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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 Sun. February / 28 / 2021

How Do You Scale a Personality Cult? - Autostraddle
How Do You Scale a Personality Cult?  Autostraddle

Social audio is the next big thing – The Manila Times - The Manila Times
Social audio is the next big thing – The Manila Times  The Manila Times

Crime Lines 02/16/2021 – 02/22/2021 – The Bottom Line News - The Bottom Line News
Crime Lines 02/16/2021 – 02/22/2021 – The Bottom Line News  The Bottom Line News

Blogging 101: Why Bother & Key Elements of an Effective Blog - Business 2 Community
Blogging 101: Why Bother & Key Elements of an Effective Blog  Business 2 Community

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

Young London Digital Entrepreneur Creates First WordPress Blog Hosting Control Panel - PRNewswire
Young London Digital Entrepreneur Creates First WordPress Blog Hosting Control Panel  PRNewswire

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

Blogging is back, but better » Nieman Journalism Lab - Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard
Blogging is back, but better » Nieman Journalism Lab  Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard

Six Tips for Legal Bloggers | International Lawyers Network - JDSupra - JD Supra
Six Tips for Legal Bloggers | International Lawyers Network - JDSupra  JD Supra

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

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

news Packers-Buccaneers Week 6 Live Blog Oct 18, 2020 - Packers.com
news Packers-Buccaneers Week 6 Live Blog Oct 18, 2020  Packers.com

Blog vs YouTube Over Other Websites: How to Choose - Legal Reader
Blog vs YouTube Over Other Websites: How to Choose  Legal Reader

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

Samuel Liberty's Blog - Post-Mortem: Antithesis - Gamasutra
Samuel Liberty's Blog - Post-Mortem: Antithesis  Gamasutra

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

news Packers-Saints Week 3 Live Blog Sep 28, 2020 - Packers.com
news Packers-Saints Week 3 Live Blog Sep 28, 2020  Packers.com

Ryan Sumo's Blog - How much should I discount my game? - Gamasutra
Ryan Sumo's Blog - How much should I discount my game?  Gamasutra

Neil Schneider's Blog - What Does Cross-Platform Mean to You? - Gamasutra
Neil Schneider's Blog - What Does Cross-Platform Mean to You?  Gamasutra

The argument for simpler games, in an industry obsessed with complexity - Gamasutra
The argument for simpler games, in an industry obsessed with complexity  Gamasutra

SeekaHost University eLearning Website Announces Web App Integration: Teaching The Next Generation of Digital Workers - PRNewswire
SeekaHost University eLearning Website Announces Web App Integration: Teaching The Next Generation of Digital Workers  PRNewswire

Cyberpunk 2077 - Have video games become products like any other? - Gamasutra
Cyberpunk 2077 - Have video games become products like any other?  Gamasutra

The Not so Secrets to Success in the Game Industry - Gamasutra
The Not so Secrets to Success in the Game Industry  Gamasutra

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

The Road to Ruinarch : Wishlist Gathering and Expectations - Gamasutra
The Road to Ruinarch : Wishlist Gathering and Expectations  Gamasutra

news Packers-Vikings Week 1 Live Blog Sep 13, 2020 - Packers.com
news Packers-Vikings Week 1 Live Blog Sep 13, 2020  Packers.com

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

RSS’s standardised Hinduism – Part 1 - Times of India
RSS’s standardised Hinduism – Part 1  Times of India

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

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

How to Make a Decent Game Trailer for less than $100 - Gamasutra
How to Make a Decent Game Trailer for less than $100  Gamasutra

VA Catholic priest blogged about child sex abuse. Now, he says bishop is threatening to defrock him - WUSA9.com
VA Catholic priest blogged about child sex abuse. Now, he says bishop is threatening to defrock him  WUSA9.com

Josh Bycer's Blog - Understanding Pain Points in Game Design - Gamasutra
Josh Bycer's Blog - Understanding Pain Points in Game Design  Gamasutra

Josh Bycer's Blog - The Impact of Videogame Criticism - Gamasutra
Josh Bycer's Blog - The Impact of Videogame Criticism  Gamasutra

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

Josh Bycer's Blog - The Successful Steps of Early Access Games - Gamasutra
Josh Bycer's Blog - The Successful Steps of Early Access Games  Gamasutra

How good does your game look on a Steam search? - Gamasutra
How good does your game look on a Steam search?  Gamasutra

MK Dev's Blog - Develog#1:-Our Mistakes In Making Game - Gamasutra
MK Dev's Blog - Develog#1:-Our Mistakes In Making Game  Gamasutra

2020 Relief: An Empathy-Driven Way to Design Games - Gamasutra
2020 Relief: An Empathy-Driven Way to Design Games  Gamasutra

Bioshock Infinite: A level analysis from a gameplay point of view #5 - Gamasutra
Bioshock Infinite: A level analysis from a gameplay point of view #5  Gamasutra

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

Phaedra Boinodiris's Blog - Combating Toxicity in Online Games - Gamasutra
Phaedra Boinodiris's Blog - Combating Toxicity in Online Games  Gamasutra

Angela Limoncelli's Blog - 5 Insights from 3700 Reviews of Cyberpunk 2077 - Gamasutra
Angela Limoncelli's Blog - 5 Insights from 3700 Reviews of Cyberpunk 2077  Gamasutra

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

Xbox goes for lock-in with All Access - Gamasutra
Xbox goes for lock-in with All Access  Gamasutra

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

How to Judge Game Design With Achievement Analytics - Gamasutra
How to Judge Game Design With Achievement Analytics  Gamasutra

rahul sehgal's Blog - Five Secrets of Game Art Direction - Gamasutra
rahul sehgal's Blog - Five Secrets of Game Art Direction  Gamasutra

Raji: An Ancient Epic & Crossing the Finish Line - Gamasutra
Raji: An Ancient Epic & Crossing the Finish Line  Gamasutra

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

Josh Bycer's Blog - A Study on Modern Mobile Design - Gamasutra
Josh Bycer's Blog - A Study on Modern Mobile Design  Gamasutra

Taming the wild west of VR: 5 technical lessons learned making the serious game Art Sort in VRChat - Gamasutra
Taming the wild west of VR: 5 technical lessons learned making the serious game Art Sort in VRChat  Gamasutra

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

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

Switch & Steam discount strategies? Here's some good ones - Gamasutra
Switch & Steam discount strategies? Here's some good ones  Gamasutra

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

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

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

Springbot Acquires Matcha to Power Content for the Omnichannel Retailer - PRNewswire
Springbot Acquires Matcha to Power Content for the Omnichannel Retailer  PRNewswire

Conor McKenna's Blog - Let Us Not Forget Fallout 76 - Gamasutra
Conor McKenna's Blog - Let Us Not Forget Fallout 76  Gamasutra

Amir H. Fassihi's Blog - Postmortem: Children of Morta - Gamasutra
Amir H. Fassihi's Blog - Postmortem: Children of Morta  Gamasutra

Doing Gandhi and Godse with Sikhs and farmers’ movement - The Times of India Blog
Doing Gandhi and Godse with Sikhs and farmers’ movement  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

Bloggers and Pharmacy Delivery Workers Are Next Group of Workers to Score Large Payouts in Independent Contractor Misclassification Class Actions: August 2020 Legal News Update - JD Supra
Bloggers and Pharmacy Delivery Workers Are Next Group of Workers to Score Large Payouts in Independent Contractor Misclassification Class Actions: August 2020 Legal News Update  JD Supra

Mario Mihokovic's Blog - Starpoint Gemini 3: Navigating a Year of Hell - Gamasutra
Mario Mihokovic's Blog - Starpoint Gemini 3: Navigating a Year of Hell  Gamasutra

Matt Smith's Blog - The Rapid Prototyping Game - Gamasutra
Matt Smith's Blog - The Rapid Prototyping Game  Gamasutra

Jack Pritz's Blog - Dead by Daylight's Engagement Cycle - Gamasutra
Jack Pritz's Blog - Dead by Daylight's Engagement Cycle  Gamasutra

Blogs - National Catholic Register
Blogs  National Catholic Register

Josh Bycer's Blog - The Philosophy of Puzzle Design - Gamasutra
Josh Bycer's Blog - The Philosophy of Puzzle Design  Gamasutra

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

2021 will be a landmark year for cloud gaming, generating $4bn in consumer spending - Gamasutra
2021 will be a landmark year for cloud gaming, generating $4bn in consumer spending  Gamasutra

Twibble Automatically Tweets Blog Posts or RSS Feeds On a Schedule - Lifehacker
Twibble Automatically Tweets Blog Posts or RSS Feeds On a Schedule  Lifehacker

The Best Blogging Apps for Shopify Stores - News & Features
The Best Blogging Apps for Shopify Stores  News & Features

Kevin Lin's Blog - Starcom: Nexus Postmortem, an Indie Dev Journey - Gamasutra
Kevin Lin's Blog - Starcom: Nexus Postmortem, an Indie Dev Journey  Gamasutra

Karl Kontus's Blog - Marketing advice for small indie developers - Gamasutra
Karl Kontus's Blog - Marketing advice for small indie developers  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

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

Post Mortem on our Launch of Dungeons of Edera, an endlessly replayable Dark Souls roguelike - Gamasutra
Post Mortem on our Launch of Dungeons of Edera, an endlessly replayable Dark Souls roguelike  Gamasutra

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

India less secular but far from a one-party state - The Times of India Blog
India less secular but far from a one-party state  The Times of India Blog

Michigan design bloggers dole out ideas, inspiration - The Detroit News
Michigan design bloggers dole out ideas, inspiration  The Detroit News

Four in five consumers don't know what cloud gaming can offer, Omdia's research reveals - Gamasutra
Four in five consumers don't know what cloud gaming can offer, Omdia's research reveals  Gamasutra

Cyberpunk 2077 or The Problem That Is the AAA Industry - Gamasutra
Cyberpunk 2077 or The Problem That Is the AAA Industry  Gamasutra

Nvidia GeForce Now cloud gaming service comes to iOS - Gamasutra
Nvidia GeForce Now cloud gaming service comes to iOS  Gamasutra

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

Ruben Torres Bonet's Blog - The Gamedev Guru’s Birthday Party - Gamasutra
Ruben Torres Bonet's Blog - The Gamedev Guru’s Birthday Party  Gamasutra

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

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

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

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

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

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

PS5 Will Have The Most Successful Console Launch Ever - Here’s Why... - Gamasutra
PS5 Will Have The Most Successful Console Launch Ever - Here’s Why...  Gamasutra

PM Modi should hold firm against protesting farmers: Bloomberg - The Times of India Blog
PM Modi should hold firm against protesting farmers: Bloomberg  The Times of India Blog

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

Diego Ricchiuti's Blog - Magic the gathering is evolving - Gamasutra
Diego Ricchiuti's Blog - Magic the gathering is evolving  Gamasutra

Byrd's New Nest | Jesus Creed | A Blog by Scot McKnight - ChristianityToday.com
Byrd's New Nest | Jesus Creed | A Blog by Scot McKnight  ChristianityToday.com

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max Review - PhotographyBLOG
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max Review  PhotographyBLOG

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

Biden holds his own as Trump refuses to condemn white supremacists and militia at the first presidential debate. - USAPP American Politics and Policy (blog)
Biden holds his own as Trump refuses to condemn white supremacists and militia at the first presidential debate.  USAPP American Politics and Policy (blog)

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