To Blog – A Layman’s View

We have now entered the world of blogs! Sounds kind of Harry Potterish, doesn't it?

If you're over 20 years old, you probably think this is some crazy sci-fi phenomenon, or I've simply lost my mind. Don't fret, the vast majority of people don't know what a blog is all about and more importantly, why it matters to them.

If you're under 20 you can stop reading because you probably know all about blogs, and the value they have in sharing information. You've been trading game-breaking codes, South Park clips, and jokes through blogs for months now or maybe even years.

In a recent article, Johnson Ong quips "I have a blog. Doesn't everyone? You mean you don't? How uncool are you? According to Merriam-Webster, 'blog' was the word of the year last year. Not having your own blog is like not having your own Gmail account. What? You don't have Gmail either? My God, what are you? A caveman!"

Over or under, cool or uncool, I want to address blogs from a business standpoint, and the tremendous value they can deliver to business. There are several reasons that developing a blog is a tremendous strategy for any business.

1) It will increase your web presence significantly the search engines love blogs!

2) It will allow your business to educate customers and prospects about certain subjects, and appear as experts

3) It will raise your business profile with your vendors and other strategic partners, if they are invited to contribute to your blog

4) Other blogs can, and will, take information from your blog, and you will increase your exposure to anyone that participates in the 'taking' blog

5) Blogs accept subscribers, and everyone that subscribes to your blog will be constantly updated (pinged) by you with current information

So What is It?

The full name for a blog is a weblog. It's a repository for articles, newsletters, information, and discussion boards. It's like a 'what's new' page on the internet in whatever subject you choose. When people research any topics that you have on your blog, they may very well end up on your blog through their search. If you've done it right, your blog is of course, fully branded to your company, and linked to your main website.

If you keep current articles, and information on your blog, you will receive hits from people looking for information about those subjects. You will also receive hits from other blogs, and they will then distribute your information to their own audiences.

You will receive hits from contributors of articles or news items, as well as people looking for those particular contributors through a search engine.

Hopefully, you get the picture. Your web traffic should increase exponentially through the proper use of a blog.

Business Blogs

Business blogs have yet to sweep the business community, which presents a significant opportunity to adapt the technology to any business. It will allow you to share expertise and knowledge with a much larger audience, which should create a significant benefit.

There is specific blogging software, and you will have to learn how to create an effective and valuable blog. You will also have to learn how to acquire and produce current industry information to populate your blog with articles that will maintain interest and value. Yes, there is an element of work to it you didn't think it was free, with no effort required, like the mumps did you?

As you add current information to your subject area, or to secondary subject areas that you may include in your blog, your chances of more hits are higher. If you continually contribute self-generated articles and news items to the appropriate subject areas, your chances also increase. In addition, there are sources that allow you to publish their materials, which can be used to increase the value of the blog, and therefore the likelihood of being found on the good old inter-web.

So How Does It Work?

If you still push the Pause/Break button in the upper right-hand corner of your keyboard to request permission from your boss for a visit to the bathroom, you can skip this part. Otherwise, it's really not too hard to follow.

Without getting too technical, there are many web robots (bots), crawlers, and spiders, and similar technologies that have RSS Reader capability. That's the stuff that is specific to blogs. They are basically looking for news, and blogs have that news.

If you do it right, these bots, crawlers, and spiders find your blog, and send information elsewhere, which is just what you want. Your blog is basically yelling at these web 'beasts' to "come on in and take this great stuff I've got."

For example, these web 'animals' include yahooslurp, googlebot, feedstercrawler, pubsub, syndic8, msnbot, newsgator, CP30, & R2D2.

O.K., the last two were Luke Skywalker's buddies, but the rest are real.

It will take 4 to 6 weeks for the search engines to adjust rankings but the ultimate result will be that you will progress up the ladder in the engines in the various topic areas that you feature. When people are searching for technologies or subjects that are being discussed in your blog, they will find you on the search engines.

That should be a hint that you should have content on your blog about the subjects that are most often searched.

When a subject is searched that is covered by one of your branded, self-generated articles, your fully branded information may be pulled to another blog, or to a specific person doing a search in that topic area. You can post that same article on your website, and it won't go anywhere. However, on your blog it gets a shot of super juice, and may just get pushed through any number of doors.

Linking The Benefits Increase Your Brand

When website owners and bloggers (yeah, I'm now a blogger!) think of linking, they are usually referring to inbound links from external websites and blogs. For example, if you had a link to your website on the website of another business.

While adding more inbound links on external sites is important, there is also a sort of 'reverse' link strategy associated with blogs.

Your blog's incoming links will provide another benefit when someone is referred to an article in your blog from another website. For example, through GooglePageRank, the receiving page (you) gets a boost up the search engine when that happens, which helps the blog overall by boosting the popularity of the blog, which in turn is what increases the search results, which in turn drives up the search engine rankings.

What!? I wrote it and I have to read it six times to really follow what I'm saying.

Basically, the more people that visit your blog when they come from other sources, the more likely it is for people to find you when searching for a whole myriad of topics. That type of benefit does not exist with normal website traffic, because those visits don't effect web site rankings on the search engines. But blog traffic that is through a link from another site will drive you up the search engines. There that's much more clear!? As clear as fog in a low-lying bog. Ouch!

Web designer Sue Studios says; "Blogs are highly strategic, here-to-stay desktop tools that can strengthen relationships, share knowledge, increase collaboration, and improve branding. Think of the potential for your e-newsletter strategies:

1) Articles within newsletters can be linked to a blog, extending life and creating a massive conversation

2) You can offer a bi-directional forum to customers to get true, personal opinion on your products and services

3) Company experts can start a blog and become industry experts, helping your company edge out competition and, through this interactive forum, draw customers into another exchange of information and thoughts."

Well, it's snowing out so I think I'll go blogging! Wait, is that something you do in the snow, or is it something you do to stay out of the snow?!

Or is it a Celtic dance? Or should the Steelers have blogged that kick Sunday? I'm confused.

Dennis Schooley is the Founder of Schooley Mitchell Telecom Consultants, a Professional Services Franchise Company. He writes for publication, as well as for schooleymitchell.blogging,com and franchises.blogging.com, in the subject areas of Franchising, and Technology for the Layman. http://www.schooleymitchell.com, 888-311-6477, dschooley@schooleymitchell.com.

Author: Dennis Schooley
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
Home care

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    7 Tips for Successful Blogging

    So, you have a blog! Do you have traffic? Do you know how to build traffic to your weblog? There are seven proven methods for building readership of your blog. They start with defining the purpose, or life, of your blog. Then, after you have a blog worth promoting, driving traffic is crucial to your ongoing success at blogging.

    Here are seven tips to help you build and hold an audience for your blog:

    Tip #1: Provide quality content.

    On the Internet, whether you are talking about websites or blogs, a lot of space is given to content. Everyone directs you to provide quality content. But, what is quality content? The quality of your blog's content is directly related to how well you have defined your ideal audience.

    A successful blog is written with a distinct audience in mind. In this way, you can provide content that is unique to your audience's issues, needs, or desires. If you create content they like and wish to return to read, you have quality content.

    The second issue is to stay true to your audience and tone of your blog. If people are reading your blog, it's because they like your topic and tone. Try not to stray from your typical topics and style too much. This will give your readers a reason to link back to your blog on an ongoing basis, as will posting on a regular basis.

    Tip #2: Blog regularly

    If you don't update your blog often enough, blog readers will move on to other blogs. There are too many blogs out there competing for attention. Blog readers will go where they can get enough of what they want.

    Successful blogging takes a commitment of your time. When you begin blogging and wish to capture an audience, you should be prepared to blog every day. In this way, you can develop an audience who counts on you to help them begin or end their day.

    This means you should also try to post at the same time each day. Your readers will get accustomed to your schedule and check your blog at the appropriate time. The time of day is not as crucial as the consistency in your posting.

    Since you now have quality content and a regular posting schedule, it's time to drive traffic to your blog. Your readers will do a lot to promote your blog just by telling their friends. Don't count on this alone! You need to do some additional work.

    When you post, make sure you set your blog to "ping" blog tracking sites every time you add a new post. Think of this as a means to get their attention. The ping says "Hey, we just added a new post". An alternative to automatically pinging from your blog is to use pingomatic.com. This is a one-stop place to automatically ping everyone you should notify of your new post and only takes a couple of minutes to accomplish.

    Tip #3: Mention your blog wherever you can

    Mention your blog's address in your email signature line, in forums where you post, on your business cards, on address labels and in conversations with anyone you meet. Use a tag line under your blog address to further entice them to visit. Mine reads:

    Michele Schermerhorn

    http://www.imarketblog.com

    A sassy little marketing blog

    Beyond just mentioning your blog in writing and conversation, you must actively participate in the blogging community too.

    Tip #4: Participate in the blogosphere

    Get involved in other people's blogs. Visit blogs that interest you and are in line with the general topic of your blog. Then, leave thoughtful comments. Almost every comment option on someone else's blog will allow you to post your blog URL and your email address. Help other bloggers out with traffic and they will help you.

    If a blogger really likes your site, they will add you to their blogroll. A blogroll is generally found on every blog which understands linking to the rest of the blogosphere helps drive traffic. A blogroll is a listing of other blogs. Think of it as a "recommended reading list". Don't be stingy with your blog roll either. Add those blogs that you read and enjoy to your blogroll too.

     

    Tip #5: Think keywords when you post

    Think about keywords with your use of titles, links and blog posts. Search engines, like Google and Yahoo, like keywords. The more targeted your keywords, the better the chances of your blog appearing in search results. Search results can drive that extra traffic you want.

    To increase the value of the key words in your content, make certain keywords are part of the hot link in your posts. Don't use "click here" as the hot link. You will be wasting valuable real estate in your post. Instead use the relevant keywords for the hot link, like "a great marketing idea. This gives the keywords added emphasis with the search engines.

    One last thought on keywords for driving traffic; if you want a real leg up in the traffic game, in your linking code add rel="tag". This helps Technorati, a major blog resource, index your blog for their directory. But don't stop there! It's time to submit your blog to blog directories.

    Tip #6: Submit your blog to blog directories

    In addition to submitting your blog to the major search engines, make certain you submit the blog to exclusively blog directories like blogwise, blogcatalog, or bloghub. Many people find blogs through these online directories.

    When you do submit your blog to these directories, remember to add a description that will entice your targeted audience to check your blog out. For instance, when I post my blog in blog directories, under description I put "General musings, rants, advice and strategies from a battle-worn veteran of the Marketing Wars, online and off". Your description should help the potential reader understand your blogging topic and the flavor of how you write.

    In addition to submitting your blog to blog directories, join a few of the free or inexpensive traffic exchange sites like blogexplosion or blogclicker.

     

    Tip #7: Use free and inexpensive blog traffic exchange communities

    There are many sites which can be termed "traffic exchange" sites for the blogging community. It won't cost you anything to sign up. At the very least, join blogexplosion, blogclicker, and blogazoo. Once you sign up, you have two options to help drive traffic to your blog. Use both of them!

    The first method is to earn credits (guaranteed visitors to your site) by using the "surf member sites" function. As you surf through those sites, you will be earning credits (visitors to your blog). When you find an interesting post, leave a comment as discussed above. When you find a blogger you like, add them to your blogroll and let them know you did.

    The second method to drive traffic is to purchase credits. The cost is very cheap for the traffic you will drive to your blog. The more traffic to your blog, the more customers you'll have. The more happy customers you have, the more they will tell others. The more they tell others, the more customers you get. Don't you love this dance!

    In summary, blogging may not be for everyone. However, it can be a great method for bringing your unique perspective to the Internet. You will surely find others who think the same way you do. Some bloggers will entertain you, some will inform you, and some will drive you to tear your hair out. Decide what type of blogger you want to be and be the best you can. See you in the blogosphere!

    Michele Schermerhorn calls herself a Corporate Freedom Fighter dedicated to freeing cubicle prisoners to experience their own successful online business. She has over 30 years experience in the business world and over 12 years running her own successful online businesses. She is President of Online Business Institute Inc. (http://www.obinstitute.com), authors a sassy marketing blog (http://www.imarketblog.com), and regularly conducts free online seminars. Online Business Institute Inc. exists to Create Successful Online Business Owners One Person At A Time.

    Author: Michele Schermerhorn
    Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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    Thinking about Running a Business Blog

    7 Questions To Ask Yourself BEFORE Starting A Business Blog

    Are You Thinking about creating a Business Blog?

    7 Questions To Ask Yourself BEFORE Starting A Business BlogBlogging is the latest buzzword in online marketing and PR. But with so many marketers jumping on the blogging bandwagon, few people are giving a thought to whether blogs are really up their alley, or taking the time to consider the best ways of going about it. If you are planning to start a business blog, ask yourself these questions before you take the final plunge.

    1. Do you really need a blog?

    Writing and maintaining a blog takes a certain degree of commitment, as well as a passion (or at least a liking) for stringing words into a decent sentence. If you don't enjoy writing that much, you could always create an audio or video blog. But would your business objectives really be served by starting a blog? Or could other methods of online marketing - like SEO, ezine advertising or newsletter publishing work just as well, if not better?

    2. Whom do you want to reach with your blog?

    The first step to reaching your audience is understanding where they go to find information about your products. If your audience largely consists of people who live in your town or use products that they search for in the newspapers, offline advertising might be more suited to your purpose.

    If however, your target audience belongs to one or more of these segments, a blog might be just the thing to boost your business.

    - Internet users

    Does your target audience really use the internet? If not, then starting a blog (or any online activity, for that matter) will just be a huge waste of time and effort.

    - Blog readers

    Does your target audience read blogs? Or do they prefer to get their information in their inbox? If the latter is true, then an email newsletter might be a better option than a blog.

    - Search engine users

    A blog is an excellent way to boost your search engine rankings and get listed for a lot of your target keywords. If you know that your audience uses search engines to find information, a blog will increase your chances of getting their attention.

    - Social media users

    A blog is an excellent way to provide a focal point for your community. Regular content updates through social media networks will help you offer something of value to your community users.

    3. What do you want to achieve with your blog?

    There are a lot of things that a blog can do for your business. Blogs can help you -

    - Increase your visibility and search engine rankings

    - Brand yourself, your products, your services, your company

    - Build a community and network with people who have similar interests

    - Expand your reach to those outside your current sphere of influence - Establish your credibility as an expert or thought-leader in your field

    - Put a human face on your business

    - Reach out to potential customers and stakeholders

    Deciding exactly what you want to achieve with your blog can help you get focused, so that you can spend your time and effort in activities that help, not hinder your business objectives.

    4. How much time can you spend on your blog?

    Serious business bloggers not only spend time writing their own blogs, but also spend a great deal of time reading up on current events and browsing other blogs in their field for information. If you are prepared to put in the time and effort required to do that sort of research, your blog will serve as a good branding tool for your business. If not, you should either hire someone to do the research or seriously rethink your decision to start a blog.

    5. What blogging platform will serve your needs best?

    Deciding your blogging platform is an important step that you should take only after becoming familiar with the features and benefits of each option. The reason it is so crucial is because it can be extremely difficult to migrate an established blog to a new platform once you have started it.

    Moving your blog can result in you losing your data, search engine listings and readers, so don't take this decision lightly. Decide which platform will best meet your marketing objectives, time constraints and personal preferences before you make your first post.

    If you are short on time, and want to spend more time writing, then a hosted solution like Blogger, Blogware, Squarespace or Typepad might serve your purpose better. This might also prove a better option if you want to get started as soon as possible, are new to the internet, or are unfamiliar with scripts or code.

    If, on the other hand, you're a control freak (like me) and don't mind spending some time and effort to customize your blog, then a server-installed software, like WordPress, b2Evolution or Movable Type might be just right for you. If you don't want to install the scripts yourself, choose a hosting solution with Fantastico, which comes with a one-click install of a number of blogging software.

    6. How do you plan to promote your blog?

    Why is it good to know this before you start your blog? Because it will help you decide where best to invest your time and effort when you need to build traffic to your blog. You'll learn more about the methods to promote your blog when you subscribe to the email course below.

    Some of these tasks can be outsourced, while others you would have to do yourself. Decide what you want to take on and look out for service providers to handle the other functions so you can start building traffic to your blog as soon as possible.

    7. How will you assess the success of your blog?

    To determine how successful your blog is in boosting your profile or profits you will have to measure your blog traffic and track sales or leads that have come through it. Planning this in advance will help you take more informed decisions about your blogging metrics, choice of blogging platform and degree of customization you require on your blog.

    Understand that blogging is not for everyone. It's just another form of communication. Don't get so hung up on the technology that you end up ignoring more appropriate ways of communicating your message. Some things may be easier to communicate face to face, in a conference room, or even through the good old telephone.

    But if you asked yourself all the questions above and decided that blogging meets all your objectives, then a blog may be just what the doctor ordered for your business.

    Priya Shah is a former journalist, editor and online publisher, website promotion and SEO copywriting consultant. She runs a content marketing agency that offers optimized content creation and syndication services.

    Author: Priya Shah
    Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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    Business Blog Resources available on Amazon

    TIP:   Amazon have some great reviews available on a wide range of  blogging books and references which relate to business blogging in all sots of formats such as paperback, kindle, audio books, videos, downloadable apps and more.
    Check out amazon.com for more information you can aquire about running a Business Blog and get educated before you take the plunge.


    More Information: Check out this business blog related product I found at Amazon:

    How to Start a Successful Blog in One Hour (Better Blog Booklets)

    STEP-BY-STEP: How to Start a New Blog in the Next 60 Minutes


    Booklet Length: 5857 Words

    Don't think it's possible to quickly build a blog? Nowadays, you can register a new website and have it "go live" within minutes.

    In "How to Start a Successful Blog in One Hour" you'll learn how to use WordPress to get a blog online in under an hour. Just follow this seven-step process and your brand new blog will contain: a theme, ten plugins and four tools for building an audience. The best part? The entire process will only take 60 minutes to complete.

    Start Blogging TODAY...


    Building a blog can be your first step to running successful web business. Most people get into blogging to make money. So this guide was written for anyone who wants to blog about a specific niche and generate online income.

    It's not hard to start a blog. Really, it's a simple process that anyone can complete—even if you don't have a technical background.

    This blueprint doesn't contain any fluff. Each step of the process is clearly identified. You will learn why each action item is important and how to implement it. That way you can take immediate action.

    Follow the 7-Step Plan for Starting a Blog


    "How to Start a Successful Blog in One Hour" provides a step-by-step strategy for getting your new website online. You can complete this process in 7 steps:
    1. Register a domain name

    2. Purchase web hosting

    3. Edit the name servers

    4. Use cPanel to start your blog

    5. Pick a WordPress theme

    6. Install WordPress plugins

    7. Use engagement tools

    It's not hard to start a blog. Just follow this blueprint and you can do it in the next hour!

    Would You Like To Know More?


    Download now and start blogging today!

    Scroll to the top of the page and select the "buy" button.

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    Making Money Blogging – Part 3 – Getting Paid to Blog about Products & Companies

    In Making Money Blogging - Part 1, I discussed pay per click advertising companies (e.g. google adsense). In Making Money Blogging - Part 2, I discussed affiliate networks (e.g. commission junction).

    In this blog, I will be explaining how you can get paid to write a blog for a specific company, or about a specific product (for example - you would be asked by a toothpaste company to write a blog about cool mint toothpaste). This is the primary way that most people will make money from their blogs - and it can be a fair bit of money as well (the top earners at blogitive & pay per post earn up to $US1000 per week - just form their blogs).

    This sounds a difficult task to achieve (getting a company to ask you to write a blog about their products), and one would expect that you would need a very well know blog to achieve this - but in fact it is very easy, and you don't need to have a "known blog" to be able to write for a specific company.

    How do you go about this? Well - there are several blogging companies, that will accept an established blog* into their "network of bloggers", and will send you different topics to blog about ,depending on the type of blog that you have (for example - you may have a shopping blog, and be asked to write about some new electronic equipment from Company Bravo).

    *An established blog is based on a number of factors, which differ depending on the blogging network you choose. As an example - blogsvertise accept blogs that are 1 month old, blogitive accepts blogs that are 3 months old & have a certain amount of traffic - read more on the requirements below.

    If you apply to a number of different blogging network companies, or have a number of different blogs - you can make a fair bit of money (for example - you may get 3 blogs at $5 each from blogitive, and another 5 blogs at $7 each from pay per post, and another blog from blogsvertise at $10) - so you have 9 blogs to write, and make $US 60 doing it).

    The other good thing about applying to more than 1 network is that some of the networks require that you write 2 blogs in-between blogs for them. For example if you write one blogitive post, you need to write a further 2 non-blogitive posts before you can write another blogitive post. If you are also a member of pay per post, and blogsvertise, you could write one blogitive, one pay per post, one blogsvertise and then another blogitive post (which means all of your blogs for the day are paid). It takes a bit of juggling but can certainly be done.

    The following companies offer paid blogging opportunities:

    http://www.blogitive.com Blogitive have several opportunities for bloggers. You don't need to say that the blog has been sponsored, and you don't need to write nice things about the product (i.e. you can write that product x is awful and should never have been invented). You are generally paid $US5 per blog. Requirements are as follows: - Blog must be 3 months old - The Blog must receive (or can receive) some level of traffic - The blog must be indexed in the Google and Yahoo search engines. - The blogs must not contain violent, hate related content or be adult natured - The blogs must maintain a minimum of 3 posts per week - You must write 2 other blog posts in between paid blogitive blog posts - Blogs must be active for 1 year (but payments are made at the latest 1 week following the post) - The blogs must not be hosted on the following networks:- Writingup.com, Bloggerparty.com, Blogcharm.com, Clearblogs.com, Xeeks.com, Blogfeast.net, WordPress.com (blogs that use wordpress software but are hosted on individual url's (e.g. http://www.shoppersclub.co.nz) are acceptable and Geocities.yahoo.com

    http://www.payperpost.com Pay per post have probably the biggest range of opportunities on the market for bloggers today. You do need to notate that the blog has been sponsored, and you may be asked to write positively about a product. Payment is from $US4 to whatever the advertiser is willing to offer (e.g. $10, $15 etc..). The advertisers have more leeway at Pay per post, and can specify blogs to have a minimum page rank, traffic range etc (this is great for advertisers, but not so good for new blogs). Requirements are as follows: - You must be 18 or over to participate in Pay Per Post (and have a valid Tax ID if a resident of the United States) - Your blog must be at least 90 days old, verifiable by a third party index of the site - If over 90 days old, your blog must have at least 20 entries in the past 90 days. If just around 90 days old, your blog must have 20 pre-existing entries. - No blogs with gaps over 30 days (no entries posted for 30+ days) will be accepted. - Blogs must remain live for 30 days - you will be paid after 30 days. - You must write 2 other blogs in between a pay per post blog.

    http://www.blogsvertise.com Due to being a newer blogging network, Blogsvertise currently have a limited number of opportunities for bloggers. However, they do tend to offer more money when they do offer blog posts (e.g. $US 7.50, $US 10.00). Requirements are as follows: - Blogs must be 30 days old - Blog entries must be permanent - You will be paid after 30 days (once the blogs have been verified). - Blogs must not be adult related - The blog posts are not required to be positive (i.e. you can negatively review a website or product) - You are not required to say that the blog has been sponsored

    [http://www.creamaid.com] Creamaid is great in that there are NO requirements. Anyone & everyone can write a blog about any of the creamaid products. The advertiser (rather than the blogging network) will review your blog after your write and approve/disapprove it (I've never heard of one been disapproved yet - but I guess if you are writing very negatively about a product it may just be...).

    As well as writing a full blog on a topic, you can also place text links on your blog (so you would place a text link at the bottom of your blog, or the sidebar of your blog, rather than writing an entire blog about the subject). The good thing about text links is that you set the price. If someone wants to advertise on your site, they will have to pay what you ask. If this suits your blog or yourself best, some networks to look at are: - http://www.text-link-ads.com - http://www.textlinkbrokers.com - http://www.linkadage.com

    And... that my friends - are the most common paid blogging networks in the blogosphere today.

    And... that is also the end to my Making Money Blogging Series - keep tuned for more money making opportunities.

    Shirlene Moore

    If Ya Want - Making Money Working from Home

    Author: Shirlene Moore
    Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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      Being a Part of a Blogging Society

      The blogosphere, made up of countless blogs from all over the world, is one of the most popular faces of the Internet. It's not just for teenagers anymore. Several years ago, most blogs were run by kids who just wanted to keep in touch with their friends, or people who just wanted to talk about their daily life.

      These days, almost everyone online has a blog.

      Chances are, you have one - and if you don't, you should.

      Stay at home moms like to blog about their daily lives and raising children. CEOs of major corporations own blogs about the latest happenings at their company. Many celebrities run blogs, and they blog about their upcoming events, movies, and roles (not to mention scandals).

      And marketers have blogs about every niche imaginable!

      I'm confident to say I myself am part of the blogging culture.

      Blogging is a great way to reach out to the people on the Internet. They can touch millions of lives, and spread your message like no other medium. You can say almost anything you want, and there will be an audience for almost every niche!

      You can run a blog just for fun. If you want to talk about parties you attend, restaurants you eat at, places you go shopping, or where you go on vacation, someone will probably want to read about it.

      Even if the only audience you have is your close friends and relatives, you'll have fun and be able to say whatever's on your mind.

      More and more people are turning to blogging as a way to make money. Some people just want to make a few extra dollars for spending money, but others are actually making a full-time income with their blogs.

      A few prominent bloggers even boast of making hundreds of thousands of dollars with their blogs (a la Perez Hilton, who parlayed his blogging fun into thousands of dollars in ad money each month, which delivered him his own TV show, podcast, and clothing line)!

      There are plenty of ways to make money blogging. Whether you're a college student who just wants to make a little extra cash for pizza and clothes, or you're a serious marketer who wants to make a small fortune, it's totally possible with blogging.

      Blogs are big, even if they're small. Some blogs get millions of hits per month. Blog traffic has been growing steadily for several years as consumers gain confidence from peers rather than trusting hard hitting sales pitches they find on the web.

      With more and more people jumping onto the blogosphere bandwagon, it probably won't slow down within the foreseeable future. If you're thinking about getting into blogging, it's a good idea to get started now.

      It generally takes a few months to begin building up a following. And you really need regular visitors if you want to make money with your blog. You should work to gain subscribers to your RSS feed, because those people will come back often to read your new posts.

      And remember to lend your own unique voice to your posts. One of the most important nuances in regards to why blogging is such a major global phenomenon is the fact that people really enjoy reading unique voices on certain topics.

      They crave the differences in personalities. It's refreshing to read information that has personality and isn't stale or stuffy, which means it's been translated by a single editor so that every voice is uniform. This is why columnist pages in local newspapers are so popular.

      Your unique voice is the most important part of getting regular visitors to your blog. If you want to see examples of this, visit some of the most popular blogs you can find. You'll see that one thing these blogs have in common is the fact that the bloggers make engaging, funny, or original posts.

      That's your key to making it big in the blogosphere!

      Before You Blog, Build a Blueprint

      A lot of bloggers put together a blog without any real plan for how they're going to promote it or monetize it. Putting a blog together without a plan is like trying to build a house without a blueprint.

      It's possible, yes. But the end result is probably going to be shoddy, and the whole thing could fall apart at any minute.

      You should create a solid plan of action before you even buy the domain. You need to develop a strong blueprint before you ever get started. Waiting until after you've already set it up and are getting traffic could mean a lot of extra work going in to correct mistakes.

      Changing themes and adding plugins after you're already getting traffic could interrupt your traffic. Sometimes new plugins and themes can temporarily break your blog, which could mean a loss of traffic (and money) until you're able to fix everything.

      The first part of your plan should be choosing a niche, of course. Part of choosing a niche is finding products you can promote. If a niche has no products available, you could create your own.

      But if there are no affiliate products available, it could be because there isn't enough demand there for a product. In this case, you'd have to do some careful market research in order to determine whether or not a niche is truly viable.

      What's your purpose for blogging?
      Do you have your own product you want to promote?
      Do you want to promote affiliate products?
      Do you want to just put AdSense or CPA offers on your site?

      You need to ask yourself questions like these so that you'll know how you intend to monetize the site. If you plan to promote affiliate products, you should test the products yourself before you promote them.

      If you don't, your visitors could end up being very upset if you promoted a product of really poor quality and they bought it because they trusted you. Even worse, what if you end up promoting something that turns out to be a scam?

      You don't necessarily have to purchase every product you wish to promote. If you can prove you have a decent amount of traffic (and sometimes if you just ask), you may be able to get free review copies of some of the products you'd like to promote.

      It doesn't hurt to ask. Even if you don't have any existing traffic yet, you can write to the owner of a particular affiliate program, tell them what you're planning to do, and ask if you could get a review copy.

      Some people won't give you a review copy. Plenty of marketers get requests for review copies from those who just want to get a copy of their product for free. So if you run into a skeptic, or someone who's been burned before, you may get turned down.

      In this case, it's probably best to just go ahead and buy the product if you really want to promote it. If it's a scam or a really crappy product, just ask for a refund.

      You can also consider using a donation button on your blog. If you can't find any good products to promote, and you don't have the time, money, or ability to create your own product, you can still put up a donation button. If your blog is very good, you may get donations.

      Or, you can always sell ad space on your blog. If you start getting a substantial amount of traffic or you get a very high PageRank in Google, you could charge a lot of money for a link on your blog. You can also get paid for making posts on your blog that review other sites.

      Should a Blog Topic Be Broad or Narrow?

      There are two schools of thought regarding blog topics. Some people believe your topic should be very focused, because you can bring in a flurry of laser-targeted visitors. Plus, you have less competition in smaller market segments.

      Another group of people believe that anything worth doing is worth doing big. They believe that the only way blogging can truly be worth it is if you're bringing in massive traffic, and the only way you can achieve that level of traffic is by being very broad - casting a wide net, so to speak.

      For example, you might have a sports blog that has broad appeal. You could talk about baseball, football, basketball, soccer, tennis, and golf. This would give you a much more broad appeal, and the potential for larger traffic.

      But since there would be so much competition, it might take a lot longer to get more traffic coming in. Plus, the way I see it is, if I'm interested in golf, I really won't care about the other parts of the blog, so the value of it plummets in my eyes.

      But let's say you choose golf as your broad topic. Even this is broad, although you just segregated it from the other sports in existence. There are many things you could write about golf - vacations, apparel, clubs, courses, techniques, etc.

      You could choose an even more targeted niche like women's golf or senior golf. This is a smaller segment of a small niche. This means you could get traffic faster, because there would be less competition.

      Less competition means you have the potential to rise faster in the search engine rankings. Of course, women's golf would get far less traffic from the number one spot of Google than the combined traffic of all of the other sports niches, but the chances of that traffic converting into a sale will soar.

      So basically, it boils down to how you feel about your abilities. If you believe you have the ability to get one large blog to the top of the search engines rather quickly, then you might be able to handle a broad topic blog.

      If you don't believe your abilities are up-to-snuff, then you might want to stick with a smaller niche at first. Remember, you can always start other blogs later. You could either build a network of small niche blogs, or you could start out with one broad blog and then start multiple sub-niche blogs later. You could then link to all of your smaller blogs from your large blog.

      You could also start with the smaller blogs, get them to gain some popularity, and then start a large, broad blog later. Once you start the larger blog, you'll have several smaller blogs already getting traffic and already having PR that can link to the larger blog to get it started.

      If you already have a lot of SEO experience and you're confident in your ability to pull off some great search engine rankings quickly, then starting with a more broad blog might be a better option.

      You can still get some of the benefits of having a smaller blog by having categories for each of the smaller niches on your broad topic blog. One last thing to keep in mind is that your traffic will be less targeted if you run a broad blog.

      If you have a site about skin care, you may get a lot of traffic that's just looking for information about the best lotions or skin creams. But if you start a blog about something specific, like acne, you're more likely to get people who are ready and willing to buy something.

      Where Will You Host Your Blog?

      A lot of people start out by hosting their blog for free at one of the common blog hosting companies. There's nothing inherently wrong with that, but it's a much better idea to host your blog on your own domain if possible.

      Let's take a look at WordPress. WordPress is a very popular blogging platform. You can host your blog on their servers, or you can download the software and host your blog on your own domain.

      There are a few reasons why you should host your own blog, rather than hosting your blog directly on WordPress.com. For one thing, WordPress doesn't allow you to promote affiliate links on their domain.

      So if you want to make any money with your blog, you can't host it on their server, you'll have to host it yourself. Another reason why you shouldn't host your blog on WordPress is the fact that you can't use the variety of plugins and themes that you could use on your own domain.

      WordPress is very limited as far as the functionality, so don't expect to have anything really cool on your blog if you host it there. You can find free WordPress tutorials to help you get started with your blog.

      Now let's look at Blogger. They do allow commercial blogs, so you can post affiliate links there if you want. But they're also against what they deem as "spam blogs" or "splogs." If they decide your blog is spam, or they decide it's "too" commercial, or they just don't like it, they can delete it for any reason.

      There goes all that hard work you put into it!

      You have to agree to those terms and conditions when you sign up. That means that even if you don't actually break any rules, they could still delete your blog if they chose. That's a pretty powerful motivator.

      It certainly wouldn't be a very pleasant thing to build a blog up to several thousand hits per day, only to have it deleted (and trust me, I've heard these horror stories). You'd lose all of that traffic, all of those backlinks, all of your reputation and your search engine rankings.

      Imagine it all being wiped out overnight. That's not a good thing.

      It's like having a fire rip through your brick and mortar store and you don't have any insurance to rebuild.

      Another very important reason to host your blog on your own domain is that it gives you credibility. If you host your blog on your own domain, you'll appear more professional, and more like an authority figure in your niche.

      People will automatically assume you're more serious if you're hosting your blog on your own domain, rather than putting it up somewhere for free. If you do decide to host your own domain, the first thing you'll need to do is choose a domain that contains a few keywords related to your niche.

      If your blog is about house cleaning tips, then try to get housecleaningtips.com. If that's not available, go down your keyword list and find the next best thing. Then register the domain.

      Next you need to find a host for your blog. You might want to choose a host that has Fantastico, which is a program that sits on the server and allows you to very easily install WordPress (and other scripts) without having to create and manage MySQL databases yourself.

      Once you have hosting, you just need to go to your domain registrar and set up the name servers to point to your new host. Your hosting company's support should be able to help you with this.

      Blogging Is Big Business

      More and more companies are starting blogs, and many people are even forming their entire companies around blogging. Customers really love blogs because they're generally full of great (free) information, they offer a personal touch that generally isn't found on a standard corporate website, and they're not usually full of a lot of hype and hard sell tactics.

      Another reason customers love blogs is that they offer a great medium for interaction. Visitors can leave comments and receive responses to their comments. This helps build loyalty to your blog and your company, and readers really enjoy this level of interaction with someone they consider an authority figure.

      It helps them feel like they're really being listened to, and like the company really cares about what they have to say - even if that "company" is an entrepreneur like you! Blogs are a fantastic way to build loyalty.

      You can reach your audience in a very personal way, must more so than with a standard, stuffy stagnant website. Readers expect to see some personality coming out in a blog. If you really let your personality shine through, you can build a following that will subscribe to your RSS feed and come back often, eagerly waiting to hear more of what you have to say.

      This is a great way to brand yourself and your business. Since you can get more personal with a blog, people start to get to know you a bit as a person. This makes you seem more real, and people begin to trust you and your messages more.

      For some reason, people trust websites with identifiable people behind them.

      Remember, when you're blogging for business you should stay somewhat professional. It's probably best not to post about your aunt's cataract surgery or your grandma's cat that died. You can get a bit personal - after all, that's what really makes you stand out.

      But most people who are reading your blog are there to find out information about the niche, seeking solutions to their needs. Keep your posts on topic, but get personal by providing your own voice within those entries.

      Provide valuable information within your blog posts. People aren't going to keep coming back to your blog over and over just to read about the new products you're releasing, unless you're releasing some really revolutionary stuff.

      They're going to want to read industry news, tips and tricks, special strategies, and other important information for free. While it's perfectly fine to blog about new product releases, it's also important to keep providing helpful information to keep your readers coming back.

      Don't ever lose sight of the fact that your readers are real people. You know what you enjoy reading in a blog, right? You want solid information - something useful. You probably don't mind the occasional sales pitch on a blog full of great information, but you'd be pretty annoyed to reading nothing but pitch after pitch.

      If you're running a business blog, it's important to keep your readers in mind. Give them the kind of quality information they're hungry for, and they'll keep coming back for more. In fact, the more you give them for free, the more loyal they'll become, and the more likely they'll be to buy from you in the future.

      Blogging is all about informing and educating. If you can do that, your visitors will form a bond with you and they'll be sure to spread the word about your blog so that your URL goes viral and it attracts an even bigger following within your niche.

      Blogging can be very lucrative, not to mention it enhances your overall branding and networking on the 'net. Here are the steps you need to take to get started RIGHT NOW:

      1.) Pick a niche topic (my advice is to go narrow).
      2.) Find a domain and buy it.
      3.) Set up your WordPress blog using your Fantastico host.
      4.) Pick a theme online - Google free WordPress themes and you'll find millions you can upload.
      5.) Set up your blog for categories, ad space, and stick an opt-in box in it to begin building a list.
      6.) Start posting to your blog using keyword relevant titles and entries.
      7.) Start bookmarking your blog and sharing that link to get it moving in the viral direction.
      8.) Test the conversion of various products you promote on your blog and switch out those that aren't working well for you.

      I hope you've enjoyed this blog report. Feel free to pass it around and share it with others you feel it might help!

      Bret Glick

      http://www.Dragon-Adventures.com

      Bret C Glick
      Lindenhurst NY
      11757
      http://www.dragon-adventures.com

      Author: Bret C Glick
      Article Source: EzineArticles.com
      Canadian crossborder shopping

      Related Blogs

        Advantages of Blogging

        Top 100 Advantages of Blogging – Why You Should Blog?

         

        Forget about the negatives of  WHY NOT TO BE BLOGGING
        and Focus on the psotives of WHY TO BE BLOGGING!

         

        For many people the thought of running a full time blog is daunting for a number of reasons but we are not going to focus on any of those here.Advantages of Blogging
        Today we are looking at the positives and so for now we will leave the negatives for another time.

         

        1. Use blogging as a tool to be kept updated and in the latest developments and products of your field.
        2. Blogging helps in adding fresh relevant content to website which search engines like.
        3. You can build up your business creditability with the help of blogging.
        4. A blog is a great tool to help increase your customer base.
        5. Get free and fresh content with the help of comments that are made in blogs. This can be like User-generated content or UGC.
        6. Create and establish a brand and brand awareness with blogs.
        7. Help build trust between you and your readers and customers through blogs.
        8. Enhance your website effectively and cheaply with the help of a blog.
        9. Blogs are an easy way to establish two way communication and social interaction.
        10. There is a higher and better chance of getting viral over social media sites with the help of a blog.
        11. People generally consider reading a blog much better because of their non promotional tone and informative nature.
        12. Blogs give you an easy way of approving comments before posting as against to social media sites where you have very little or no control at all.
        13. Create more targeted traffic to your websites through search engines using blogs.
        14. Blogs help to save time as visitors find many answers to their questions there.
        15. Rumors about a business can be clarified through a blog.
        16. With a blog, you not only become famous, but also gain power which you had never experienced.
        17. Blogs have a huge part in SEO. Blogs are loved by Google and other Search Engines.
        18. With the help of a blog, the Google PR of your site is enhanced.
        19. Blogs are a great means of increasing potential traffic to your site.
        20. Develop free PR for your business with a blog.
        21. Blogs are great for creating returning targeted traffic.
        22. The interactive nature of blogs makes people choose blogs over websites for links.
        23. Remember that blogs consist mainly of text; and in SEO, text is king.
        24. The comments posted on your blogs can give you better business ideas and tricks for your business.
        25. Use blogs to express your thoughts. You can also use the blog to exercise your freedom of speech.
        26. You can share whatever knowledge you have using a blog.
        27. You will be considered an expert in your field because of a blog.
        28. Use the help of RSS and links in getting targeted traffic to your blog.
        29. Maintain public relations and relations with the media through your blog.
        30. When compared to normal website pages, spiders tend to crawl blog posts more frequently.
        31. Blog is a great means of creating a buzz or voice of mouth advertising.
        32. Use the blog as a foundation for the content of a book.
        33. Develop your business with the help of your blog.
        34. Remain connected with people 24/7 with a blog.
        35. You get new visitors and potential clients with the help of blogs.
        36. Blogs are helpful and beneficial to the community.
        37. Blogs are used to share company news.
        38. Blogs are used as a communication link between employers and employees.
        39. Blogs indicate that you are an easily approachable entity.
        40. Keep in touch with industry leaders through blogs.
        41. Use blogs in educational marketing, where you show how your services and products can be used to solve customers' problems.
        42. Blogs maintain convenient internal communication to share information in a company.
        43. Find out more about your customers and clients' needs through blogs.
        44. Use blogs to create an online community.
        45. Blogs provide easy communication with clients.
        46. Talent is easily found with the help of blogs.
        47. Blogs are used for getting back links.
        48. Use blogs for getting internal links.
        49. Blogs are regularly indexed by Google.
        50. Use blogs to get free links from blog directories.
        51. Develop easy and efficient deep linking with blogs.
        52. Share any ideas you have on a blog.
        53. Use blogs to solve problems.
        54. Blogs are used for marketing because of its low overheads.
        55. The navigation on blogs is text based, and search engine friendly.
        56. The non promotion tone of blogs makes them very easy to link. This makes blogs highly linkable.
        57. Use blogs to generate quick feedbacks.
        58. A blog is a really great promotional tool.
        59. Use blogs to convey authority.
        60. You can easily target variety of keywords using blog.
        61. Search engines find blogs easy to crawl.
        62. Use a blog to let people and clients to get to know you better.
        63. The RSS feeds of blogs help in efficient link building.
        64. Blogs indicate that you are open, and don't hide from anyone.
        65. Use a blog to increase membership and opt-in lists.
        66. Blogs are great for educating and informing people about specific topics
        67. You can learn time management and discipline through a blog.
        68. Find new partners and experience better networking through blogs
        69. Use a blog as a platform for announcing new products and services.
        70. Use blogs to reply to queries.
        71. Both cultural and geographical borders are overcome through blogging.
        72. The long tail keywords in blogs help you get top rankings as blog are mostly hosted on very reliable domains. Blogging give you an excellent platform to target long tail keywords and get top ranking.
        73. Generate a niche appeal using a blog.
        74. Blogs bring about a more personal connection between yourself and your clients.
        75. A blog helps you find jobs and clients quickly.
        76. A blog can be easily integrated into a market plan.
        77. Get to meet new visitors and buyers through guest blogging.
        78. A blog offers increased lead generation opportunities.
        79. Learn current trends through blogging.
        80. A blog means low cost, better communication.
        81. With a blog, you experience reduced emails, calls and inquiries.
        82. You can also boost your social life with a blog.
        83. Flexibility is an important feature of blogs.
        84. The easy web publishing solutions make blogs much easier to set up and maintain than websites.
        85. Blogs provide a punctual and important means of sharing information with an audience.
        86. With the help of a blog, you can increase your writing, debating and analytical skills.
        87. Use a blog to generate money with Adsense and Affiliate marketing.
        88. A blog is a great and easy publishing tool.
        89. With a blog, you can introduce a human voice or element in a company.
        90. Blogs provide a great medium for opportunities and to use as a research tool.
        91. You can increase the number of your loyal customers with blogs as it helps you get close with customers.
        92. With a blog, you become different from your competition. This is because the medium tends to approach you if you have a blog and not the competitor who does not have a blog.
        93. Blogs offer different and varies means of spreading ideas.
        94. Blogs are considered a great means of relational marketing. This is because once you post honest and heart felt blogs, you instill trust and respect in prospective customers.
        95. Manage your online reputation by using a blog to answer any negative remarks made about you by a competitor. In other words, blogs help you stop rumors from spreading.
        96. With a blog, you can easily create more pages which is great for search engines that rank pages and not sites. With a blog, you need not bother about the fitting in of the new pages with design.
        97. You can use a blog for recording all your past experiences and thus, start a sort of history about yourself.
        98. Blogging is fun. Blogging is something everyone enjoys doing.
        99. It has been proven that blogging offers some medical and psychological benefits like better memory and sleep and fast healing after a surgery.
        100. After creating quality posts like this one, you develop a feeling of satisfaction.

        For further information, please visit SEO Consultant Specialist's Website

        Abdul Hayi Mansoor
        SEO Specialist and Article Marketer

        Author: Hayi Mansoor
        Article Source: EzineArticles.com
        Pressure cooker

         

        Here is a a Youtube Video about Blogging which might be useful. or visit my playlist for more Videos on Blogging

        How to Make Your Blog Famous

        The following video is from the youtube playlist: Blogging
        Playlist Description

        for more videos on Blogging check out Gameznet's YouTube Playlists



        Video Description

        Blogger Anil Dash shares his wisdom on boosting blog traffic and income.
        youtube category: People Created:


        How to Make Your Blog Famous IMAGE 1

        How to Make Your Blog Famous IMAGE 2 How to Make Your Blog Famous IMAGE 3

        Browse More Blogging videos at http://youtube.com/Gameznet


         

        Amazon have available many resources about blogging.

        There is a wide variety of reviews about blogging and success products available in a variety of formats from books and audio to DVDs, kindle and other ebooks as well as Downloadable Apps and more which you can have delivered almost anywhere in the world!  Amazon is a fantastic resource where you can pick up amazing low priced items and have them shipped to your door or downloaded imediately.
        Here is an example: follow the buy button to read the full product review and check out all the other related material also available.

         


        More Information: Check out this successful blogging related product I found at Amazon:

        ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income

        An update of one of the bestselling blogging books, written by two of the world's most successful bloggers

        There's a reason why the first two editions of this book have sold thousands of copies worldwide. Written by two of the world's most successful bloggers, it's one of the clearest books out there on how to earn an income from your blog. This new edition gets you up to date on the very latest changes that affect the blogging-for-business landscape. Featuring new material on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn; plus new ways and tools to grow your audience and expand your business beyond your blog, this professional blogger's bible is better than ever.

        • Helps novices choose a blog topic, analyze the market, set up a blog, promote it, and earn revenue
        • Gives aspiring bloggers proven techniques and the tools they need to succeed in building a business from their blogs
        • Reveals 20 key ingredients for a successful blog post
        • Offers solid, step-by-step instruction on how bloggers actually make money, why niches matter, how to use essential blogging tools and take advantage of social media and content aggregators, how to optimize your advertising, and much more
        • Includes techniques for attracting and growing an audience and how to mine new business opportunities beyond your blog

        Written by two fulltime professional bloggers, this exciting, updated edition of ProBlogger tells you exactly how to launch and maintain a blog that makes money.

        Buy Now!
        Price: $13.22

         

         

        Successful Blogging

        13 Steps to Successful Blogging

        Blogs can be a very marketable and very profitable tool if used correctly.

         

        Successful Blogging

        Profiting from blogs is just a matter of grabbing the attention of an audience and not doing any actual salesmen selling. In this article you will learn the 13 most essential steps to successful blogging.

         

        1) Where to start?

        You should begin your blog with a free blog hosting service such as Journal Home or Blogger. Starting with a free blog hosting service allows you to begin blogging instantly without having any advance knowledge of scripts, hosting, or programming. It allows you to focus on your content and not the internal maintenance of the blog. The best benefit of starting with a free service is, in the case your blog doesn't become successful you do not lose any money or are you left holding the bill. The great thing about a blog is that they are organized in chronological order, your latest entry is displayed first. When your blog traffic grows greatly and you are ready to upgrade to your own domain then you can simply make your last blog entry the announcement of your "move". Simply add a last entry stating that your blog has "moved" and type the new blog URL address. Which directs visitors to your new blog site, keeping your following, without a major inconvenience to anyone. Upgrade as you need to...but only when you need to!

        2) Niche

        A niche is a targeted product, service, or topic. You should first decide on a product, service, or topic which interest you. Choose an area which you can enthusiastically write about on a daily basis. You can use keyword research services like Google Zeitgeist or Yahoo! Buzz Index to find popular searched topics. It does NOT matter if your topic is popular as long as there is a audience for your topic and the topic is precisely focused then your blog should be successful. Anything can be considered a niche as long as it has a target audience no matter how large or how small the audience is. A blog about your cat can be a niche or a blog about the species of the cat family can be a larger niche market, if there are people who are interested in hearing about your cat or the species of the cat family...you can even choose to build your audience for a market which an audience does not exist, but first you must build your blog.

        3) Update Daily (nothing less)

        This step is a must and not a suggestion. Updating your blog daily not only keeps your blog more interesting to readers, but it also gives your blog fresh content on a day to day making it more appealing to search engines. Not updating your blog on an occasional holiday or one day here and there is understandable to most, but missing days at a time or weeks is unacceptable and will most likely result in your blog being unsuccessful. To keep your blog traffic and retain your visitors interest it is a must to update your blog daily with multiple entries. You should try to update your blog everyday with at least 3 or more daily entries. The best way to accomplish this is to set aside 1-2 hours a day for tending to your blog and adding new entries. It may even be wise to schedule a set time which you dedicate to your blog each day. Give yourself work hours and treat your blog as a job, what happens if you don't come to work for days or weeks...you lose money or worse you get fired! Same applies here...if you don't update your blog for days or weeks you'll lose visitors.

        4) Traffic

        It's no secret. You must have traffic to profit from blogs. There are numerous ways to build traffic. Paid advertising, free advertising, viral marketing, search engine marketing, RSS/XML feeds, and word-of-mouth. You should always use your blog URL address in the signature of your email, forum discussions, message boards, or any other communication media. You should submit your blog URL address to search engines and blog directories. You should submit your RSS/XML URL feed to blog ping services like Technorati, Ping-O-Matic, and Blogdigger. You should confidently share your blog with family, friends, co-workers, associates, and business professionals when it relates. Many blogs can be considered as a collection of articles, for this purpose you should submit your blog entries (those that are valuable and lengthy articles) to content syndicators like GoArticles.com or ArticleCity.com. Once submitted your articles can be picked up and published by others. The trick is to make sure you include your Blog URL address in the "About the Author" passage. What this does is create link popularity and backlinks for your blog, when someone picks up your article from the syndication then publish the article on their website the "About the Author" passage is included with each publication and the link you included is followed, crawled, and indexed by search engines. Imagine if your article is popular enough or controversial enough to produce 10,000 publications across the web. The search engines is bound to find your site in no time with that many publications and credit you a authority on the topic, in return increasing your rank on search engines. The small effort of writing a well written article is rewarding. You should try to write at least 1 full length article every week for syndication and submit your article to at least 10 article syndicators.

        5) Track Your Blog

        How do you know if your blog has traffic? Just because no one is leaving comments doesn't mean your blog isn't growing. Many visitors do not leave comments but they are returning visitors. I know it sounds crazy but with blogs people are more interested in what "you" have to say! Many visitors do not comment their 1st, 2nd, or 3rd time. Some do not comment at all, but are active daily visitors.

        Tracking your blog does not have to be overly sophisticated usually a simple free page counter like StatCounter.com or Active Meter will do the trick. Install (copy/paste) the code into the html of your blog template and start tracking your visitors. Its better to use a service which gives you advanced traffic analysis, such as keyword tracking information, referral information, and search engine information. Visitors, returning visitors, and unique visitors should be standard for any page counter service you choose.

        6) Listen to Your Audience

        When using the proper page counter you should begin to see how others are finding your blog and if through search engines then which keywords are being used to find your blog. If constantly your blog is being found by 1 or more keywords then focus your blog around those keywords to make it even more powerful. When writing entry titles and entries use the keywords as often as possible while keeping the blog legible and interesting.

        7) Multiple blogs

        Use multiple blogging accounts to attract more people. This means you should have a blog with JournalHome.com, Blogger.com, LiveJournal.com, Blog-City.com, tBlogs.com, etc. The more blog accounts the better. You can copy/paste from 1 blog to all others. Having different blog accounts is like having a publication in different newspapers. This enables you to attract more visitors and this also increases the chance that 1 of your blogs will be in the search engine results for your focused keywords.

        8) Short & Concise

        Aside from the lengthy article a week for syndication and publication your blog entries should be short & concise (if you can help it). Sometimes there are exceptions to the rule and you have no choice but to blog lengthy entries, but try to avoid this as much as possible. You do not want your blog entries to become hours of reading. Visitors like to easily find information and skim through your entries. It is good to be detailed and provide useful information, but do not include useless information or run away sentences that veer away from your topic.

        9) Digital Art

        Try to include non-advertising graphics, pictures, photos, and art in your blog entries. Not too much. Once a week is fine. Graphics can sometimes bring your blog to life. Of course, the content of the blog is the most important aspect and you do not want to overshadow your content with graphics, but displaying graphics can add a bit of spice to the blog. Be choosy about your graphics and make sure they fit your entry topic. You should add content with the graphic, at least a caption. Original graphics, photos, pictures, and art is recommended.

        10) Keep it Personal

        A blog is most successful when it is kept personal. Try to include personal experiences which relates to the topic of your blog entry. Stay away from the business style of writing. Write with a more personal style and use first-person narratives. Do not write any of your entries as sales letters, instead share product reviews and personal endeavors.

        11) Interact With Your Visitors

        You now have the traffic you deserve. You should begin interacting with your visitors. Create a regular theme such as: "Monday Money Tip" or "Picture of the Week" which entices your readers to look forward to each week.

        Give your readers advance notice about a product, service, or topic which you are going to review and then talk about later. If the President was scheduled to give a speech then in your blog you should state that you "will discuss the speech and give your opinion after the speech airs. Comments will be appreciated".

        Try your best to find exclusive information that not many have. Do not disclose any confidential or secret information which is deemed illegal or can potentially get you into trouble, but try to get the scoop before everyone else does. Such as: If your blog was about Paris Hilton (the socialite) and you had a blog entry about "Paris Hilton Getting Married" then it would be interesting to your readers if you had a actual picture of Paris Hilton engagement ring. Give your best effort to dig and search the internet for exclusive information and you will possibly come up with something useful. Your readers will appreciate this and they show their appreciation through word-of-mouth referrals. Imagine how many readers will tell their friends, family, and others about information they only can find at your blog.

        12) Make Money

        Once your blog has gained some real momentum and your blog traffic is increasing then it is time to start thinking about turning your traffic into profit. You should use contextual advertising, like Google AdSense or Chitika. Contextual advertising is usually text links which use the content of your blog to publish targeted ads on your blog. The payout is usually based on a pay-per-click model, meaning for ever click an ad receives you are paid a small percentage of the profits. In addition to contextual advertising it is good to also use graphical advertising such as: BlogAds.com, Amazon.com, MammaMedia, or General Sponsored Advertising.

        13) You're a Professional

        You're a professional now! What are you still doing with that free blog hosting service? It is time to upgrade to a domain hosted solution. You need to get a web host and choose a domain name for your blog then check its availability. Select the blogging software you wish to use, such as: Squarespace.com, WordPress.org, MovableType.org, etc. When you have your new blog domain setup and ready for traffic then it is time for you to announce your move on all your previous blog accounts. Your last entry to the blog should be a "move" announcement. The title should be "Moved" and the blog entry should state something like "Old Blog has been moved to New Blog please follow and bookmark this link for future reference. This way all returning visitors and new readers should not have any problem finding your new blog domain.

        At the level of a professional blogger you may want to team up with 1 or more other bloggers. This will create a more interesting and more powerful blog. The old saying "two heads is better than one", more authors mean more advertising and exposure because each author will have a vested interest in the blog. The idea of a team blog is to make it profitable and rewarding for all authors, while continuing to target the blog topic and keeping the blog interesting for visitors.

        Following these blogging techniques should make your blogging experience much more rewarding. There is no guarantee that your blog will become popular or a household name, but the effort should at least put you one step closer. Making money online is not an overnight experience like many may think, but making money online is definitely a foreseeable possibility. As well, growing popularity on the web is not an overnight experience, but through time, dedication, and persistence you will be rewarded with all the royalties of blogging.

        About The Author

        Ant Onaf is an expet SEO consultant. Ant Onaf has years of SEO related experience. His ingenuity, dedication, and passion for technology, internet marketing, & writing has made him an monumental icon on the World Wide Web. To learn more visit Ant Onaf blog here

        Author: Ant Onaf
        Article Source: EzineArticles.com

         

        Here is a a Youtube Video about Blogging which might be useful. or visit my playlist for more Videos on Blogging

        BlogSense Tips - Automating & Remote Publishing to Google Groups.

        The following video is from the youtube playlist: Blogging
        Playlist Description

        for more videos on Blogging check out Gameznet's YouTube Playlists



        Video Description

        http://www.blogsense-wp.com In this video we demonstate how we can use BlogSense WP's remote publishing module to export our content to a Google Group.
        youtube category: Howto Created:


        BlogSense Tips - Automating & Remote Publishing to Google Groups. IMAGE 1

        BlogSense Tips - Automating & Remote Publishing to Google Groups. IMAGE 2 BlogSense Tips - Automating & Remote Publishing to Google Groups. IMAGE 3

        Browse More Blogging videos at http://youtube.com/Gameznet


        Amazon have available many resources about blogging.

        There is a wide variety of reviews about blogging and success products available in a variety of formats from books and audio to DVDs, kindle and other ebooks as well as Downloadable Apps and more which you can have delivered almost anywhere in the world!  Amazon is a fantastic resource where you can pick up amazing low priced items and have them shipped to your door or downloaded imediately.
        Here is an example: follow the buy button to read the full product review and check out all the other related material also available.

         


        More Information: Check out this successful blogging related product I found at Amazon:

        Successful Blogging

        Successful Blogging: How to Turn Your Blog Into a Thriving Success - Even From Scratch!

        Successful Blogging will help you take your blog to the next level and beyond! Even if you have not yet started your blog this book will take you through each step to help you make your blog as successful as possible.

        Getting started on your blog is only a small part of this book.

        You will learn many tips and techniques including:
        -Where to find new readers
        -How to keep them coming back for more
        -How to get the more and more comments
        -Writing tips and pointers
        -What types of pages to include on your blog
        -How to monetize your blog
        -How to get your readers to share your blog with their friends
        -What will drive people away
        -How to get people to vote for your blog posts
        -The benefits of joining a tribe and the different types to join
        -Much More!

        Buy Now!
        Price: $9.99

        Start a Blog

        24 Tips and Strategies on How Everyone Can Blog Right and Get Everybody to Read

         

        Start a Blog

        Start a Blog

          By the end of 2004 blogs had established themselves as a key part of online culture. "Blog readership shoots up 58% in
        2004 6 million Americans get news and information fed to them through RSS aggregators But 62% of online Americans do
        not know what a blog is." - Pew Internet & American Life Project

         

        Have you missed the Blog Boat? 

        Of course not the numbers from 2004 are wayyyy out of date and are of course many times those figures now.

         

        Tip #1 - How and Where Should I Start?

        You should begin your blog with a free blog hosting service such as Blogger (http://www.blogger.com), or other similar  free services such as JournalHome.com, LiveJournal.com or Blog-City.com. The learning curve for using such free
        services allow you to spend more on developing your content rather than worrying about the advanced areas of scripting, hosting, or programming.

        Tip #2 - The Things You Should Decide to Write About

        Although not a required prerequisite for you in order to write a blog, it is highly recommended to try to find a topic to write about based on your level of interest and knowledge. The higher your level of interest, the easier it
        is for you to get your quality content posted on your blog. Always try to choose an area which you can enthusiastically write about on a daily basis.Try to pay attention to a niche which suites you well. A niche is basically a targeted
        product, service, or topic.

        Tip #3 - Always stay on topic.

        Opinions are generally accepted but the content of the items in the blog should all relate to a general theme. The majority of your readers will be interested in the content that relates to a specific defined theme or loosely defined
        area of interest. Define a topic and try not to run too far away from it. This will ensure that you create a loyal following of interested readers.

        Tip #4 - Information is king, be informative.

        If you are attempting to create the impression that you are knowledgeable about a specific industry or sector, be sure that you stay current on news. Checking your facts before you're giving out an opinion or a product review is always a
        good idea, your reputation is at stake. If by any chance you're utilizing other people's articles for you blog content, ensure that you follow the terms of usage defined by the author.

        Tip #5 - Old news is not news, but old information can be recycled and made new.

        While blogging everyday can be strenuous and time consuming, it is important that the information presented is current and accurate. Information, articles or any other archived resources can be recycled / modified to add more substance to your content. As long as they're relevant and informative, there's no reason why it's not a good approach.

        Tip #6 - Be disciplined and stick to a fixed posting schedule.

        Realizing that blogging requires time and effort, don't create unrealistic expectations and be unable to deliver. If you have worked hard to develop an audience and a community you don't want to lose them due to lack of
        communication. If time is not on your side, take advantage of tonnes of automatically updating contents which are available for your blog. Looking at the constantly updating nature of RSS feeds, other RSS feeds from similar topic can
        be inserted within your blogging post.

        Tip #7 - Posting Frequency.

        If your blog content is updated frequently, search engines will tend to spider the pages at regular intervals. Updating your blog daily not only keeps your blog more interesting to readers, but it also gives your blog fresh content on a day
        to day making it more appealing to search engines. To keep your blog traffic and retain your visitors interest it is a must to update your blog daily with multiple entries. You should try to update your blog everyday with at least 2 - 3
        or more daily entries, depending on your daily schedule.

         

        Tip #8 - Quantity matters.

        In order to attract the attention of search engines, you will need to produce a relevant amount of content and information. A headline or simple sentence is not going to generate the interest of readers or help with search engine ranking. Be sure to archive old blog posts to develop a large portal of similarly-themed content.

        Tip #9 - Clarity & simplicity / Short & Concise.

        Keep your posts and blog entries clear and easy to understand. Simplicity always produce better results at the end of the day.

        Aside from the lengthy article a week for syndication and publication your blog entries should be short & concise (if you can help it). Should you insist on partaking on the lengthy road, try to maintain a clean paragraphing style, proper spacing, use different size, color and bold for your titles as well as the subtitles. Use bullet points, go straight to the point and never run out of topic. Insert images to spice up things if you're an avid fan of long posts.

        Tip #10 - Utilize the "blockquote" and "code" tags.

        Being one of the few most underutilized blogging formatting tags, these 2 items can help you on emphasizing certain points, in the most efficient and striking way. Formatting is simple and straightforward. Just get your message into a blockquote tag, and your message will apear distinctively different from the rest of your text, thus gets more attention which it deserves. Take note that the formatting for these 2 tags differ from blog to blog depending on how the owner defines the tag in the CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).Click the below link if you want to read more about CSS. http://www.w3schools.com/css/default.asp

        Tip #11 - Keyword-rich.

        If the goal of your blog is to increase your visibility, include related keywords in the title of the blog. Use the title as a headline to attract interest. Each item post should have a title that will attract attention but still be relevant to the post. The title should be no longer than 10-12 words. Experiment with the titles if you must, possibly try to avoid general and ordinary titles. Try to include extraordinary and innovative titles to grab the readers' attention.

        Tip #12 - Spell checking and proof-reading.

        It only takes a few extra moments and can save you from having to make embarrassing explanations. The hazards of Internet is that if you're too late to correct your mistake, most likely it's already been crawled by the search engines
        and read by many. It is extremely essential to think / proof read carefully twice or even thrice, about what you post before doing so. Take note of your language and grammar.

        Tip #13 - RSS Feeds

        RSS to a blog is like fuel to cars. Mostly every single free blogs or bloggin software out there will have an automatic RSS feed generating feature. Although it's most unlikely that you'll find one without a RSS feature, simply leave it
        and find a new one, if you happen to come across one without it.

        Tip #14 - The essence of the Internet - Traffic.

        It's no secret. You must have traffic to realize the definition of a blog.. There are numerous ways to build traffic. Paid and free advertising, viral marketing, search engine marketing, RSS/XML feeds, word-of-mouth, submitting to numerous blog and RSS directories, etc. RSSBlogsubmit ( http://www.rssblogsubmit.com) provides a submission service for your Blog & RSS feeds. You should always use your blog URL address in the signature of your email, forum discussions, message boards, or any other communication media. Never forget to share your blog to your friends, colleagues, and any other invidious that you know of.

        Tip #15 - Track Your Blog

        Tracking your blog does not have to be overly sophisticated usually a simple free page counter like StatCounter.com, ActiveMeter.com, Extremetracking.com or Sitemeter.com will do the trick. Install (copy/paste) the code into the html of
        your blog template and start tracking your visitors. Its better to use a service which gives you advanced traffic analysis, such as keyword tracking information, referral information, and search engine information. Visitors, returning visitors, and unique visitors should be standard for any page counter service you choose.

        Tip #16 - Make use of your Blog's statistical and tracking information.

        Believe it or not, your visitors' information from your tracking scripts will provide you priceless information on how you can attract more readers. Keep note on the keyword terms used from search engines which bring you traffic. You can identify relevant closely related topics which you can venture into and add more variety into your blog, yet staying very much in topic. Simply put, more topic coverage and more variety = more traffic. You may analyze your tracking information further on how you can strategize your blog's content. You can also apply some keyword optimization strategies here.

        Tip #17 - The essence of your Blog is your Audience, listen
        to them.

        Always interact with your readers who post comments on your blog. Reply with a brief thank you note or just simply attend to their questions if they have any. It's a proven fact when there's a direct human interaction and knowing the fact that there's a "real human" at the other end of the blog makes most of them coming back. If your audience provide suggestions, comments or feedbacks, take them constructively and inform them if you have any desires of implementing such ideas on your next update. And of course, don't forget to thank them for their ideas. If it's a great idea, why not throw in a free gift? Mention their website in your blog?

        Tip #18 - Create and increase the "Why Must I Return" Value to Your Blog.

        Everyone knows the fact that Blogs get a huge level of returning visitors because of its constantly updated content. Why don't you add more interesting items to that return value by having fixed periodical posts / offers, e.g. Monday Top 10 Tips, Picture of the Week, Free Bonus of the Month, Free Daily Wallpapers, etc. to give them the absolute excuse to return to your blog. As long as you can efficiently and appropriately increase that Return Value constantly, it is mostly guaranteed that you'll be getting tonnes of repeated visitors, period.

        An advance notice, prelaunch announcement or anything similar to that also can act as a short term return value strategy. Encourage readers to comment on your such notices / posts. Experiment and play around with this idea.

        Tip #19 - Multiple blogs.

        It never hurts to use multiple blogging accounts to attract more people. You can even have multiple blogs within Blogger.com itself, but you may also want to try different free blogging services such as JournalHome.com, LiveJournal.com, Blog-City.com, etc. Should you have the urge to have multiple similar duplicates of your blog just to gain more traffic, it is wise to avoid it as search engines / feed directories might translate that as excessive redundant information which simply brings you trouble, and you're tend to get penalized, banned or even accused of spamming.

        Tip #20 - Digital Art, Creative Graphics.

        Another proven fact - Monotonous and continous display of text will make your readers run away! Try to include non- advertising graphics, pictures, photos, and art in your blog entries, but try to keep them at a limit. Too many graphics also mean slower loading time and messy text and graphical combination. You don't want your blog to look messy. Most of the time, graphics can bring your blog to life. Pictures can make boring texts interesting no matter how long it is. Graphical elements are by far the fastest message delivering element available on the net today. It may deliver various messages by a split second of a look.

        Tip #21 - Maintain a Personal Blog.

        A blog is most successful when it is kept personal. Try to include personal experiences which relates to the topic of your blog entry. Stay away from the business style of writing. Write with a more personal style and use first-
        person narratives. Share product reviews and personal endeavors, instead of trying to make it sounds like you're selling.

        Tip #22 - Credibility & Popularity.

        As thing progresses, things need to change in order to cope with the flow and nature of development. If your number of readers are reasonably huge, and still using a free blogging service to get your messages out, you may want to consider getting your own domain name and hosting plan to have a more personalized Blog.

        Domain names and hosting plans are pretty much  straightforward. Research is all what it takes to get the best of all the available options. For the most highly recommended comprehensive listing of Free Blogging software out there, drop by at http://www.opensourcecms.com. This is by far the best place to drop by if you want to get your research done about which blogging software to choose. Reviews, ratings, public votes, demos, etc are provided. And \the best thing is, all of them are Open Source, which means they are totally free. Try going through the server requirements for each software before purchasing your web hosting.

        Tip 23# - Customize the look of your Blog
        If you happen to be using one of the Free blogging services out there, you might notice that most of us are using the same template again and again for our blogs. It is well understood that not everybody has the technical knowledge to
        change the layout as how they want it to be, but if you have the knowledge, by all means try to customize it and make it look DIFFERENT. You can grab that extra attention, if you're different in certain ways. Create that image for yourself.

        Tip #24 - Blog and Make Money

        Once your blog has gained some real momentum and your blog traffic is increasing then it is time to start thinking if you want to turn your traffic into profit. Some of the recommended income generating sources are as follow :-
        Google Adsense, Amazon Associate program (www.amazon.com), Blogads.com, Crispads.com, Tagword.com, Affiliate Programs and any advertising related text links can be your place to start off.

        Final #Tip - Conclusion.

        Following these blogging tips should make your blogging experience much more rewarding. Blogging is generally done out of interest and enthusiasm and sometimes for income generating purposes. The flexibility of blogging will never cease to expand. Through time, dedication, and persistence you will be rewarded with all the royalties of blogging.

        About the Author

        John Teh is an internet blogger enthusiast, exposed to the fun and the extreme possibilities of blogging on the net. Get to know more about the author at his homepage.
        http://www.rssblogsubmit.com

        Author: John Teh
        Article Source: EzineArticles.com
        Provided by: WordPress plugin Guest Blogger

         

        Here is a a Youtube Video about Blogging which might be useful. or visit my playlist for more Videos on Blogging

        How to Make Your Blog Famous

        The following video is from the youtube playlist: Blogging
        Playlist Description

        for more videos on Blogging check out Gameznet's YouTube Playlists



        Video Description

        Blogger Anil Dash shares his wisdom on boosting blog traffic and income.
        youtube category: People Created:


        How to Make Your Blog Famous IMAGE 1

        How to Make Your Blog Famous IMAGE 2 How to Make Your Blog Famous IMAGE 3

        Browse More Blogging videos at http://youtube.com/Gameznet


        Amazon have available many resources related to blogs and blogging.

        There is a wide variety of reviews about blogging and success products available in a variety of formats from books and audio to DVDs, kindle and other ebooks as well as Downloadable Apps and more which you can have delivered almost anywhere in the world!  Amazon is a fantastic resource where you can pick up amazing low priced items and have them shipped to your door or downloaded imediately.
        Here is an example: follow the buy button to read the full product review and check out all the other related material also available.

         


        More Information: Check out this blogs related product I found at Amazon:

        How to Start a Blog that People Will Read: How to create a website, write about a topic you love, develop a loyal readership, and make six figures doing it. (THE MAKE MONEY FROM HOME LIONS CLUB)

        HOW TO START A BLOG THAT PEOPLE WILL READ: How to create a website, write about a topic you love, develop a loyal readership, and make six figures doing it.

        In association with makemoneyfromhomelionsclub.com

        NO PRIOR EXPERIENCE REQUIRED. ALL INSTRUCTIONS ARE FULLY DETAILED AND STEP-BY-STEP SO ANYONE CAN FOLLOW THEM EASILY.

        Blogs have the potential to be unbelievably powerful. Never in the history of mankind has such a valuable, simple, and inexpensive tool existed for exploring topics, sharing ideas, connecting with others, and building businesses.

        I never dreamed that blogging would lead to more personal and business opportunities, financial success, and clarity of mind and purpose than anything else in my life...but it has. 

        Blogging, combined with the power of social media, is one of the most powerful tools for massive exposure that exists today...and it's virtually free. 

        Let me put it this way: Everyone needs to have a blog. The potential upside of having one is just too great to ignore. 

        Not only will a blog offer you opportunities in all kinds of unexpected and immeasurable ways, the writing will force you to organize your thoughts and analyze topics in ways that wouldn't be possible otherwise. 

        In other words: The benefits that come from blogging will surprise you...over and over again. 

        In this ebook I'm going to teach you how to create a professional blog, as well as how to strategically pick your blog topics and write your blog posts (based on keyword research). I'm also going to teach you how to best monetize your blog, promotional strategies that will drive traffic to your blog, and how to create a growing and loyal readership. I also include links within the ebook to supporting video lessons for extra clarity. 

        What's great about what I teach you is not only the income level you will accomplish if you follow through creating your blog, but all that you will learn in the process. The skills you learn in this ebook will enable you to build all kinds of online businesses and open the door for all kinds of entrepreneurial projects you may have.

        Not only that, you will be able to evaluate business ideas much more intelligently once you've gone through this whole process. This is because you will understand the fundamentals of keyword research & analysis, traffic & lead generation, social & affiliate marketing, monetization & conversion testing, and traffic analysis. These skills will help you immensely in ANY business you ever decide to start (online or not, passive or not).

        So why wait? Start your blog today! 

        After all, the longer you wait to start, the more money that is being left on the table.

        Buy Now!
        Price: $5.81

         

         

        3009093028_7e413a8c29_m

        Is a Blog Right For Your Business?

        Blocker Lemming

        Lemmings are cute, but dumb. If you tell them to jump off a cliff, they will. Just like the people who start blogs because everyone is doing it. Guess what happens after a little while? The blogs die.

        In managing a list of many Web sites, most of which are blogs, I deleted countless sites from the list because the sites and blogs no longer existed. The people ran out of steam or had no reason to start them in the first place.

        How do you know when a blog is right for your business? Learn why people start blogs, how they find their niche and how blogging tools can be used for more than blogs.

        Some people like to read blogs, others like to read newsletters, still others like to rely on feeds and some read a few or all of them. No matter the method the information is distributed, each medium has one thing in common: content. Having a blog connects your newsletter and your business with all of these readers and delivers important content in a particular style.

        I've been blogging since June 2000. If you review my early blog entries in meryl's notes, you'll notice they're more personal. When blogs first hit the scene in the late '90s, they were personal diaries and journals. Like the blog business, my blog has transformed from personal to business speak, although I still add personal notes here and there.

        A few bloggers tend to talk about their work, their products and their little world. That might work for celebrities where fans want to know everything about them, but it doesn't work for the average business person. Other business people want information on how to succeed and when a blog spends time hawking products offering information of no value, few people will return. The people whose products sell well are the ones who provide valuable information. Readers already know what kind of information they're getting, so they trust that when they buy something, it will be of the same or better quality. This value must be reflected in their blog. It's much like people who only sign up for a newsletter after first seeing an example.

        No one wants to be a lemming (I would hope). How do you decide whether or not to set up a blog? The answer isn't black or white (what did you expect?). Ask these questions:

        • Can you regularly update it -- at least five times a week?
        • Do you have something to say other than just linking to others?
        • Do you read other blogs or feeds?
        • Can you provide information of value to others not just to yourself?
        • How large is your newsletter subscriber list?
        • How many unique visitors do you get on an average day, week or month?

        The big decider is whether or not you can write in the blog almost daily. The people behind the high traffic blogs post multiple times a day. Though resourceful, merely linking to other sites doesn't give visitors much reason to make the effort to come to yours. Reading other blogs or feeds is a great way to learn how to carry a discussion. Find other blogs covering topics similar to yours and check them out. Disagree with their opinions? Write about it and explain your reasons. Cross-blog discussions are common, and that's where trackback comes in handy.

        Trackback is a blog feature. If you decide to comment on another blog posting in your blog instead of in that blog's comments page, then you link to the conversation through the trackback link. Trackback is similar to the permalink, the permanent URL for the blog entry, but it has a different URL for copying and pasting in your blog's trackback box.

        Aside from the technical aspects of operating a blog on a daily basis, subscriber list size and Web site traffic are good indicators of what kind of reaction you'll get when opening a blog. Starting from scratch with little traffic means you have a long road ahead and lots of work to do. There is no magic formula anyone can sell you for $97 to make your blog an overnight success. But with some perseverance and ingenuity, your blog can engage many prospects and clients.

        Considering there are numerous blogs out there, pick a niche topic when starting a blog for a better shot at attracting and keeping an audience. meryl's notes focuses on three areas: webby, geeky and wordy. In reality, this is too much. What I need to do for my readers is create three separate blog entry points, so those interested in writing, newsletters and Internet marketing get nothing but the wordy entries. Those interested in Web design get the webby stuff and the technophiles receive the geeky content.

        I also manage a personal blog separate from meryl's notes. It's about cochlear implants and deafness. This could fall under the geeky category, but it's a personal blog and doesn't belong in meryl's notes. This blog is written for a different audience.

        The blogging tools for both of my blogs come with syndication capabilities so those using feed readers or aggregators can read the content through the software. When sending a new issue of a newsletter, comment on it or link to it in the blog, that way the blog and feed readers will get the goods, so all three bases are covered.

        Blogging tools aren't just for, well, blogging. Such tools are an excellent way to help you update your Web site more often than you otherwise would. I use it to manage the list of tableless Web sites. Using blogging tools is much easier than the way I managed it before, updating the HTML files by hand. Though using a blog tool, it isn't a blog. In this case, the blog tool has become a content management system (CMS).

        Small business owners don't have a need for the fancy and pricey CMSes out there. They find it easier to use blogging software to manage their sites or hire someone to adapt the tool for their site.

        Blogs have found a place in businesses and people are finding creative ways to use them. Some companies have a blog on the intranet for communicating project status, jeopardies and metrics. They're used for knowledge management. With information pouring in, blog tools provide a way to share, organize and process the information.

        Being a follower can be good or bad. No one wants to walk off a cliff with the lemmings, but everyone wants to succeed. Best practices won't help, since the decision to blog is based on the organization's mission, needs and goals along with its target market's desires and needs. A blog about lemmings? There is one, sort of. Or maybe you'd like to start your own and talk about dumb business moves.

        Meryl K. Evans is the Content Maven behind meryl.net who increases conversion rates by writing and editing content so organization can focus on their core business. She is the editor-in-chief of the eNewsletter Journal and Shavlik's The Remediator Security Digest. Visit her Web site at http://www.meryl.net/blog/.

        Author: Meryl K. Evans
        Article Source: EzineArticles.com

        To Blog or Not to Blog: Are Blogs Becoming More Popular than Forums, Newsletters and E-zines?

        Blogging is hot, and seems to be becoming hotter each month. Although blogging originally was dismissed, by many successful publishers and other online "gurus", the truth is that now, a few years after the "blogging trend" began, there are actually more blogs and more bloggers online than ever before. Blogging, obviously, is "here to stay"!

        Actually first documented in 1997, Web logs initially used the abbreviated version: wee-blog, with a Web log editor referred to as a blogger. Since then, all types of Web logs (blogs) and blogging software have emerged, giving rise to this lucrative and dynamic market.

        Now, everything from advertising blogs to zoology blogs exist, with every topic in between apparent online. Political blogs are rampant, and groups of bloggers across the globe post regularly on every topic imaginable.

        What does a blog supply that an e-zine, newsletter, or forum might not? What has skyrocketed the popularity of the blog over the past several years?

        The answers are really quite simple:

        1. Blogs are more highly interactive. Posters get to see the results of a post immediately, as the post appears simultaneously after posting. Posters also don't have the usual moderation that appears in forums, where posts may be deleted without warning. Usually, in blogs, more freedom is given, and posts are usually accepted no matter what the content, or the topic.

        E-zines and newsletters, with their one sided presentation of views, have decreased in popularity with the increase of the popularity of blogs.

        2. Blogs are easy to maintain and easy to start. The sheer volume of choices is staggering! Everything from "blogging software" to "blogging services" are available, and even a novice blogger will find blogging quick and easy to do.

        3. Blogs are "Search Engine Friendly Food". Search Engines love blogs, because of the constantly changing content that appears daily. Search Engines are constantly "searching" for new content, and blogs meet this requirement splendidly!

        4. Blogs are actually a lot of fun! The entertainment aspects of a blog cannot be dismissed. A great deal of "voyeurism" exists on blogs, where other bloggers continually monitor discussions, both pro and con concerning an issue. Discussions on blogs can be "heated" and interesting, with much repartee occurring daily! Blogs are a rousing form of media, indeed, with many bloggers returning repeatedly throughout a day to view new posts.

        For a view into popular blogs of many categories, just visit: http://www.blogit.com

        5. Many blogs are capable of syndication. Syndication is a great way to ensure that your writing and your views are exposed to as much of the general public as possible. Syndication is many times included in blogging services now, and this has drawn individuals to the art of blogging continuously.

        For an example of a blog service that features syndication, please visit: http://www.typepad.com

        6. There are no lists to maintain, or spam filters to worry about with blogs. This is one reason why so many writers and publishers have turned to blogs. E-mail delivery of newsletters and e-zines has become difficult over the past few years, with the advent of spam filters. Blogs are not delivered, and therefore, no methods of defeating filters are needed, and no "non-deliverables" occur, which has been the bane of writers and publishers prior to this.

        A good blogging software exists at: [http://www.silkblogs.com]

        7. Blogs are economical. Since no lists are maintained, there are no list server costs. Blogging software and blogging services are also very reasonably priced, giving good value for the money spent monthly consistently. Some blogging services charge others to "read", while others charge writers to "write", but overall the monthly charges are rather minimal either way.

        8. Blogs are educational. There are such a variety of informative and educational blogs available now, that a search for any subject usually turns up hundreds of offerings. Differing points of view on all subjects are offered routinely, giving a reader or poster an "insight" into the hearts and minds of other bloggers.

        Blogs also, to be successful, however, need to contain the same elements of a popular newsletter or e-zine:

        A. Compelling, well-written content. No one, either online or offline wants to read materials that are poorly written or difficult or boring to read.

        B. Updated material. Just as in newsletters or e-zines, if material is not updated continually, then the audience eventually dies.

        C. Rousing topics. Topics of interest to a wide range of readers succeed more than topics that appeal to very few, or are rather dull topics.

        D. A nice layout and visual appeal. A blog is akin to a Web site for written materials, and just like in the design of a Web site, every care should be made to have the blog be visually appealing and friendly to visitors.

        Newsletters, e-zines and forums, of course, will remain. But as you can clearly see, blogging, bloggers, and blogs themselves, have definitely added to the "online experience" and will possibly (and hopefully) be around for decades more!

        -----------

        Vishal P. Rao is the owner of Work at Home Forum, an online community of people who work from home.

        -----------

        Author: Vishal P. Rao
        Article Source: EzineArticles.com
        Panasonic DMC-ZS7

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