What Is This Blogging Thing Then?

What Is This Blogging Thing Then?
By: Martin Andrew
Everybody is raving on about blogs, it seems everyone has one, and it seems that everyone is telling you that if you want to get on in Internet Marketing you need one too!!

But what exactly is this Blogging Thing?

OK well like everything else, theres the Long answer, the short answer, and Martins Answer(often quite similar to the long answer, only, well, better:-) )

Blogging, Like MOST of the other New Trends, isnt actually new at all. Blogging has actually been around for quite some years now, I would probably say its Infancy was pre-2000 if I really wanted to push it back.

A Blog, or Weblog, is qute simply an Online Journal or diary.

BUT, thats not what people nowadays mean, when people talk to you about blog and blogging, they are really talking about using this blogging software to run your sites.

The Simplicity and design of the software enables even the most technically challenged to add updated fresh content to their webpages, basically if you can type and use Word, you can run a Blog, this in turn is why it is becoming ever so popular, and also why most people do use it for, or at least most people *Were* using Blog and Blog software to run little Personal Diary Blogs.

However, what it really is, is a way to have a regularly updated website related to your business or theme at the push of a button.

Here are the three most popular “blogs” at the time of printing this, they probably will remain like this for a long time, but although these are “Blogs” they are more along the lines of an actual real content website, rather than a personal diary type blog.

# 1
Boing Boing: A Directory of Wonderful Things
67,001 links from 19,265 sites.

# 2
Engadget
65,581 links from 14,884 sites.

# 3
PostSecret
PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.
By frank warren
21,503 links from 12,892 sites.

The MAIN Difference between a blog and a standard website, is the fact that bloggers tend to be more personal, tend to leave more of a personal stamp on their work. Thats why those first two sites above are WAY more popular than if they had just been a standard impersonal website.

DON’T let this blogging craze confuse you, its really not that complex, or infact that different to things you may already be used to, dont worry about this whole “Blog Revolution” thing, it is more of an evolution than a revolution, and the evolution involves websites and online business in general, not blogging on its own, blogging has simply become a tool to enable the following things –

Through free services such as Blogger, anyone anywhere anytime can start a website, without having any technical knowledge.

Through blogging software, it has become easier and easier to add fresh orginal content to your website on a regular basis,

Bloggers share information, ideas and thoughts with eachother through reading eachothers blogs and talking about them on their own blogs,

Those are the simple elements of what blogging is.

When you start looking at the software running the blogs, and the functions it has, you can see even more benefits, and why it is much much more than just “a Weblog” I am talking about, I want you to understand that blogging is an ESSENTIAL part of your entire marketing campaign, along with Article Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, and all the other aspects I cover, blogging is essential.

BECAUSE, Not only does your average blogging software enable push button content updates, BUT it also has the ability to do a MULTITUDE of the mundane tasks we have to undertake to build our traffic up to our websites.

Your blogging software can pretty much take care of all your on page search engine optimization AUTOMATICALLY!! All you need to do is post new content!!

Blog softwares can automatically reformat your content into different code types readable by different types of technology, with a little help, your blog could kick out pages viewable in Web Browsers, Palm Pilots, Mobile Phones, and perhaps the best one at the moment is RSS!!

Yes, your blog will easily produce a reformatted version of your webpage that can be syndicated by other sites, read by people directly on their desktops, and much more!!

I do cover a wide range of advanced blogging tactics which I won’t go into here as I would be here for TOO Long!!

Quite simply, a blog, is a software to Power your websites, how you decide to use it is up to you, but one thing I WILL STRESS here at the end is that the whole idea behind the fact that blogs are easy to use is to use them well, and update them regularly, to see the full benefit. Its because of this fact, that a good blog should be updated regularly to get the most benefits, that most blogs are really quite a personal type weblog but DON’T let that start to limit your thinking about what you can do with a blog, look again at the top 3 blogs, go to Technorati.com and look at the biggest blogs.

Don’t you think, actually, that most of the big blogs look more like a magazine now, rather than a journal or diary?

Remember what I said about evolution and not revolution?

You can use a blog for whatever you want, all I stress, is MAKE SURE you use it, and use it every day(or as often as you possibly can regularly)

Thats it for that, more will come soon, thanks for reading!

Author Bio
After being involved with Internet Marketing for some time, Martin has decided to share his Ideas and Experiences on Succesful Online Marketing.
Read More Marketing Tactics Here
Be sure to check out Martins tips and Tricks, and follow his experiences in Success @ moretrafficplease.com/notes.

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Invasion of the Blogs

Invasion of the Blogs
By: Meryl K. Evans
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.
Blog content is king

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.

Who should venture where one has not blogged before?

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.

Pick a niche
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. For an explanation of syndication and feed readers, refer to What Is This RSS, XML, RDF, and Atom Business? 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.

Blogs in disguise use the same tools
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. Women’s Spirituality is one such site. Karen Casey may not use the blog, but she does have discussions surrounding the articles she writes.

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.

Author Bio
Meryl K. Evans (www.meryl.net),
Content Maven, is the editor of eNewsletter Journal and Shavlik’s The Remediator Security Digest. She writes columns for PC Today, InformIT, and MarketingProfs. Contact her to get content that inspires action.

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