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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 Wed. February / 21 / 2024

Seattle Bike Blog - Seattle Bike Blog
Seattle Bike Blog  Seattle Bike Blog

The Iconfactory Launches Project Tapestry, a Kickstarter Campaign to Create a Universal Inbox for RSS, Social Media ... - MacStories
The Iconfactory Launches Project Tapestry, a Kickstarter Campaign to Create a Universal Inbox for RSS, Social Media ...  MacStories

Arc Blog - The Arc
Arc Blog  The Arc

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The 5 Best RSS Reader Apps for Android  Lifewire

Heads Up – AWS News Blog RSS Feed Change | AWS News Blog - AWS Blog
Heads Up – AWS News Blog RSS Feed Change | AWS News Blog  AWS Blog

Madan Das – the RSS Leader who could say No - The Times of India
Madan Das – the RSS Leader who could say No  The Times of India

RSS Feeds - Climate Change - Conservation International
RSS Feeds - Climate Change  Conservation International

What Is an RSS Feed? Here's What You Need to Know - Business Insider
What Is an RSS Feed? Here's What You Need to Know  Business Insider

Implied Copyright Licenses In The Digital World: Blogs, RSS Feeds, And Aggregators - Copyright - United States - Mondaq News Alerts
Implied Copyright Licenses In The Digital World: Blogs, RSS Feeds, And Aggregators - Copyright - United States  Mondaq News Alerts

The 5 Best RSS Feeders (2023): Feedly, Inoreader, and Tips - WIRED
The 5 Best RSS Feeders (2023): Feedly, Inoreader, and Tips  WIRED

Microsoft Security Blog | Digital Security Tips and Solutions - Microsoft
Microsoft Security Blog | Digital Security Tips and Solutions  Microsoft

The Story of the First Podcast Feed - Podnews
The Story of the First Podcast Feed  Podnews

PLOS Blogs Network - PLOS
PLOS Blogs Network  PLOS

New Ways to Customize Your Facebook Feed - Meta Store
New Ways to Customize Your Facebook Feed  Meta Store

What is an RSS feed? Here’s why you should still use one - Digital Trends
What is an RSS feed? Here’s why you should still use one  Digital Trends

Veteran of the Day - VA News - VA.gov Home | Veterans Affairs
Veteran of the Day - VA News  VA.gov Home | Veterans Affairs

What is a data feed? | Definition from TechTarget - TechTarget
What is a data feed? | Definition from TechTarget  TechTarget

ESPN.com News Feeds - ESPN
ESPN.com News Feeds  ESPN

Subscribing to Sky & Telescope's RSS Feeds - Sky & Telescope
Subscribing to Sky & Telescope's RSS Feeds  Sky & Telescope

Transforming communications with Copilot for Microsoft 365 - The Official Microsoft Blog - Microsoft
Transforming communications with Copilot for Microsoft 365 - The Official Microsoft Blog  Microsoft

Twitterfeed : Bringing RSS to Twitter for Every Blogger - Search Engine Journal
Twitterfeed : Bringing RSS to Twitter for Every Blogger  Search Engine Journal

In the Pipeline by Derek Lowe - In the Pipeline
In the Pipeline by Derek Lowe  In the Pipeline

The Equinix Blog: Home - Interconnections - Equinix
The Equinix Blog: Home - Interconnections  Equinix

All Reviews, Blogs, and Lists by Wirecutter - The New York Times
All Reviews, Blogs, and Lists by Wirecutter  The New York Times

Military RSS Feeds - Military.com
Military RSS Feeds  Military.com

The future of compliance and data governance is here: Introducing Microsoft Purview - Microsoft
The future of compliance and data governance is here: Introducing Microsoft Purview  Microsoft

Plan for the future with Microsoft Security - Microsoft
Plan for the future with Microsoft Security  Microsoft

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

SCOTUSblog - Independent News & Analysis on the U.S. Supreme Court - SCOTUSblog
SCOTUSblog - Independent News & Analysis on the U.S. Supreme Court  SCOTUSblog

How to master Google News optimization to boost content visibility and traffic - Search Engine Land
How to master Google News optimization to boost content visibility and traffic  Search Engine Land

FOXNews.com RSS Feeds - Fox News
FOXNews.com RSS Feeds  Fox News

Discover new information and inspiration with Search, no query required - The Keyword | Google Product and Technology News
Discover new information and inspiration with Search, no query required  The Keyword | Google Product and Technology News

Podcast Archive - Farnam Street
Podcast Archive  Farnam Street

All Things Considered - NPR
All Things Considered  NPR

Insights - IQVIA
Insights  IQVIA

The Business of Fashion - The Business of Fashion
The Business of Fashion  The Business of Fashion

RSS must discard its anti-democratic-secular India agenda - The Indian Express
RSS must discard its anti-democratic-secular India agenda  The Indian Express

NCSC RSS feeds - NCSC.GOV.UK - National Cyber Security Centre
NCSC RSS feeds - NCSC.GOV.UK  National Cyber Security Centre

Credit Slips - Credit Slips
Credit Slips  Credit Slips

MIT Technology Review - MIT Technology Review
MIT Technology Review  MIT Technology Review

ACLU News & Commentary - ACLU
ACLU News & Commentary  ACLU

RSS’s standardised Hinduism – Part 2 - The Times of India
RSS’s standardised Hinduism – Part 2  The Times of India

RSS’s standardised Hinduism – Part 4 - The Times of India
RSS’s standardised Hinduism – Part 4  The Times of India

RSS & Muslims - The Times of India
RSS & Muslims  The Times of India

MacRumors: Apple News and Rumors - MacRumors
MacRumors: Apple News and Rumors  MacRumors

Zero Day - ZDNet
Zero Day  ZDNet

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

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

RSS is not just antithetical to Muslims, but to a democratic-secular India as well - The Indian Express
RSS is not just antithetical to Muslims, but to a democratic-secular India as well  The Indian Express

3 Days? RSS Had 22 Years to Form Army Against Brits, but It Didn’t - The Quint
3 Days? RSS Had 22 Years to Form Army Against Brits, but It Didn’t  The Quint

The Editors: RSS feeds for BBC News correspondent pages - BBC
The Editors: RSS feeds for BBC News correspondent pages  BBC

BBC Blogs - Strictly Come Dancing - BBC
BBC Blogs - Strictly Come Dancing  BBC

UK Human Rights Blog - 1 Crown Office Row - UK Human Rights Blog
UK Human Rights Blog - 1 Crown Office Row  UK Human Rights Blog

About RSS - Ynetnews
About RSS  Ynetnews

NetNewsWire is the best RSS reader for iPhone, iPad and Mac - Cult of Mac
NetNewsWire is the best RSS reader for iPhone, iPad and Mac  Cult of Mac

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

Follow your favorite news, blogs and webcomics without Twitter - Cult of Mac
Follow your favorite news, blogs and webcomics without Twitter  Cult of Mac

20 years of Safari: A visual history - Cult of Mac
20 years of Safari: A visual history  Cult of Mac

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