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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. May / 21 / 2022

A Fond Farewell to EconLog - Econlib
A Fond Farewell to EconLog  Econlib

RSS3 Brings Syndication Feeds (and FriendFeed) to Web3 - thenewstack.io
RSS3 Brings Syndication Feeds (and FriendFeed) to Web3  thenewstack.io

Alabama food blogger and author Kate Wood releasing new cookbook, 'Her Daily Bread' - Alabama NewsCenter
Alabama food blogger and author Kate Wood releasing new cookbook, 'Her Daily Bread'  Alabama NewsCenter

Omission of lesson on Bhagat Singh from K'taka school textbook shameful: AAP - Hindustan Times
Omission of lesson on Bhagat Singh from K'taka school textbook shameful: AAP  Hindustan Times

How to Link Your Blog to Your Goodreads Account - MUO - MakeUseOf
How to Link Your Blog to Your Goodreads Account  MUO - MakeUseOf

How to start a blog - Tom's Guide
How to start a blog  Tom's Guide

How to create a three-tier blog strategy to increase revenue - Search Engine Land
How to create a three-tier blog strategy to increase revenue  Search Engine Land

10 Blogging Tips to Capture the Right Audience (and Keep Them) - Search Engine Journal
10 Blogging Tips to Capture the Right Audience (and Keep Them)  Search Engine Journal

Nothing quite matches blogs' ability to connect | Past the Press Box - Past the Press Box
Nothing quite matches blogs' ability to connect | Past the Press Box  Past the Press Box

Step Up Your Social Media and Blogging Strategy with These Expert Tips - Small Business Trends
Step Up Your Social Media and Blogging Strategy with These Expert Tips  Small Business Trends

The best free blogging sites in 2022 - Tom's Guide
The best free blogging sites in 2022  Tom's Guide

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

The State Of Travel & Points Blogging (In Defense Of Clickbait) - Live and Let's Fly
The State Of Travel & Points Blogging (In Defense Of Clickbait)  Live and Let's Fly

2022 Thru-Hikers: The Trek Blogger & Vlogger Applications are Now Open! - The Trek
2022 Thru-Hikers: The Trek Blogger & Vlogger Applications are Now Open!  The Trek

How to write the perfect bio for your blog - Media Update
How to write the perfect bio for your blog  Media Update

The Rise and Demise of RSS - VICE
The Rise and Demise of RSS  VICE

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

He blogs with a Dakhani voice over - The Hindu
He blogs with a Dakhani voice over  The Hindu

Law Blog Design, Development and Hosting on WordPress - LexBlog
Law Blog Design, Development and Hosting on WordPress  LexBlog

10 ways to promote your blog in 2022 - TechRadar
10 ways to promote your blog in 2022  TechRadar

After-Christmas sales live: top deals at Walmart, Best Buy, Amazon and more - TechRadar
After-Christmas sales live: top deals at Walmart, Best Buy, Amazon and more  TechRadar

Latest News, Updates, and Insights - Microsoft
Latest News, Updates, and Insights  Microsoft

Write way to a booming legal career - The Hindu
Write way to a booming legal career  The Hindu

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

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

Should you use footnotes in your law blog post? Nope, absolutely not - LexBlog
Should you use footnotes in your law blog post? Nope, absolutely not  LexBlog

RSS joins Koo App amid Twitter's face off with Government of India, see their first post - Republic World
RSS joins Koo App amid Twitter's face off with Government of India, see their first post  Republic World

Donald Trump's 'From the Desk of...' blog crashed after election fraud claim - Business Insider
Donald Trump's 'From the Desk of...' blog crashed after election fraud claim  Business Insider

John Mueller Relaunches His Old Blog - Search Engine Roundtable
John Mueller Relaunches His Old Blog  Search Engine Roundtable

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

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

How to start a blog: a complete guide for beginners - TechRadar
How to start a blog: a complete guide for beginners  TechRadar

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

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

If hijab goes away, will all religious clothing go away from educational institutions? - Times of India
If hijab goes away, will all religious clothing go away from educational institutions?  Times of India

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

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

Days after banning Twitter, Nigerian govt debuts on Indian micro-blogging platform Koo - OpIndia
Days after banning Twitter, Nigerian govt debuts on Indian micro-blogging platform Koo  OpIndia

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