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Monday, July 10, 2006

Blog is short for Web Log or Weblog and the Blogosphere is
the online blog world, some parts of which are hyperlinked
extensively to each other.

This is the Wikipedia definition: Blog is short for weblog. A
weblog is a journal (or newsletter) that is frequently updated
and intended for general public consumption. Blogs generally
represent the personality of the author or the Web site.

I recommend that you read lots of people's blogs to learn what
blogs are. Go to your favorite search engine and type in the
word 'blog' and the subject you're interested in. For example,
'web design blog', or 'blog music', or 'sports blog'. You'll
find lots of blogs that way.

Blogs have become a way in which regular, non-technical people
can post information to the Web as easily as they can access it.

Why Are Blogs So Important?

Well, they're not that important, yet. But they could be soon,
and most likely will be. In fact, some would argue that they are
already vital in today's Web business world. I am not ready to
agree to that yet, but it is becoming more obvious to me over
time that blogs can no longer be ignored in business.

Online businesses can benefit from blogging by taking advantage
of a vehicle for easily posting new, original, and
business-related content on a regular basis.

Here Are Some More Business Benefits Of Blogging:

* Blogs help to position you and/or your company as experts
and leaders in your industry.

* They're interactive in nature. At the end of each blog entry
is usually a link that allows anyone to add their own comments
to your blog entries. This allows your customers and potential
customers to make comments about your products or services or
ask you questions to help them in their buying process.

* Blogs are marketed easily and quickly by their RSS feeds.

* Blogs allow you to stress your choice of products, services,
relevant news stories, quotes, pictures and more with your
audience, customers and potential customers.

* People are generous with adding links to your blog if the
content is good, especially within their own blogs. More
links means more traffic and better search engine rankings.

Here Are Some Ways In Which You Can Make Revenue From Your Blog:

1. Selling advertisements. Whether you use banners or text links,
if your site draws a regular audience interested in your blog
topics or theme, try to offer ad space to organizations that are
looking to market to your audience. In fact, if your blogs
becomes really popular then advertisers will call you.

2. Offering Google's AdSense. Google's website explains,
"Google AdSense is a fast and easy way for website publishers
of all sizes to display relevant Google ads on their website's
content pages and earn money." Learn more about AdSense.

3. Affiliate Programs. Affiliate programs allow Web sites that
provide links to your site to receive payments or reciprocal
advertising in exchange for promoting your Web site. In the case
of blogging, this is reversed, where you post links within your
blog, and collect money from the owners of those links when they
result in a click-through and sale.

Here Are Some Websites Where You Can Get Your Blog Listed:

* BlogWise - http://www.blogwise.com

* Blog Search Engine - http://www.blogsearchengine.com

* Blog Hub - http://www.bloghub.com

*Blog Daisey - http://www.blogdaisey.com

* Get Blogs - http://www.getblogs.com

* Is Blogs - http://www.lsblogs.com

How To Blog For Business:

First you need to get blogging software. You can choose to
create a blog that is housed on another site such as
http://www.blogger.com (which is a blog service) or you can
host it on your own Web server. I recommend the latter since
the links that are developed by others pointing to your blog
won't be counted in the search engines. This is because the
links are attributed to domains, so a link to
http://MyNewBlog.blogger.com gives a link credit to
blogger.com and not your domain.

If your blog is a business blog, you really ought to host your
own blog as opposed to using a blog service. You'll need the
extra functionality and control.

If you plan on hosting your own blog and if you plan to use a
UNIX Web server platform, then you need to go with blogging
software such as Movable Type, for example. If you have a
Microsoft Web server platform for your site, then you'll need
software such as BetaParticle blog. Here is a great list of
various blog software: http://www.lights.com/weblogs/tools.html

Next you'll need a database to hook your blog up to. The
database is what stores the blog entries, among other things. If
you don't know if you have a database on or connected to your
website server, or if you don't know how to hook up your blog to
your database, contact your host company or Web server
administrator for help.

Once you have the blog set up on your domain (for example
http://www.MyWebsite.com/blog) and you've hooked it up to a live
database, you can start blogging. Generally, each entry is also
a day. So you can write a new entry every day, or whenever you
want, and that entry will show up on the blog at the top, moving
older entries below.

You ought to think of a theme for your blog. In other words, your
blog could be about your personal experiences in the industry
you're in. It could be about your company's product reviews, or
new services. It could be about your thoughts and opinions about
issues related to your industry. It could be a place where you
regularly find and list new resources to help others in your
industry. The list is endless. But be sure to stick to a theme
and be original. You want to offer something of value to your
website visitors.

Sticking to a theme helps you position yourself for future
advertisers and also makes for better reading for your visitors.
Furthermore, you want to give a good impression with your blog
with each and every entry if you want it to augment your online
business. Finally, sticking to a theme helps with the search
engines since it's believed that engines determine website
themes and use this information for ranking.

Of course your blog could be about personal things too. Many
blogs are just that, an online journal. But since we're
interested in Web business here, I am discussing business blogs

What's great is that blogs get indexed easily and quickly by
search engines. Each entry is another "page" that can be
potentially listed in Google for example, which will drive more
traffic to your site.

Another neat thing about running a blog once it's set up is that
you do not need to be technical at all to make regular entries.
This is helpful if you want to delegate the writing to someone
else, since technical skills won't be a prerequisite. This
allows you to have the most qualified person regarding the
blog's theme and, hopefully the best writer, actually making the

Be creative. Add images to your blog entries to spice things up a
bit. Although blogging can be lonely, keep at it. Sometimes it
seems like you're just writing new entries each day for yourself
only. It may be a while before someone chooses to add a comment
to one of your entries. You may not hear from anyone for a long
time. But that doesn't mean people aren't reading it. In fact,
check your website statistics to see just how many people are
visiting your new blog. As you add more entries, get your blog
listed on other sites and market your blog. It will build, and
eventually you'll have a nice following of engaged readers.

Most importantly, be sure to pepper your entries with calls to
action. For example, if your business blog is attached to your
travel website and the blog's theme is traveling and finding
great travel deals all over the world, make sure you add a link
to an entry that points people to a travel special you're
running on your website. What would be even better is a blog
entry about the fantastic vacation you took to Hawaii and
included at the end was a link to cheap Hawaii vacation deals on
your website.

Jason OConnor is President of Oak Web Works, LLC

http://www.oakwebworks.com/), an
e-strategy firm and enjoys

reading Sports, Music & Tickets blog

(http://www.bestshowticketslasvegas.com/blog/ ). Reach him at:


Need help getting your blog?

Let us set up your blog and design it to match your website.



Let us write your articles as well!


by: Shawna Seigel

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