Monday, July 25, 2005

How and why to start a blog

Internet marketers often use blogs as a way to promote their products or services. The use of blogs has become quite popular because the constantly updated content allows the search engines to spider them quickly and keep them indexed. A blog, simply put, is an online journal or diary where articles and updates can be posted frequently with the intent of drawing traffic to your web site. There are several types of blogging software that can be used to create your own blog on whatever topic you choose.

You can choose to use a free blogging service such as the one we are using ( - my personal favorite) or you can host your blog on your own site (if your website hosting package allows for it) or purchase a separate hosting package strictly for your blog.

A lot of people say it's a good idea to purchase a domain and host your blog without using free services if you are using it for your business because it looks more professional. Instead of your blog name being mybusinessblogname/ it would just be Although I see their point and would agree if it were a website, with a blog being less formal, more friendly I think its your choice and it won't make or break you either way.

There are benefits to using a free service such as having pre-made templates at your disposal, the ease of use - you can have your blog up within a half hour, and you don't have to know HTML to name a few.

Once you have your blog up, a good way to get lots of content is to quote and reference material found on other blogs and web sites relating to your topic, and posting comments as you see fit. Now, I'm not saying to copy/paste other people's work word for word but if you find things that are related to your topic and think your readers might find it interesting or helpful, then quote or reference it. In time you can start to blend in longer articles to express any additional thoughts you may have.

Keep in mind that you should write about the things that are of interest to you. If you try to post to your blog about topics you think your readers will enjoy but its things that you dislike, you will become frustrated and you may lose interest. I found an article on another blog called the Top 10 Topics to Blog About and they have some great ideas listed there.

You can draw attention to your blog by linking to the blogs of others and making appropriate comments. If your posts to other blogs are interesting and informative, they will eventually link back to your blog, making their own comments, which will lead to an increase in traffic to your blog and your web site.

When creating your blog, make sure you have a comment form and your email address readily available so your visitors can send feedback. At first you might not get much feedback and it can be frustrating but the more interactive content you add and the more you leave comments on other people's blogs, the more comments you will get.

It is also a good idea to create a page giving your readers a bit of personal information as to who you are and what type of business you operate. Blogs tend to be more "personal" than a typical website so your readers will feel more comfortable if they know a little about you.

Having a Blog can help you increase your web site traffic which should result in increased profits. The best part is that blogs are quick & easy to get started and if you decide later on that you don't have time or it's not drawing more profits, you can always delete it with no hassle.

Posted by Mel of Ballyhoo Virtual Services

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