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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 Fri. May / 07 / 2021

Guest Blogging -ways to attract followers - Global Banking And Finance Review
Guest Blogging -ways to attract followers  Global Banking And Finance Review

Margaret Josephs Doesn't Regret Yelling At Her Husband Joe Benigno on RHONJ: 'I Hold Everyone Accountable, Even My Husband' - AllaboutTRH.com
Margaret Josephs Doesn't Regret Yelling At Her Husband Joe Benigno on RHONJ: 'I Hold Everyone Accountable, Even My Husband'  AllaboutTRH.com

Return of the RSS reader » Nieman Journalism Lab - Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard
Return of the RSS reader » Nieman Journalism Lab  Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard

Hey now lets users create blogs and newsletters right from their emails - The Verge
Hey now lets users create blogs and newsletters right from their emails  The Verge

Virtual Tour Guide/Historical Blogger Enhancing the Boston and the Savannah Region Experience for Tourists - PRNewswire
Virtual Tour Guide/Historical Blogger Enhancing the Boston and the Savannah Region Experience for Tourists  PRNewswire

19 Microblogging Platforms that Let You Blog Anywhere, Anytime - Adweek
19 Microblogging Platforms that Let You Blog Anywhere, Anytime  Adweek

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

WordPress.com Launches New Courses With A Focus On Customer Education - PRNewswire
WordPress.com Launches New Courses With A Focus On Customer Education  PRNewswire

26 Blogging Stats to Help Improve the Conversion Rate of Your Blog [Infographic] - Social Media Today
26 Blogging Stats to Help Improve the Conversion Rate of Your Blog [Infographic]  Social Media Today

Link to the Original Articles in your RSS Feeds - Digital Inspiration
Link to the Original Articles in your RSS Feeds  Digital Inspiration

RSS bets on small shakhas in hinterland to make it big in TN - The Times of India Blog
RSS bets on small shakhas in hinterland to make it big in TN  The Times of India Blog

'I'm the patient now' | Maryland ER doctor blogs about breast cancer journey - WUSA9.com
'I'm the patient now' | Maryland ER doctor blogs about breast cancer journey  WUSA9.com

eBay Kills Affiliate Tool that Drives Traffic to Seller Listings - EcommerceBytes
eBay Kills Affiliate Tool that Drives Traffic to Seller Listings  EcommerceBytes

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

Ross Przybylski's Blog - How Randomness Contributes to Strategic Thinking - Gamasutra
Ross Przybylski's Blog - How Randomness Contributes to Strategic Thinking  Gamasutra

Plano teen creates blog about mental health | News | starlocalmedia.com - Star Local Media
Plano teen creates blog about mental health | News | starlocalmedia.com  Star Local Media

WordPress wants to help more people into blogging - TechRadar
WordPress wants to help more people into blogging  TechRadar

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

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

Will there be peace between India and Pakistan? - The Times of India Blog
Will there be peace between India and Pakistan?  The Times of India Blog

Exiled Azerbaijani blogger Mahammad Mirzali stabbed at least 16 times in knife attack in France - CPJ Press Freedom Online
Exiled Azerbaijani blogger Mahammad Mirzali stabbed at least 16 times in knife attack in France  CPJ Press Freedom Online

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

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

RSS’s standardised Hinduism – Part 3 - Times of India
RSS’s standardised Hinduism – Part 3  Times of India

Mike Marrone's Blog - Game Dev Digest Issue #74 - Visuals and Math - Gamasutra
Mike Marrone's Blog - Game Dev Digest Issue #74 - Visuals and Math  Gamasutra

What Is an RSS Feed? (+ How to Get Started) - G2
What Is an RSS Feed? (+ How to Get Started)  G2

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

Coffman named 2020-2021 member manager of YALSA's blog, The Hub - ala.org
Coffman named 2020-2021 member manager of YALSA's blog, The Hub  ala.org

'The Bachelor': ET Will Be Live Blogging Matt James' Hometown Dates - WUSA9.com
'The Bachelor': ET Will Be Live Blogging Matt James' Hometown Dates  WUSA9.com

Packers-Saints Week 3 Live Blog - Packers.com - Packers.com
Packers-Saints Week 3 Live Blog - Packers.com  Packers.com

Pinarayi’s midnight rendezvous - The Times of India Blog
Pinarayi’s midnight rendezvous  The Times of India Blog

How to Auto-Post your Blog Updates to Twitter - Digital Inspiration
How to Auto-Post your Blog Updates to Twitter  Digital Inspiration

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

Contract Killers: What developers should eliminate from their publishing agreement (part 1) - Gamasutra
Contract Killers: What developers should eliminate from their publishing agreement (part 1)  Gamasutra

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

Manusmriti, maya and Hindutva’s other ghosts - The Times of India Blog
Manusmriti, maya and Hindutva’s other ghosts  The Times of India Blog

Ruben Torres Bonet's Blog - 5 Signs You Need Ray-Tracing Now - Gamasutra
Ruben Torres Bonet's Blog - 5 Signs You Need Ray-Tracing Now  Gamasutra

Google AdSense Ads in RSS Feeds - First Impressions & Screenshots - Digital Inspiration
Google AdSense Ads in RSS Feeds - First Impressions & Screenshots  Digital Inspiration

Forego the self-righteousness: Both Indian liberals and the new right need to introspect and re-examine their - The Times of India Blog
Forego the self-righteousness: Both Indian liberals and the new right need to introspect and re-examine their  The Times of India Blog

We need a White Paper on farm reforms – Part 1 - The Times of India Blog
We need a White Paper on farm reforms – Part 1  The Times of India Blog

Iuliana U's Blog - Long Dark: Survival game HUD UI - Gamasutra
Iuliana U's Blog - Long Dark: Survival game HUD UI  Gamasutra

The four reasons why Indian liberals are a fast-disappearing species - The Times of India Blog
The four reasons why Indian liberals are a fast-disappearing species  The Times of India Blog

Time has come for an all-India Muslim party - The Times of India Blog
Time has come for an all-India Muslim party  The Times of India Blog

We need to talk about Steam & China - Gamasutra
We need to talk about Steam & China  Gamasutra

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

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

How to Write a Successful Blog - Digital Inspiration
How to Write a Successful Blog  Digital Inspiration

Move FeedBurner RSS Feeds From One Account to Another - Digital Inspiration
Move FeedBurner RSS Feeds From One Account to Another  Digital Inspiration

How to Submit a Podcast to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify in 2021 - Voices.com
How to Submit a Podcast to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify in 2021  Voices.com

These Muslim Bloggers Have Helped Me Redefine Beauty on My Terms - Allure
These Muslim Bloggers Have Helped Me Redefine Beauty on My Terms  Allure

What Hindutva trolls can learn from Gandhi - The Times of India Blog
What Hindutva trolls can learn from Gandhi  The Times of India Blog

India’s language conundrum: The National Education Policy has skirted elegantly a political minefield. But t - The Times of India Blog
India’s language conundrum: The National Education Policy has skirted elegantly a political minefield. But t  The Times of India Blog

14 ways to gain attention for your law blog - Real Lawyers Have Blogs
14 ways to gain attention for your law blog  Real Lawyers Have Blogs

India, bereft of problems, finally discovers its own First World ones - The Times of India Blog
India, bereft of problems, finally discovers its own First World ones  The Times of India Blog

Is there a bigger agenda behind drug probe against Bollywood stars? - The Times of India Blog
Is there a bigger agenda behind drug probe against Bollywood stars?  The Times of India Blog

My Own Personal Extinction - Scientific American Blog Network - Scientific American
My Own Personal Extinction - Scientific American Blog Network  Scientific American

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

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

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

How to Migrate your Blog from Blogger to WordPress - Digital Inspiration
How to Migrate your Blog from Blogger to WordPress  Digital Inspiration

5 Indisputable Reasons Why You Need a Blogging Strategy - Social Media Today
5 Indisputable Reasons Why You Need a Blogging Strategy  Social Media Today

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

XML – RSS - Business Blog Consulting
XML – RSS  Business Blog Consulting

Intel's CES 2021 Press Event: The Future of Intel (A Live Blog, 1pm PT) - AnandTech
Intel's CES 2021 Press Event: The Future of Intel (A Live Blog, 1pm PT)  AnandTech

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

Making That Shift from Blogger to WordPress - Digital Inspiration
Making That Shift from Blogger to WordPress  Digital Inspiration

Meet Ishwar Shekhar the youngest gamer blogger and Social Media Entrepreneur - Nagpur Oranges
Meet Ishwar Shekhar the youngest gamer blogger and Social Media Entrepreneur  Nagpur Oranges

Best blogging platforms of 2021 - TechRadar
Best blogging platforms of 2021  TechRadar

Chris Zukowski's Blog - Why people aren't buying your game - Gamasutra
Chris Zukowski's Blog - Why people aren't buying your game  Gamasutra

How to Set Up a Subscription Podcast on BlueHost - Chron.com - Chron.com
How to Set Up a Subscription Podcast on BlueHost - Chron.com  Chron.com

How to Read More and Become an Expert Blogger in 30 Days - Business 2 Community
How to Read More and Become an Expert Blogger in 30 Days  Business 2 Community

Publish your Blog to Amazon Kindle & Earn Revenue - Digital Inspiration
Publish your Blog to Amazon Kindle & Earn Revenue  Digital Inspiration

How (And Why) To Launch Your Financial Institution's New Blog - The Financial Brand
How (And Why) To Launch Your Financial Institution's New Blog  The Financial Brand

Add Inside Higher Ed content to your site - Inside Higher Ed
Add Inside Higher Ed content to your site  Inside Higher Ed

Trump is a weaker demagogue than Erdogan and Modi: Bloomberg - The Times of India Blog
Trump is a weaker demagogue than Erdogan and Modi: Bloomberg  The Times of India Blog

About - RealClimate
About  RealClimate

Reform suggestions for Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh - Times of India
Reform suggestions for Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh  Times of India

Contextual AdSense Ads for RSS Feeds - See Sample Code - Digital Inspiration
Contextual AdSense Ads for RSS Feeds - See Sample Code  Digital Inspiration

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

Agriculture’s watershed moment: New farm bills will unshackle 43% of India’s workforce that is engaged in - The Times of India Blog
Agriculture’s watershed moment: New farm bills will unshackle 43% of India’s workforce that is engaged in  The Times of India Blog

How to Move your Blogger Blog on Custom Domain to WordPress - Digital Inspiration
How to Move your Blogger Blog on Custom Domain to WordPress  Digital Inspiration

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

12 ways to automate and systemise 95% of your blog promotion strategy - Econsultancy
12 ways to automate and systemise 95% of your blog promotion strategy  Econsultancy

‘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

Lee Odden - Business Blog Consulting
Lee Odden  Business Blog Consulting

100 Best RSS Feeds to Follow Engineering News - SociableBlog
100 Best RSS Feeds to Follow Engineering News  SociableBlog

The RSS isn’t an NGO, it very much a government organisation - Times of India
The RSS isn’t an NGO, it very much a government organisation  Times of India

Blogs: - Gamasutra
Blogs:  Gamasutra

Blogvertising - Business Blog Consulting
Blogvertising  Business Blog Consulting

Arogya Setu app, Niti Aayog CEO face RSS fire over app links to e-pharma companies - India Today
Arogya Setu app, Niti Aayog CEO face RSS fire over app links to e-pharma companies  India Today

How to: publish your blog to Kindle | How to succeed in journalism - Journalism.co.uk
How to: publish your blog to Kindle | How to succeed in journalism  Journalism.co.uk

Why so few Muslims in the union cabinet - The Times of India Blog
Why so few Muslims in the union cabinet  The Times of India Blog

Why BJP needs Nehru-Gandhi ‘dynasty’ more than Congress - The Times of India Blog
Why BJP needs Nehru-Gandhi ‘dynasty’ more than Congress  The Times of India Blog

The Puppet Master - The development of the AI system for The Riftbreaker - Gamasutra
The Puppet Master - The development of the AI system for The Riftbreaker  Gamasutra

12 Ways to Earn Money and Authority by Blogging - Social Media Today
12 Ways to Earn Money and Authority by Blogging  Social Media Today

Link Outreach Emails: The Right and Wrong Approach - Business 2 Community
Link Outreach Emails: The Right and Wrong Approach  Business 2 Community

Farmer agitation: Use iron fist in a velvet glove - The Times of India Blog
Farmer agitation: Use iron fist in a velvet glove  The Times of India Blog

11 Amazing Affiliate Marketing Blogs - Search Engine Journal
11 Amazing Affiliate Marketing Blogs  Search Engine Journal

This day, 75 years ago: Contrary to dogma RSS did take part in the freedom movement, including Quit India move - Times of India
This day, 75 years ago: Contrary to dogma RSS did take part in the freedom movement, including Quit India move  Times of India

Introducing Circuit Breaker, a new gadget blog from The Verge - The Verge
Introducing Circuit Breaker, a new gadget blog from The Verge  The Verge

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