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Blog Basics

A blog is sometimes called web log or weblog.  It is a type if online journal or diary, often including personal comments as well as web links and images.  Many people keep a blog as a type of personal creative exercise, but you can easily use this popular online type of writing to market your business.  Blogs are very popular right now and they can be a great and inexpensive way to contact more customers.

The great thing about blogs is that people read them for fun.   Customers may be becoming more jaded about advertising, but they will gladly read a blog that has some interesting things to say.  Many top companies are using blogs to deliver a better and more personal message about their companies – and the strategy seems to be working.

Starting a Blog

Starting a blog is as simple as finding a space online to write – and the time to write.  To begin a blog, first develop a theme idea or blog idea.  You may want to look at other people’s blogs to do so.  In general, you will want to develop a central theme for your blog in the same way that columnists develop a theme for their articles.  This helps ensure that your blog is not too “scattered.”

Next, find some place to publish your blog.  There are a number of sites – both paying and free – that give bloggers a chance to publish their material.  You may also want to simply set up your blog on your web site, especially if you already have an active web site.

Writing Your Blog

Once you have a place to publish your blog, you will have to set aside some time each week to develop new content.  When writing your blog:

•Write simply and clearly.  Use small paragraphs and spell check before uploading.  Your readers will trust what you have to say if you say it well.

•Go easy on the advertising.  The idea of a blog is to give readers something fun and exciting to read and look at.  You will have more readers if you comment on the world and are entertaining, rather than just hype your product.  Consider writing about your day, the atmosphere your workplace has, and culture, rather than just your company.

•Consider many types of content. Blogs allow you to upload images, create links, and allow users to make comments.  Your blog will have many more readers if you make your blog exciting with these pluses.

Promoting Your Blog

Just putting your blog online is not enough.  After all, there are many millions of blogs on the web right now, so unless your blog is on a high-traffic site, you may not get readers unless you advertise.   You can easily advertise your blog without spending a cent by mentioning your blog in your emails and web pages or newsletters.  You can also enter in online competitions – if your blog wins a prize you are more likely to get a constant flow of traffic to your blog.  You can also ask ezines and other content providers to review your blog, which will also draw readers.

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