Blog, blog, blog. What the heck is it anyway? Does it ribbit? Oink? Croak? One more torturous gadget I have no time for? Entertainment? Work? Solitaire? What’s in it for me?
If this sounds like you this new year, you’re in a good place. At least you’re alive, curious and addicted to email. A blog is a useful tool for your business--if and only if--you take time to get used to the process. Not only will a blog generate traffic for your web site; it will educate your prospects, connect people to your business and increase your search engine rankings.
“But I don’t wanna!” You whine, “I’m so busy, how can I possibly fit “blogging” into my already packed schedule?”
Trust me, it’s worth it!
“I think blogging is a basic form of ‘Rip, Mix and Learn’ (RML). Just like I’m doing right now, I’m ripping an idea from Alan and others, mixing it up with my own experience and reality, and writing about it as a way to clarify and learn. And really, it is the writing part that forces me to organize these thoughts and give some form to them. It’s when the learning coalesces...”
>From Will Richardson, Weblogg-Ed
What is a Blog?
The term “Blog” is short for weblog. A weblog is simply a journal or diary of sorts that you keep on a daily basis. Only, this “diary” can be seen by the entire world--the world with computers, that is. Your Blog is visible to the world wide web, and it has its own URL, much like your company Web site. Blogs are about everything from mortgage loans to printing and from religion to real estate. The neat thing about blogging is the way they can serve so many purposes:
· Your first novella
· A training manual
· An informative article
· A press release
· A journal
· Your FAQs page
· Your testimonials
· A networking tool
· A tutorial
· A sales slick
· A rough draft
· Your biography
· Your soap box
· A class room
· A research notebook
· An ad or a billboard
· Your family tree
· A photo album
· A commercial
· A newsletter
When should you Blog?
You don’t have to blog every single day, although that would be ideal. Even if you can only blog a sentence here and there every other day, that is better than a swift kick. Good rule of thumb: Any blogging is better than no blogging; and you can’t over-blog.
If you are a business owner, the benefits of blogging are too numerous to count. Nonetheless, here’s a few reasons you should get in the habit of frequently blogging your heart out.
· Blogs grow in popularity just like Web sites
· Blogs help you get your point across
· Blogs are emailed directly to its members
· Blogs let you write your thoughts quickly
· Blogs preserve business history
· Blogs allow you to connect with your prospects
· Blogs help you to educate your customers
· Blogs can help people see how you think
· Blogs are a way to express your opinion
· Blogs are readily visible by anyone in the world
· Blogs that contain your expertise can be repeatedly visited
· Blogs can be added to favorites
· Blogs can increase your exposure to the world
· Blogs can help people if they contain valuable information
· Blogs can help you sell products and services
· Blogs are a good place to show your personality
· Blogs are easier to edit and write than web pages
· Blogs require no special skill other than reading and typing
· Blogs are free
· Blogs are easy to start
· Blogs increase your Web site’s SEO (search engine rankings)
· Blogs have spell-check
· Blogs allow you to allow others to make comments
· Blogs can be published all over the web with RSS technology
· Blogs show up in search results
· Blogs can be indexed and searched like Web sites
Where Should You Blog?
There are free blogging services you can use. We only recommend Blogger because we believe it is the most reliable and easiest to use. You want to use a reputable blogging company because if the company goes out of business you can lose your whole blog. Blogger is owned by Google, so you’re safe for now.
How to Start a Blog
Now that you’re half-way convinced that blogging is right up there in with email, let’s start the process of blogging on your own.
1. Sign up for a free blog. This is super-easy. Just choose a user name and password, agree to the terms and conditions and you’re cool.
2. Start blogging. Yes, it’s that easy. Ask yourself, “Why haven’t I done this before?”
3. Invite friends and associates to your blog. Invite a few people to your blog to get the party started.
4. Add hyperlinks in your blog to your web site. Don’t forget to insert your Web address into your blog.
The most important thing to remember is this: Don’t hide your blog under a bushel! No matter what--take time to send us (and everyone else on your list) an invitation to your blog fest.
Happy New Year!