Why Don’t You Have A Blog?

Blogging is fun. Blogging is easy. Blog is short for “Web Log”.

For some it is the 21 st century equivalent of keeping a diary, journal or scrapbook. For others it is the electronic soapbox in the forum from which they can tout their religious, economic or political beliefs. Most importantly (for those of us striving to get ahead in the business world) a blog is a powerful vehicle to drive your business forward and to personally communicate with your customers and clientele.

I “see” the blank look on your face. “How is a blog a business tool?” you are asking. For most, the blog conjures up images of schools banning kids from putting their pictures and music on http://www.mySpace.com. It is something fun to share with your friends that you scored a “Gandalf” on the Lord of the Rings personality quiz. While still a social communication venue, the blog can really help your business. If you don’t believe me, ask yourself why the majority of Fortune 500 companies now blog. Many movies and television shows are now putting their information into a blog format.

First, look at your business. Do you have a web site? If the answer is no, you should get one. Business is being carried out each day and most people look online to shop and compare. They are reading reviews about the products they want to buy and are coming into your business armed with knowledge about those products. The blog should be a part of your web site.

Adds incoming, indexed links to your site.
Offers the ability for customers to comment about your business (you still can moderate the topics).
Broadcasts your business over the world and allows customers outside of your commerce area to find you.

Once you have your web site, choose a blog that will compliment your business. I use http://www.blogger.com. It is a free site supported by Google and can work well in a business setting. Mentioned prior, is http://www.myspace.com, which is possibly the most wide-known blogging site. This is very popular and focuses mainly on music and entertainment. However, it does offer some interesting features and you may want to mirror your business blog alongside MySpace. Other blog sites include, but are not limited to: http://www.xanga.com, http://www.livejournal.com and http://www.blogspot.com. Each offers a different set of attributes and features and you will have to decide which suits your business the best. The important thing is that you have a blog and you are hosting it on your site.

Make sure when you create your blog that you allow it to have an active RSS or ATOM feed. This broadcasts your blog out on the internet and gives you the chance of bringing more people to your site. Also, I would sign up for a Feedburner (www.feedburner.com) account. This also helps you to publicize your blog and makes it easy for people to subscribe.

When making your posts, direct them to your audience. You won’t have much of an audience at first, but over time they will grow. Make sure your posts are spelled correctly and are grammatically correct. Make them interesting and informative. After your first post make sure that you allow your blog to be “pinged”. Pinging is the method that notifies blogging directories that you just posted something new.

There are many add-ons and third-party items you can add to your blog. It seems daunting, but don’t worry. The blog designers have made the creation of your blog fool-proof and easy to use. It is just like typing a letter or writing a memo.

You can also make money from your blog. On Blogger, you can add Google’s AdSense. These are paid links from affiliate subscribers. The types of businesses that appear on the blog depends upon what words you use in your forum. Each blog has its own type of affiliate and you can choose to use them or not.

You can make money in your own way, too. Make sure to list store specials and promotions in your blog. Tell people important news and generate excitement to bring them to your business. Become an expert that they know they can trust. People that believe in what you say will be more inclined to shop with you first.

You can set up polls and questions on your blog. What better way for people to be more involved than allowing them to have a voice? By bringing your customers into your “Blog Family” they can be interactive with your company and become closer to you. This is the main reason you will find movies and tv shows on blogs. They are creating a “buzz” about their show and then seeing how the crowd responds. You can do this too.

For example: You own a retail outlet and you want to bring in a new product. So you write in your blog, “Introducing Product A”. You show pictures of the product from different angles, you write about the product information, you talk about pricing and all of the ingredients that go into bringing a new product on the shelf. And then you ask for comments from your faithful customers…

Think about this for a moment. Your blog is a way to test market new products. How much money can that save you?

As you can see, a blog can be more than just a social medium. Use it for your business. Have the links coming in to your site. Make money through the AdSense and other programs. Gather subscribers and have them be your marketing study groups. A blog can help your business grow.

A Home Based Business Blog – The Basic Elements For Great Site Traffic

If you look at the history of human civilization, the need to communicate is encoded in our DNA. Currently we are in a period of time where technology has given ordinary people the voice of communication so powerful that governments around the globe make attempts to shut it down. The result has made many of us citizen-journalists of public conversation. We now spread news in a different way which brings power back to the people whose lives are affected by the outcome of that conversation. Lives are now forever changed. Perhaps those of us who work in this communication medium called the internet should ask the question “why should I have a home based business blog to promote my business?”

Trying to understand and communicate why anyone who has a business must also have a blog is the same question that was asked back in the 80s – why does anyone need a website? Well, blogging seems to break down the barriers between customers and the products/services they purchase. The once faceless conglomerates now have a face where customers can talk, give opinions and share comments – a forum of customers.

If your products and services are dynamic, the customers will come and purchase. If a customer can see a business owner with whom they can communicate, the “trust” factor will play a huge affect on whether a customer will come back to buy again. But there are two elements of a blog which ultimately will make it successful – it must be authoritative and have passion.

Let’s discuss why a small business owner needs to have an active blog on the Internet. If an AVON or Mary Kay (cosmetic) independent business owner wants to have authority about her products, perhaps she can go to a local cosmetology event and share what she has learned with her blog customers/friends. This shows that 1 – she has authority in her field because she likes sharing up to date cosmetic tips and education with her blog family and 2 – she has a passion for what the topic of cosmetology and skin care.

The point is, having a blog is like having an interactive business card with all the dynamic information available to those who enjoy the products, services and the person behind the business. The blog owner is meeting the needs of her clients and keeps up to date information about what her customers want to know when it comes to her products.

Can you imagine an AVON representative handing you a catalogue or business card and the only thing that has obviously hit her face that morning is soap and water? You head over to the Mary Kay independent business owner who blogs about new product launches weekly, attends cosmetic conferences monthly and shares that passion with her customers who chats inside the blog weekly. Will you shop with the Mary Kay independent business owner of the AVON representative? If passion and authority are not the critical foundation of the blog and your message does not come through clearly, your blog is virtually dead. People will not come back to your internet “storefront.” The products are great but the customers do not perceive their value.

Blogging is a science and art that has taken the advertising world by storm over the last 10 years but the best part is, at a very basic level, it is free. The small business owner has the ability to grow the medium with little or no cost – just creativity, passion and authority.

Are you still asking why you should have a blog?

Why Do People Blog?

You may have heard of a blog. You have seen several blogs on the internet or you may even have a blog yourself. Blogs are very popular these days. A blog is just a particular type of website. The entries are arranged usually in chronological order with the most recent one at the top. Entries can be of any type including text, audio, video or images. Blogs can be about almost any subject you can imagine. And people write blogs for almost any reason you can think of. There are personal blogs, family blogs, business blogs, commercial blogs and art blogs. There are more blogs than you can ever imagine and there is no reason why anybody can’t start up a blog.

Blogs are nothing special. They are just like ordinary websites although the layout and content are often different. Just like any other website, what you put in the blog is up to you. There is usually a provision for people to leave comments on whatever is written in the blog. It is usual now to have a blog of some description. The content is up to the owner and author. In fact, you may wish several people to develop content which is added to the blog on a regular basis. The vast majority of blog software is now free of charge to use and there is no reason for anybody not to set up a blog. You do not even need to have a hosting company as some blogs can be hosted for you. Blogs do not have to be complicated or time consuming. Whatever you decide to blog about, get started now and have fun.

Ten Interesting Blog Trends

While researching blogs I have stumbled across some interesting and some not so interesting blogs. A number of people write about dull topics like the social life of their dust bunnies, which of course is ok, but not so interesting. Whereas others take the time to write compelling commentary on controversial or motivating topics that inspire empathy and action.

Blogs are an outlet and a stimulator, and unlike many publishing sources, blogs are equally available to everyone. So no matter how uncommon, unique or trivial the topic is, it can be shared.

Here are ten interesting trends I have have noticed in the Blogosphere:

Informative Blogs: I commend the time it must take to research and write informative blogs. Some cover topics in history or current events; others relate detailed information on hobbies, techniques or procedures.

Creative Rants: Rants are posted everywhere and I understand that it must feel good to get the frustration out. But some bloggers have made the extra effort to make their rants entertaining, informative and even funny.

Company Weblogs: Companies are beginning to see the benefit of projecting a more “human” or “approachable” image and are publishing blogs. I have seen some blogs that do a good job at educating customers about products or even frustrations and accomplishments involved in developing a new product.

Personal Accounts: Often news broadcasters/ publishers do not have the time or space to relate the whole story. Some writers are taking it upon themselves to document the daily details of an event, like a political race or a natural disaster. This has added a ground level, human voice to pivotal events.

Cultural Introspectives: Some people are using their blogs to help others understand their culture, history and social views, in hope that understanding will inspire improved global relations and altruistic action.

Pioneering Ideas: Many blogs start a buzz or promote original ideas before they are realized or marketed to the general public. Since most blogs are not motivated by monetary goals they are free avenues of discussion of innovative or alternative thought.

Niche Notching: Blogs are cheap or free and readily available, so even blogs that cover obscure or unique topics find readers. No matter what your interest is, you can find a blog on that topic.

Family Blogs: Staying in touch is hard and there are always schedule conflicts. Some families use a blog to share family news and pictures and the blog is available to the entire family anytime of day.

Creative Writing: Getting published is hard; publishing a book takes a long time and comes with challenges. Some writers are skipping the traditional publishing route and just writing. Blogs can get a writers work out to the world in a hassle free manner. We found many well-composed and thoughtful posts originated by talented writers.

Travel Blogs: We discovered interesting travel accounts. Some bloggers write about vacationing, others about their tour of service or their research and humanitarian efforts in an impoverished or developing country.

Blogs can inspire, inform or incite. They can be used to document the smallest detail of one life or the largest, most urgent issues of the entire human race. No matter the topic or the writer this avenue of self expression is open to everyone.

The Family Work at Home Business

This is the story of how an associate of mine started her home business.

When I lost my regular job and decided to try my hand at earning a living online, I kept it to myself. I didn’t mention it to anyone in my family for fear of ridicule, rolling eyes or patronizing comments about keeping myself “busy” while looking for another job. I searched for information and did all the leg work while everyone was gone, “under cover” you might say.

The day I checked one of my affiliate accounts and saw I made a sale and at the same time the ads I had placed on my sites were getting clicks, I wanted to shout from the rooftops!! I saw the potential for building my online income! However, having told no one of my “experiment”, I had no one to listen! As excited as I was, I decided to finally sit the family down and tell them what I was trying to accomplish. To my surprise, they were not only supportive, but excited as well!

I have 2 children, a dog and husband at home. My parents are in another state as well as my siblings. I now have an entire network of people giving me ideas on a daily basis! My children and my husband help me with article writing and web design. We spend a lot more quality time together now also. Once a week we all sit in the “computer room” and talk about ideas we can implement online to increase our business. You’d be very surprised at the ideas the children suggest!

Here are some ideas for involving your family in your quest for an online income:

Children Age 5-10 My youngest son is 9, however this would work with younger children also.

Make a blog or website targeting toy reviews. Give the child’s opinion as well as your own. Make a blog or website targeting children’s book reviews Make a blog or website about favorite games. Be it board games, or group games.

Children Age 11-15 Make a blog or website about the current fashion trends or interests of your child. They will have a ton of ideas! I know mine did. Give the child’s opinion as well as your own opinion. Make a blog or website targeting the current music, or gadgets your children want or read about. Make a blog or website targeting the current concerns and issues about teens online, safety precautions etc. Give your opinion as well as theirs.

Children Age 16-Adult Make a blog or website about the difference of “your music” as opposed to “their music”. Make a blog or website about an interest you share, or an activity you both enjoy. Make a blog or website about the difference in economy, job availability in your area.

All of the above ideas can tie into revenue streams. Affiliate Products associated with your content can be added to each site, as well as contextual ads, or Affiliate Programs such as Amazon will have related products that can be displayed on your pages. This all ads up to online income for your projects!

By involving your family in your project, you’ll spend more quality time together as a whole. You’ll be surprised at what your children will suggest as ideas for websites or subjects! You might even discover things about them you wouldn’t have otherwise. My children and I have so much fun discussing the endless possibilities that my husband is now involved as well. The four of us discuss our opinions and ideas, implement them together and discover new things about each other and ourselves. .. All while earning an income online!

Travel Blog Your Next Vacation

Some years ago, I took an extended trip to Europe. During that vacation, I kept a travel journal in which I made notes of the places I visited, the people I met and the events that occurred. I still get out that travel journal and read through some of the entries. The problem with the journal was that the entries were not easy to share. I still had to write postcards and letters to my family and friends.

Now, with the advent of blogs (web logs) your travel journal can also serve as a way
of sharing your vacation with your family and friends. Your friends will be able to
immediately read about your adventures as soon as you’ve written about them. No
need to buy stamps or send letters via snail mail.

Because you’re writing a blog, there’s also no need to send out multiple emails
either. Write it once and your done. Your friends and family can subscribe to your
blog and they are automatically notified when you make an entry. Additionally, your
friends can make comments on your blog post that are available for others to see,
giving your friends an opportunity to actively participate in your vacation.

The best part about your blog is that while you are sharing your vacation with your
family and friends, you’ll also be making a record of your vacation so that you’ll be
able to easily remember what you did and reminisce about the great times or the
challenges that you faced.

Because blogs are web-based, you can make an entry from any location that has
access to the Internet. Many of my friends have started to make regular trips to an
Internet cafe a standard part of their vacations. Many hotels also offer and Internet
terminal that you can use for a few minutes.

There are many websites where you can post your blog for free. Many of them even
allow you to post pictures. Some blogs even specialize in travel logs. Two of my
favorites are:

Travellerspoint – Allows you to create a public travel
blog or a private travel diary that is password protected for selected viewers.

TravelBlog – Provides blog space and allows for unlimited photos
in your travel journal.

If you’ve got the travel bug, but can break away from work or don’t have appropriate
funds, you can go on a virtual vacation by subscribing to a travel blog that someone
else is keeping. You may also want to read through a blog of someone who’s been
to the destination that you’re planning to visit. You’ll get first hand travel tips and
advice for that destination.

A travel blog can enhance your vacation by allowing your friends and family to
participate as well as creating a record of the trip that you can enjoy later. Make
sure you create one for your next vacation.

How to Make a Family Website

A family website can be a great way to keep every member of your family up to date on the latest happenings in your life. It has never been easier to take advantage of technology and create a website full of information and pictures for your family to interact with. The best part is there are many sites that will allow you to create your website for free and you don’t have to be a computer programmer to design one. So how do you make a family website?

The first thing you need to do is to decide what the focus of your family website is going to be. Once this has been established you can decide what type of forum you want to take advantage of as there are not only are there several different sites that will host your family website for free, but there are several different forum you can choose to keep your family up to date.

Here are the different platforms you can use to start your website:

o Free hosting sites: There are a number of these freebie sites and finding one is as easy as typing in ‘free family website’ in your Google or Yahoo search bar. These sites allow you to create your family website and they will even host it for free. The catch is they will put up advertisements on your family website, but if you aren’t looking to spend any money it is worth it. Most of these sites offer easy to use templates so that creating your website is as easy as plugging in some photos and some text. Before you know it you have a great looking family website that you created and that you will update. Once it is finished, give out the web address to all that you love and let them enjoy your work.

o Blogs: Blogs are great because they allow you to express your thoughts and you can also add different pictures and even backgrounds. One of the more popular and free blogging sites is Blogger.com and they have templates for you to choose from that make a website via blogging a breeze. A great feature with blogging is that your family has the ability to make comments on the different blog entries you do and can also sign up to be a follower of your blog so that they are automatically notified when you update your blog.

o Social websites: These are gaining massive popularity and are very easy to use as well. Sites like Facebook and MySpace allow you to upload pictures and also have a blogging feature. The only drawback to this type of family website is that it is less private than the others and at times you could get bombarded with ‘friend requests’ from people you don’t even know. You don’t have to accept them as friends, but it can be a pain in the neck. Still social websites are easy to use, interactive, and best of all free.

With the ease and no cost of starting a family website you really have no excuse not to. It is a fun and easy way to keep your family up to date with everything that is going on in your family’s life.

Safety in Family Blogging

Now to begin I want to share with you a conversation I had with my wife about blogging the family happenings. She had just discovered that a favorite blog that she followed was about to go private because the owner felt threatened by the use of her content and photos by other people. Now this is the best way to protect your blog and information but she was upset because she doesn’t know the person but loves her insight and ideas that she shares. So really what I want to cover here is a few safeguards in blogging publicly without having to go completely private.

The first safeguard is to be careful on placing your family last name. It is okay for the first names to be used but when last names are used this could be a potential identity theft issue. First names are sufficient especially for the close friends and family members who are viewing the blog who know you personally.

The next safeguard is to disable “right click” on the photos you use on your blog. This will keep people from saving your photos and using them for themselves without permission. This is probably the most wide spread concern for family blogs and most of it is due to the usage of photos of kids for a game that is played in Brazil on the social website, Orkut. Now I personally don’t see much threat in this because they use the photos as a pretend version of themselves relating to their status on Orkut and as they gain popularity they grow in age thus finding photos that represent their growth and so on. It isn’t Malicious but it is discomforting.

When taking photos be mindful of what they contain. Obviously nudity is not a good idea. Photos of your house front with address, your kids school with name, church with location and other frequented places by your family, license plates, and documents should not be placed on your public blog. Be vague on even your town name, you could use the region or county or state for example. Now these are just a few ideas and I suggest you check with your blog host for more safe practices.

In conclusion I would like to write that I feel it is important to safely blog about your family in the public forum. You never know who you will touch and inspire and family strength and unity is desperately needed today. Don’t put a bushel over your candle let others see the joys of family and create a better world

Jason W Herbert is looking to make a difference and establish some article writing experience through doing and not being a baby about it anymore. Seriously.

The Blog As a Marketing Tool

The concept of the blog began in the late 90s. In those days the blog was used solely for comment on particular Web page, which meant an opportunity to replicate these comments and opinions of visitors and readers of this website. What began as a simple phrase or comment has become widespread views that create controversy on all topics you can imagine.

The blog has become so potential online advertising and SEO search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) Rely heavily on the content of keywords that they have.

Here I mention five basic reasons why you should use the blog as a very powerful marketing tool on the Internet.

1. The blog is very simple. The easiest way to get your little space on the Internet is through a blog. You do not need any special ability to throw it to go… anyone who has basic knowledge of how to use a computer or computer, you can do. A blog is like having a virtual book to write your personal thoughts on this or that issue, your experiences on the use of a particular program, software or purchase of any product. The Blog is an attractive force especially since in these lines, where you express your experiences and views, it begins to create an atmosphere of trust so that your readers and visitors begin to test the same products and programs that you have already used or purchased Thanks to the opinion that you have left in your blog about them. So if you have a computer or computer with Internet access (who do not have it today?), You can start promoting anything through your Blog.

2. The Blog is authentic and original content. In these times where online advertising saturates our lives, we seriously question the credibility of such promotions. It is too much advertising we see today on the Internet that we do not know if they really the products, programs or methods that are offered are really what they seem. However, in blogs, real people who show their faces, they share real life experiences or express their opinion on good or malfunction of any program or product without having to resort to paid advertising. Read blogs about first-hand use of any product or service is like talking in person with someone who has already proven what I’m looking for… determined and related experience in a very high percentage, my decision on the acquisition or rejection of that product or service. Anyone want to buy something that has already been tried and tested by others.

3. The blog is completely free. Creating a blog does not cost anything. If you plan on riding your blog platform Blogger (free blogging platform from Google) is not recommended if you want a professional blog. Blogger, I would say is to share information informally with friends and family and that has nothing to do with the installation of a professional Internet business. If your idea, however, is to mount a fully professional internet business, my recommendation is to use the WordPress platform. WordPress itself costs nothing, but we need to first buy a personal domain and hosting or hosting system (which is quite accessible) where you can upload unlimited information for the proper functioning of your professional business online. To learn how to get your domain and how to get your hosting, I recommend that you subscribe to my blog… to subscribe you can acquire free information about how to make this domain, hosting and set up a blog on WordPress.

4. The blog builds credibility and forging a bond of trust between you and your readers or visitors. As you add items, experience gained by the purchase of a particular product or service and quality content to your blog, readers are with reference to your blog and look forward to your next article to satisfy their information needs and satisfy more themselves. This is how you become an expert in the subject by the fact that more and more readers visit your blog and more bloggers link Your Blog. If your blog comes to have a significant number of daily visits and many companies and professional organizations notice the growth of the base of readers and visitors you have, would most likely contact you to put advertising on my blog (something to you benefit financially) or make a direct affiliate of its products, which will generate a commission every time you sell a product or service referred to those companies and generated from your blog.

5. The Blog builds your market. Unless you’re a Hollywood star, it is likely that only your family read your articles. The good news is that your family have many friends, then they will tell them how interesting is your Blog. But do not worry, do not depend on the friends of your family or your family to increase the number of subscribers and readers of your blog. See the following ways that expose you to be able to build your market through your blog:

* Using your email. Each time you send an email (whatever the content of that message) to your list of contacts and acquaintances, do not forget to leave your link in your website or your blog in the signature of this email. I assure you, out of curiosity, many will click to see what’s on your blog. Do not spam, if you already have a long list of contacts with whom you write often, you can do but do not send mails to people who are not on your list because if you do, you will lose credibility and your business will be affected.

* By using a subscription form to your blog. An easy way to get emails from your readers is to give them the option to subscribe to your blog. Book exclusive information for your subscribers to persuade your readers to subscribe to your blog leaving your name and email. Be responsible in the use of emails collected, noting that information will never send junk to fill their inboxes from spam. Only information with value and useful content.

* Using feedback information. Ask your subscribers if the information received has been helpful to them, they give you a message expressing his views on the exclusive information that has been sending them. Better yet, ask them to do a little video leaving positive testimony expressing what has been useful to them such information. So, you get more credibility and more confidence with your readers and they in turn will also have the opportunity to make themselves known through your Blog. It’s a win-win proposal for everyone.

* Subscribe to other blogs. Part of other blogs that share similar themes to your promotions. Blogs that are serious and they are professionals like yours for readers and consumers to have credibility and identify you as a professional and an expert on the subject.

* By using RSS. The RSS is used to broadcast frequent updates to users who have subscribed to the source of content (or Blog). The format allows you to distribute content without a browser, using software designed to read these RSS feeds. Giving the option to subscribe to content updates to your blog via RSS, you will gain readers and subscribers more quickly and will identify you as a teacher in whatever promotions.

“Express” Yourself and Profit With Your Own Blog “Family”

Recently, I heard an old song whose title is, “Express Yourself” if my memory serves me correctly.

The title reminded me of one of bloggers’ main objectives, which is to express themselves and their feelings about a wide range of subjects, such as relationships, dreams, interests, hobbies, sports, religion, pets and so on. If a given subject, such as hobbies, is brainstormed, a number of interesting possibilities (aspects)come up: photography, stamp collecting, coin collecting, toy making, painting, knitting, crocheting, traveling. And within each of those hobbies are other, more specific terms. Brainstorm “photography,” for example, and you may likely come up with terms as lens, darkroom, digital cameras, studio, tripod, and film. Then “extend” this list by looking up other keyword suggestions using Overture.

If photography is one of your passions or hobbies, and you have one blog about it (such as one devoted to your best photos), consider other related blogs on two or three of its related aspects. Of course, you can develop such a “family” of blogs from scratch, and at the same time, “expressed” and “extended” yourself and your hobby into several potentially, profitable blogs! Perhaps another blog can be focused on experienced/professional photographers’ problems. Another blog can offer helpful advice for amateurs on photographing pets, and so on.

At the same time, you need not limit your blogging efforts to one hobby, or one sport or pet, for example. This is especially true if you enjoy reading about various subjects and/or your interests are diverse and you want to address them all in separate blogs. You will benefit immediately by having something to write about. As your blogs become established and attract audiences, you will be able to find possibilities, offering your “fans” products such as reports, ezines,ebooks and e-courses. And after that, who knows? Maybe you can create a name for your blog “family” and use it as a foundation for your very own e-company!