There has been an enormous growth in blogs over the last few years and people are finding that it is a good way to quickly make their views or products known to a wider audience. Although setting up a blog is easy to do, to make sure it doesn’t become one of the many abandoned blogs there are a number of things to consider.
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Blogging for business
Because the search engines index blogs very quickly, blogging can be a good way to get your company or product to a wider audience. There are two ways to do this, either closely align your blog with your product, or blog about the market your product serves and reference your product. For the first it makes a deal of sense to include either your company or major product name in the blog title and domain. In fact you could just install a blog in a sub-directory of your main website which would tie it in very closely with your company. Many web hosts now have a domain control panel which enable WordPress blogs to be installed almost completely automatically. I would suggest WordPress as suitable blog software as there are an enormous number of add-ons and plugins available to make your blog look and act exactly as you want. A second option would be to register a suitable domain, install WordPress on it and go from there.
If you want to initially distance yourself from your product, then you might well find it easiest to register a blog with one of the major blog hosts and set yourself up as a special interest blogger. You may wish to do this to attract visitors who might not frequently visit your site but are interested in the markets you serve. If you sell wine for instance you could blog about wine in general and reference the special offers that you sell, maybe including short tasting notes. It might be beneficial to come clean about your association in an About Me page, as being professionally involved in a specific market adds a certain authority to what you write. It would be clear to frequent visitors that you only mention one company but they would have initially been attracted by the content, and would most likely continue to visit as long as the content is valuable to them. The important thing about doing it this way is that your content should hold up regardless of your promotion of your product otherwise you won’t get visitors returning.
Blogging for pleasure
If anything this is the most rewarding way to blog. Writing about something you have a passion for is most likely to get visitors who share the same passion and can grow a community as you link to other blogs which have the same focus. I am an Arsenal Football Club supporter and have a blog http://blogs.goonerville.com/blog/LGS_blog.php where I vent and applaud everything about the club and football in general. If you leave the comments turned on, you will get visitors posting their replies to you which can help you gauge reaction to your opinions. But beware, you may not always like what people say about you! It’s not compulsory, but you may also be able to make a little money from Adsense or affiliate sales as long as you don’t overdo the adverts because you will have a very targeted audience reading the blog.
Whether you are blogging for business or pleasure, the important things to remember are:
1. Write in your own style, don’t try and copy anyone else.
2. Use original content. You can use other material, but make sure you are not breaking copyright and add your own content.
3. Pace yourself. Don’t start out intending to post every day if you don’t have the time and inclination. It is better to start slowly and increase if you can rather than gradually tail off.
4. Use humour if you are humorous. Even if the blog is factual, visitors like to be entertained.
If used well, blogs can be a tremendous aid to communicating whatever message you wish to advance. There are many things you can do to make your blog more accessible and popular, but that are beyond the range of this article and will be covered in future articles.