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Is a Blog Right For Your Business?


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:

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/.


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE RESOURCES updated Sat. October / 19 / 2019

Happy 25th year, blogging. You’ve grown up, but social media is still having a brawl - The Guardian
Happy 25th year, blogging. You’ve grown up, but social media is still having a brawl  The Guardian

Farewell to the blog - Politico
Farewell to the blog  Politico

These iOS 13 apps work with Dark Mode, Sign in with Apple, Voice Control, and more - 9to5Mac
These iOS 13 apps work with Dark Mode, Sign in with Apple, Voice Control, and more  9to5Mac

Carnival of Space #633 - Universe Today
Carnival of Space #633  Universe Today

G.O.P.-Led Senate Panel Affirms Russia Attacked Election, and Urges Action - The New York Times
G.O.P.-Led Senate Panel Affirms Russia Attacked Election, and Urges Action  The New York Times

The Rise and Demise of RSS - Motherboard
The Rise and Demise of RSS  Motherboard

What Is an RSS Feed? (+Examples and Instructions for Getting Started) - G2
What Is an RSS Feed? (+Examples and Instructions for Getting Started)  G2

How to Use Buffer for Social Media Management: The Solopreneur's Guide - Business 2 Community
How to Use Buffer for Social Media Management: The Solopreneur's Guide  Business 2 Community

2019 Rugby World Cup live updates: All Blacks v Springboks - New Zealand Herald
2019 Rugby World Cup live updates: All Blacks v Springboks  New Zealand Herald

As Microsoft moves more blogs off its MSDN and TechNet sites, here's how to stay current - ZDNet
As Microsoft moves more blogs off its MSDN and TechNet sites, here's how to stay current  ZDNet

NetNewsWire 5.0 RSS Reader Rebuilt from Scratch, Now Free and Open Source - WP Tavern
NetNewsWire 5.0 RSS Reader Rebuilt from Scratch, Now Free and Open Source  WP Tavern

Track RSS Feeds (Yes RSS) with Feedly – ProfHacker - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education
Track RSS Feeds (Yes RSS) with Feedly – ProfHacker - Blogs  The Chronicle of Higher Education

WordPress vs. Wix: What's the Best Website Platform for Manufacturers? - ThomasNet News
WordPress vs. Wix: What's the Best Website Platform for Manufacturers?  ThomasNet News

Mohan Bhagwat, 6 Other RSS Functionaries Join Twitter - Outlook India
Mohan Bhagwat, 6 Other RSS Functionaries Join Twitter  Outlook India

Wanted: An enemy for RSS to help BJP grow in Tamil Nadu - Economic Times
Wanted: An enemy for RSS to help BJP grow in Tamil Nadu  Economic Times

'Ideology of socialism is not different from ideology of the RSS … People have reposed faith in BJP leadership' - Economic Times
'Ideology of socialism is not different from ideology of the RSS … People have reposed faith in BJP leadership'  Economic Times

My RSS feeds from a decade ago, a snapshot of gadget blogging when that was a thing - Boing Boing
My RSS feeds from a decade ago, a snapshot of gadget blogging when that was a thing  Boing Boing

Reform suggestions for Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh - Economic Times
Reform suggestions for Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh  Economic Times

Why Gurumurthy and RSS need a worldview - Economic Times
Why Gurumurthy and RSS need a worldview  Economic Times

A checklist: 5 steps toward better blogging | 2019-08-31 - grbj.com
A checklist: 5 steps toward better blogging | 2019-08-31  grbj.com

Kibbles 'n' Bits 2/6/19: I have seen the Snappening and it is an RSS feed - Comics Beat
Kibbles 'n' Bits 2/6/19: I have seen the Snappening and it is an RSS feed  Comics Beat

The 10 Most Important SEO Strategies For Your WordPress Blog in 2019 - Forbes
The 10 Most Important SEO Strategies For Your WordPress Blog in 2019  Forbes

“The Linux of social media”—How LiveJournal pioneered (then lost) blogging - Ars Technica
“The Linux of social media”—How LiveJournal pioneered (then lost) blogging  Ars Technica

9 Places to Share Your Blog Feed to Automatically Update Your Social Media Contacts - Search Engine Journal
9 Places to Share Your Blog Feed to Automatically Update Your Social Media Contacts  Search Engine Journal

Growing Your Blog Using Email Marketing - Business 2 Community
Growing Your Blog Using Email Marketing  Business 2 Community

When Chidambaram was home minister and Narendra Modi & Amit Shah faced probes - Economic Times
When Chidambaram was home minister and Narendra Modi & Amit Shah faced probes  Economic Times

What is RSS? And Is It Still Important? - Small Business Trends
What is RSS? And Is It Still Important?  Small Business Trends

RSS Feeds and How To Burn Them - Business 2 Community
RSS Feeds and How To Burn Them  Business 2 Community

Five years after Google conquered and abandoned RSS, the news-reader ecosystem is showing green shoots - Boing Boing
Five years after Google conquered and abandoned RSS, the news-reader ecosystem is showing green shoots  Boing Boing

Security Bloggers Network - Security Boulevard
Security Bloggers Network  Security Boulevard

Making People Understand And Care About Your Game - Gamasutra
Making People Understand And Care About Your Game  Gamasutra

Rohit Sharma: The art of scoring runs with laziness and effortlessness - Economic Times
Rohit Sharma: The art of scoring runs with laziness and effortlessness  Economic Times

Akshay Kumar's string of successes invokes the dominant national mood of post-2014 India - Economic Times
Akshay Kumar's string of successes invokes the dominant national mood of post-2014 India  Economic Times

Bob Whitaker's Blog - NASA Historian considers Kerbal Space Program - Gamasutra
Bob Whitaker's Blog - NASA Historian considers Kerbal Space Program  Gamasutra

Joris Dormans's Blog - Unexplored 2 Dev Blog: Tiles to Curves - Gamasutra
Joris Dormans's Blog - Unexplored 2 Dev Blog: Tiles to Curves  Gamasutra

Sowing seeds of division: Muscular politics may yield short term electoral dividend, but it hurts India's future - Economic Times
Sowing seeds of division: Muscular politics may yield short term electoral dividend, but it hurts India's future  Economic Times

What matters more in academia: scholarship, or untrammelled fealty? The curious case of 're-evaluating' Romila Thapar - Times of India
What matters more in academia: scholarship, or untrammelled fealty? The curious case of 're-evaluating' Romila Thapar  Times of India

'Mommy bloggers' study reveals factors that drive success in social influencer marketing - EurekAlert
'Mommy bloggers' study reveals factors that drive success in social influencer marketing  EurekAlert

Iuliana U's Blog - Crowdfunding Without A Graphic Designer - Gamasutra
Iuliana U's Blog - Crowdfunding Without A Graphic Designer  Gamasutra

Tom Hermans's Blog - js13kGames entry postmortem — Back to the basics - Gamasutra
Tom Hermans's Blog - js13kGames entry postmortem — Back to the basics  Gamasutra

My Roblox Years: Dungeon Life and New Product Science - Gamasutra
My Roblox Years: Dungeon Life and New Product Science  Gamasutra

Is Rahul Gandhi on the same page as Imran Khan? - Times of India
Is Rahul Gandhi on the same page as Imran Khan?  Times of India

Happy 14th Blogiversary To Ann Althouse! - Outside The Beltway - Mobile Edition
Happy 14th Blogiversary To Ann Althouse!  Outside The Beltway - Mobile Edition

A Few Simple Benefits of Using An RSS Feed - Business 2 Community
A Few Simple Benefits of Using An RSS Feed  Business 2 Community

Why Jeff Bezos Went to Medium With His Message - The New York Times
Why Jeff Bezos Went to Medium With His Message  The New York Times

Svyatoslav Cherkasov's Blog - Porting Graveyard Keeper to consoles and mobiles - Gamasutra
Svyatoslav Cherkasov's Blog - Porting Graveyard Keeper to consoles and mobiles  Gamasutra

Claire Sh's Blog - I don't hate social media... - Gamasutra
Claire Sh's Blog - I don't hate social media...  Gamasutra

Damien Yoccoz's Blog - How To Create A Perfect Localization Kit - Gamasutra
Damien Yoccoz's Blog - How To Create A Perfect Localization Kit  Gamasutra

How Rahul Gandhi exposed himself to criticism in the last 3 days - Economic Times
How Rahul Gandhi exposed himself to criticism in the last 3 days  Economic Times

Why Narendra Modi govt could scrap Article 370 - Economic Times
Why Narendra Modi govt could scrap Article 370  Economic Times

Uncommon Blogging Tactics Are Highly Effective, New Study Shows - Search Engine Journal
Uncommon Blogging Tactics Are Highly Effective, New Study Shows  Search Engine Journal

Accept or not, Chandrayaan-2 has proved the existence of God again - Economic Times
Accept or not, Chandrayaan-2 has proved the existence of God again  Economic Times

On surviving Yahoo Pipes, Feedburner futures, and the subscription web - Diginomica
On surviving Yahoo Pipes, Feedburner futures, and the subscription web  Diginomica

Celebrating The Essential Role Of The Historically Smal... | Pivot | A Blog by Karl Vaters - ChristianityToday.com
Celebrating The Essential Role Of The Historically Smal... | Pivot | A Blog by Karl Vaters  ChristianityToday.com

Why All Of Our Games Look Like Crap - Gamasutra
Why All Of Our Games Look Like Crap  Gamasutra

Scientific American Blogs Reminded People They Still Exist - By Scaremongering Vegetables And Promoting Supplements - Science 2.0
Scientific American Blogs Reminded People They Still Exist - By Scaremongering Vegetables And Promoting Supplements  Science 2.0

The Kargil variant - Economic Times
The Kargil variant  Economic Times

Modi's Guruvayur doctrine divides nation on geographical & religious grounds - Times of India
Modi's Guruvayur doctrine divides nation on geographical & religious grounds  Times of India

Working from Home: 31 Tips to Be More Productive & Successful - Search Engine Journal
Working from Home: 31 Tips to Be More Productive & Successful  Search Engine Journal

5 Social Media Blogs That You Need To Know About In 2019 - Forbes
5 Social Media Blogs That You Need To Know About In 2019  Forbes

Stanislav Costiuc's Blog - Bloodborne: What Defines Responsive Controls - Gamasutra
Stanislav Costiuc's Blog - Bloodborne: What Defines Responsive Controls  Gamasutra

Next step: A West Bank in Kashmir? - Times of India
Next step: A West Bank in Kashmir?  Times of India

What will Amit Shah do next? - Economic Times
What will Amit Shah do next?  Economic Times

Brandon Sheffield's Blog - Dreamcast 20th anniversary interview extravaganza - Gamasutra
Brandon Sheffield's Blog - Dreamcast 20th anniversary interview extravaganza  Gamasutra

Those tiny drops that make our rainbow - Times of India
Those tiny drops that make our rainbow  Times of India

As Article 370 goes down, so does the opposition? - Economic Times
As Article 370 goes down, so does the opposition?  Economic Times

Best blogging platforms of 2019 - TechRadar India
Best blogging platforms of 2019  TechRadar India

Consume Wisely – How to Deal with Too Much Content - Business 2 Community
Consume Wisely – How to Deal with Too Much Content  Business 2 Community

Start RSS Feeding Content Today With dlvr.it to Social Media [How-To] - Rocks Digital
Start RSS Feeding Content Today With dlvr.it to Social Media [How-To]  Rocks Digital

Ahmed Khalifa's Blog - Level Design Patterns in 2D Games - Gamasutra
Ahmed Khalifa's Blog - Level Design Patterns in 2D Games  Gamasutra

Will poaching legislators help or harm BJP? - Economic Times
Will poaching legislators help or harm BJP?  Economic Times

Tips & Tricks to manage Open Game Development - Gamasutra
Tips & Tricks to manage Open Game Development  Gamasutra

Louis McTague's Blog - The Importance of Definitions in Game Design - Gamasutra
Louis McTague's Blog - The Importance of Definitions in Game Design  Gamasutra

The age of Hinduness: Modi has disavowed hard Hindutva for the humanism of 'Hinduness' - Economic Times
The age of Hinduness: Modi has disavowed hard Hindutva for the humanism of 'Hinduness'  Economic Times

Max Pears's Blog - Shape Theory in Level Design - Gamasutra
Max Pears's Blog - Shape Theory in Level Design  Gamasutra

With the nullification of Article 370 and Article 35A, a historical blunder is corrected in Jammu and Kashmir - Economic Times
With the nullification of Article 370 and Article 35A, a historical blunder is corrected in Jammu and Kashmir  Economic Times

Chris Zukowski's Blog - The best slides I saw at GDC 2019 - Gamasutra
Chris Zukowski's Blog - The best slides I saw at GDC 2019  Gamasutra

Like NRC, the Citizenship Amendment Bill is flawed in conception. Proceed with caution - Economic Times
Like NRC, the Citizenship Amendment Bill is flawed in conception. Proceed with caution  Economic Times

An enigma called Rahul Gandhi - Times of India
An enigma called Rahul Gandhi  Times of India

Consoles are resilient for now, but cloud gaming will create new dynamics and competition - Gamasutra
Consoles are resilient for now, but cloud gaming will create new dynamics and competition  Gamasutra

Meet some of Charleston's most popular bloggers and social media influencers - Charleston Post Courier
Meet some of Charleston's most popular bloggers and social media influencers  Charleston Post Courier

Welcome to Starts With A Bang! - ScienceBlogs
Welcome to Starts With A Bang!  ScienceBlogs

2 women show us the power of personal choice - Economic Times
2 women show us the power of personal choice  Economic Times

How single leaders will define the 2019 election: They could be decisive in battles for more than a third of the Lok Sabha seats - Times of India
How single leaders will define the 2019 election: They could be decisive in battles for more than a third of the Lok Sabha seats  Times of India

8 Ways to Get (And Keep) Blog Readers - Backstage
8 Ways to Get (And Keep) Blog Readers  Backstage

More Than 50,000 NSFW Tumblr Blogs Were Archived by the Partiko Team This Week - PRNewswire
More Than 50,000 NSFW Tumblr Blogs Were Archived by the Partiko Team This Week  PRNewswire

Going bananas in banana republic - Economic Times
Going bananas in banana republic  Economic Times

Tommy Thompson's Blog - The AI of GoldenEye 007 - Gamasutra
Tommy Thompson's Blog - The AI of GoldenEye 007  Gamasutra

Why Google killed off Google Reader: It was self-defense - GigaOM
Why Google killed off Google Reader: It was self-defense  GigaOM

The Rise of The Influencer - And Why Epic's New Store Approach Is Huge - Gamasutra
The Rise of The Influencer - And Why Epic's New Store Approach Is Huge  Gamasutra

Words as weapons of violence- none can beat the seculars - Economic Times
Words as weapons of violence- none can beat the seculars  Economic Times

"Terrorist Fiske Jab" Revisited - Neuroskeptic - Discover Magazine
"Terrorist Fiske Jab" Revisited - Neuroskeptic  Discover Magazine

How to come up with new game ideas - Gamasutra
How to come up with new game ideas  Gamasutra

Vic Franco's Blog - Titan's Environment in 'Afterlight'. A technical Approach - Gamasutra
Vic Franco's Blog - Titan's Environment in 'Afterlight'. A technical Approach  Gamasutra

Await the Ayodhya verdict: Why orchestrated attempt to pre-empt the judicial verdict subverts the rule of law - Times of India
Await the Ayodhya verdict: Why orchestrated attempt to pre-empt the judicial verdict subverts the rule of law  Times of India

Diego Ricchiuti's Blog - Magic Arena is not Magic the Gathering - Gamasutra
Diego Ricchiuti's Blog - Magic Arena is not Magic the Gathering  Gamasutra

Changes to Google Play's average ratings: what to expect and how to prepare - Gamasutra
Changes to Google Play's average ratings: what to expect and how to prepare  Gamasutra

Vasburg E''s Blog - Don't Browse ArtStation Too Much - Gamasutra
Vasburg E''s Blog - Don't Browse ArtStation Too Much  Gamasutra

Matias Kindermann's Blog - Designing Catch Huntermann, World's Best Detective - Gamasutra
Matias Kindermann's Blog - Designing Catch Huntermann, World's Best Detective  Gamasutra

FAQ on a bill (S1629) proposing The Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act - Gamasutra
FAQ on a bill (S1629) proposing The Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act  Gamasutra

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