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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. July / 11 / 2020

How to Submit a Podcast to iTunes, Google Podcasts, and Spotify - Voices.com
How to Submit a Podcast to iTunes, Google Podcasts, and Spotify  Voices.com

LIBERATED SYNDICATION : Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations. (form 10-Q) - marketscreener.com
LIBERATED SYNDICATION : Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations. (form 10-Q)  marketscreener.com

RSS is the greatest enemy of Hinduism - Times of India
RSS is the greatest enemy of Hinduism  Times of India

What Happened to Tagging? - JSTOR Daily
What Happened to Tagging?  JSTOR Daily

Cision PR Newswire's Beyond Bylines Blog Featured in Feedspot's List of Top Journalism Blogs - PRNewswire
Cision PR Newswire's Beyond Bylines Blog Featured in Feedspot's List of Top Journalism Blogs  PRNewswire

The eccentric economic ideology of RSS and BJP – Part 2 - Times of India
The eccentric economic ideology of RSS and BJP – Part 2  Times of India

RSS’s standardised Hinduism – Part 5 - Times of India
RSS’s standardised Hinduism – Part 5  Times of India

A return to blogs (finally? sort of?) » Nieman Journalism Lab - Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard
A return to blogs (finally? sort of?) » Nieman Journalism Lab  Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard

The eccentric economic ideology of RSS and BJP – Part 1 - Times of India
The eccentric economic ideology of RSS and BJP – Part 1  Times of India

A Farewell to Feministing and the Heyday of Feminist Blogging - The New York Times
A Farewell to Feministing and the Heyday of Feminist Blogging  The New York Times

The eccentric economic ideology of RSS and BJP – Part 3 - Times of India
The eccentric economic ideology of RSS and BJP – Part 3  Times of India

Blogs still among our best information - Otago Daily Times
Blogs still among our best information  Otago Daily Times

The RSS sutras for the twenty-first century - Times of India
The RSS sutras for the twenty-first century  Times of India

Are Food 'Influencers' Wearing Out Their Usefulness In India? - HuffPost India
Are Food 'Influencers' Wearing Out Their Usefulness In India?  HuffPost India

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

Blogging for Shopify: A unique SEO approach - Search Engine Land
Blogging for Shopify: A unique SEO approach  Search Engine Land

Create an Engaging Legal Blog: Benefits of Law Blogs - The National Law Review
Create an Engaging Legal Blog: Benefits of Law Blogs  The National Law Review

The eccentric economic ideology of RSS and BJP – Part 4 - Times of India
The eccentric economic ideology of RSS and BJP – Part 4  Times of India

3-Step Blog Strategy That Works: Storytelling, USPs & Sales - Search Engine Journal
3-Step Blog Strategy That Works: Storytelling, USPs & Sales  Search Engine Journal

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

Ian Hamilton's Blog - Prioritising Accessibility Considerations - Gamasutra
Ian Hamilton's Blog - Prioritising Accessibility Considerations  Gamasutra

Rising divorces a sign of justice, not arrogance - Times of India
Rising divorces a sign of justice, not arrogance  Times of India

‘Hindutva is not divisive, not anti-Muslim … RSS will abide by the Supreme Court judgment on Ayodhya’ - Times of India
‘Hindutva is not divisive, not anti-Muslim … RSS will abide by the Supreme Court judgment on Ayodhya’  Times of India

Learn to make money by blogging with the help of this online training - Mashable
Learn to make money by blogging with the help of this online training  Mashable

Blogging Assistant PD Accused of Revealing Secrets of Little-Disguised Clients - ABA Journal
Blogging Assistant PD Accused of Revealing Secrets of Little-Disguised Clients  ABA Journal

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

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

Webster blogger refuses to let COVID-19 muffle her voice - Democrat & Chronicle
Webster blogger refuses to let COVID-19 muffle her voice  Democrat & Chronicle

9 Best Blogging Courses 2020 • Enroll Now • Benzinga - Benzinga
9 Best Blogging Courses 2020 • Enroll Now • Benzinga  Benzinga

2019 Saveur Blog Award Winners - Saveur
2019 Saveur Blog Award Winners  Saveur

Unleashing the power of your company blog - The Drum
Unleashing the power of your company blog  The Drum

Best Squarespace templates for bloggers - Mashable
Best Squarespace templates for bloggers  Mashable

Why you should start a podcast soon - Quartz
Why you should start a podcast soon  Quartz

Ghost blogging platform servers hacked and infected with crypto-miner - ZDNet
Ghost blogging platform servers hacked and infected with crypto-miner  ZDNet

Your Old Blog Content Is a Goldmine - CMSWire
Your Old Blog Content Is a Goldmine  CMSWire

They don’t hate JNU, they fear it: In absence of an articulate, united opposition, it’s our campuses that - Times of India
They don’t hate JNU, they fear it: In absence of an articulate, united opposition, it’s our campuses that  Times of India

Could Blogging Boost Your Ecommerce SEO? - Practical Ecommerce
Could Blogging Boost Your Ecommerce SEO?  Practical Ecommerce

SEMRush drops paid guest blogging service after Google policy scrutiny - Search Engine Land
SEMRush drops paid guest blogging service after Google policy scrutiny  Search Engine Land

When Nehru put the ‘Constitution in danger’ - Times of India
When Nehru put the ‘Constitution in danger’  Times of India

Josh Bycer's Blog - Lessons Learned From Reviewing Indie Games - Gamasutra
Josh Bycer's Blog - Lessons Learned From Reviewing Indie Games  Gamasutra

Catholic bishop suspends priest and issues trespass order over blog about clergy sex abuse - Washington Post
Catholic bishop suspends priest and issues trespass order over blog about clergy sex abuse  Washington Post

Tales From Discoverabilityland: A Story Of Three Graphs - Gamasutra
Tales From Discoverabilityland: A Story Of Three Graphs  Gamasutra

Crystin Cox's Blog - Understanding LiveOps, Doing LiveOps - Gamasutra
Crystin Cox's Blog - Understanding LiveOps, Doing LiveOps  Gamasutra

Thomas Bidaux's Blog - Kickstarter and Games in 2019 - Gamasutra
Thomas Bidaux's Blog - Kickstarter and Games in 2019  Gamasutra

Andrew Haining's Blog - Outer Wilds critical analysis - Gamasutra
Andrew Haining's Blog - Outer Wilds critical analysis  Gamasutra

The right and wrong lessons of Shaheen Bagh - Times of India
The right and wrong lessons of Shaheen Bagh  Times of India

Web 100: Best law blogs - ABA Journal
Web 100: Best law blogs  ABA Journal

Ian Hamilton's Blog - Highlights of Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2020 - Gamasutra
Ian Hamilton's Blog - Highlights of Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2020  Gamasutra

Fabian Fischer's Blog - Reward Fatigue - Gamasutra
Fabian Fischer's Blog - Reward Fatigue  Gamasutra

Sergio Garces's Blog - Steam in Graphs in 2019 - Gamasutra
Sergio Garces's Blog - Steam in Graphs in 2019  Gamasutra

Best legal blogs of 2018 - ABA Journal
Best legal blogs of 2018  ABA Journal

Why Maria Wirth is Wrong - Times of India
Why Maria Wirth is Wrong  Times of India

The saga of lockdown: India has shown extraordinary solidarity, forbearance and leadership skills - Times of India
The saga of lockdown: India has shown extraordinary solidarity, forbearance and leadership skills  Times of India

Shutdowns kill people and biz, ease them fast - Times of India
Shutdowns kill people and biz, ease them fast  Times of India

Benjamin Overgaard's Blog - Programming visual effects for Lightmatter - Gamasutra
Benjamin Overgaard's Blog - Programming visual effects for Lightmatter  Gamasutra

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez Live Blogs What It's Like To Have COVID-19 - WLRN
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez Live Blogs What It's Like To Have COVID-19  WLRN

My Own Personal Extinction - Scientific American
My Own Personal Extinction  Scientific American

Become the Beyonce of Legal Content with These Three Tips - JD Supra
Become the Beyonce of Legal Content with These Three Tips  JD Supra

How the Bodo Accord was accomplished, establishing a wider template for peace in the Northeast - Times of India
How the Bodo Accord was accomplished, establishing a wider template for peace in the Northeast  Times of India

5 brilliant blog topics - The Negotiator
5 brilliant blog topics  The Negotiator

Ruben Torres Bonet's Blog - Unity C#: Improved Out Parameters (C# 7.0) - Gamasutra
Ruben Torres Bonet's Blog - Unity C#: Improved Out Parameters (C# 7.0)  Gamasutra

How to Start a Crypto Blog - The African Exponent
How to Start a Crypto Blog  The African Exponent

Lessons and statistics after four years as an indie developer - Gamasutra
Lessons and statistics after four years as an indie developer  Gamasutra

PM’s Janata Curfew is most effective antiviral idea - Times of India
PM’s Janata Curfew is most effective antiviral idea  Times of India

How a blogger in Florida put out an early warning about the coronavirus crisis - The Washington Post
How a blogger in Florida put out an early warning about the coronavirus crisis  The Washington Post

Level Design Breakdown: Ghost of Tsushima Gameplay Trailer - Gamasutra
Level Design Breakdown: Ghost of Tsushima Gameplay Trailer  Gamasutra

How I built a game studio from the ground up - lessons on product ownership, development, and creative writing - Gamasutra
How I built a game studio from the ground up - lessons on product ownership, development, and creative writing  Gamasutra

Post Covid-19 education system - Times of India
Post Covid-19 education system  Times of India

Alexandre Chaudret's Blog - Crafting Nightmares - Othercide's Art Direction - Gamasutra
Alexandre Chaudret's Blog - Crafting Nightmares - Othercide's Art Direction  Gamasutra

Meet the New Blogger: Meghna Datta | Research Blog - Duke Today
Meet the New Blogger: Meghna Datta | Research Blog  Duke Today

Siddhartha Talya Blog - The Times of India Blog
Siddhartha Talya Blog  The Times of India Blog

Security Bloggers Network - Security Boulevard
Security Bloggers Network  Security Boulevard

Of macho men and broccoli cownundrums - Times of India
Of macho men and broccoli cownundrums  Times of India

This R-Day, let’s focus on India’s cultural greatness rather than military muscle - Times of India
This R-Day, let’s focus on India’s cultural greatness rather than military muscle  Times of India

Manufactured Dissent 2.0 - Times of India
Manufactured Dissent 2.0  Times of India

Unnamed temporary sports blog: Deadspin staffers reunite to blog about the Super Bowl. - Slate Magazine
Unnamed temporary sports blog: Deadspin staffers reunite to blog about the Super Bowl.  Slate Magazine

So many Buddhas: The Buddha one imagines tends to be filtered through the politics one prefers - Times of India
So many Buddhas: The Buddha one imagines tends to be filtered through the politics one prefers  Times of India

Ryan Sumo's Blog - Project Management in the Time of Covid-19 - Gamasutra
Ryan Sumo's Blog - Project Management in the Time of Covid-19  Gamasutra

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

Animal Crossing in the age of social distancing - Gamasutra
Animal Crossing in the age of social distancing  Gamasutra

India-Nepal border row: A tale of two streams - Times of India
India-Nepal border row: A tale of two streams  Times of India

When history gets interactive: Attentat 1942, Svoboda 1945 and historical research - Gamasutra
When history gets interactive: Attentat 1942, Svoboda 1945 and historical research  Gamasutra

Sweat Equity: Still blogging away on LGBTQ topics, but it's not big money - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Sweat Equity: Still blogging away on LGBTQ topics, but it's not big money  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Impact of Coronavirus Epidemic to China's Game Industry - Gamasutra
Impact of Coronavirus Epidemic to China's Game Industry  Gamasutra

Condemn the Tablighi Jamaat event, without having to resort to any whataboutery - Times of India
Condemn the Tablighi Jamaat event, without having to resort to any whataboutery  Times of India

Taco Bell Unveils New At Home Taco Bar -- Just In Time For Tuesday's Cinco De Mayo Celebrations - PRNewswire
Taco Bell Unveils New At Home Taco Bar -- Just In Time For Tuesday's Cinco De Mayo Celebrations  PRNewswire

Emil Glans's Blog - On Monster Design - Gamasutra
Emil Glans's Blog - On Monster Design  Gamasutra

The curious case of Animal Crossing in China | Opinion - Gamasutra
The curious case of Animal Crossing in China | Opinion  Gamasutra

Anti-Putin blogger Imran Aliev found dead in France - Business Insider - Business Insider
Anti-Putin blogger Imran Aliev found dead in France - Business Insider  Business Insider

‘Over 90% of India’s heritage lies buried and space archaeology can help unearth it … using satellites a - Times of India
‘Over 90% of India’s heritage lies buried and space archaeology can help unearth it … using satellites a  Times of India

Boost Ties with Taiwan: China can’t dictate terms for everyone in Asia - Times of India
Boost Ties with Taiwan: China can’t dictate terms for everyone in Asia  Times of India

Is banning #TikTok an open-ended Solution? - Times of India
Is banning #TikTok an open-ended Solution?  Times of India

This infectious-disease professor knows about Covid-19 spread, but can’t explain how his blog post went viral - Boston Business Journal
This infectious-disease professor knows about Covid-19 spread, but can’t explain how his blog post went viral  Boston Business Journal

Bengal’s Amphan tragedy needs more national and global attention - Times of India
Bengal’s Amphan tragedy needs more national and global attention  Times of India

Seven ways to monetise your blog - Media Update
Seven ways to monetise your blog  Media Update

Dear Food Bloggers: Stop Yammering And Give Me The Dang Recipe - The Federalist
Dear Food Bloggers: Stop Yammering And Give Me The Dang Recipe  The Federalist

Be positive and spread hope - Times of India
Be positive and spread hope  Times of India

How to Overcome the 3 Biggest Blogging Challenges - Search Engine Journal
How to Overcome the 3 Biggest Blogging Challenges  Search Engine Journal

The Secret AI Testers inside Tom Clancy's The Division - Gamasutra
The Secret AI Testers inside Tom Clancy's The Division  Gamasutra

Niklas Gray's Blog - Recording Statistics - An Exercise in Minimalism - Gamasutra
Niklas Gray's Blog - Recording Statistics - An Exercise in Minimalism  Gamasutra

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