Category Archives: Blogging

Top 10 Tips for Blogging

Tips for creating a blog.
There are no hard and fast rules on how to blog. Having said that, bloggers will likely increase their exposure by following some simple blog guidelines.

1.) Stay on topic.
Opinions are generally accepted but the content of the items in the blog should all relate to a general theme. Unless you have an uncanny knack for wit, humor or cynicism, the majority of your readers will be interested in the content that relates to a specific defined theme or loosely defined area of interest. Most readers won’t care that you eat Cheerios for breakfast. They may, however, be interested in the fact that vinegar takes out stains and that toilet paper rolls make great wreaths. Define a topic and stick to it. This will ensure that you create a loyal following of interested readers.

2.) Stay informative.

If you are attempting to create the impression that you are knowledgeable about a specific industry or sector, be sure that you stay current on news. If you are endorsing a product or voicing an opinion, be sure to check your facts; your reputation is at stake. If you are offering an opinion, be sure to qualify your post, making it clear that the content is intended as an editorial.

3.) Old news is not news.

While blogging every day can be a drain, it is important that the information presented is current and accurate, writing an article or blurb about something that happened 6 months ago, will not be of interest to many. Telling your audience that Martha Stewart was convicted and will be going to prison, after her sentence is completed will make people question the value of your columns.

4.) Adhere to a schedule.

Create a schedule and stick to it. Realizing that blogging requires time and effort, don’t create unrealistic expectations and be unable to deliver. An occasional lapse or holiday is generally understood but readers returning to find stale, out-dated content are going to find another blog with similar content. New blogs and RSS feeds are popping up on a daily basis. If you have worked hard to develop an audience and a community you don’t want to lose them due to lack of communication.

5.) Clarity and simplicity.

Keep your posts and blog entries clear and easy to understand. Remember, the web is global and expressions, idioms and acronyms don’t always translate. Sometimes a little explanation goes a long way.

6.) Keyword-rich.

If the goal of your blog is to increase your visibility, include related keywords in the title of the blog. Use the title as a headline to attract interest. Each item post should have a title that will attract attention but still be relevant to the post. The title should be no longer than 10-12 words.

7.) Quantity matters.
In order to attract the attention of search engines, you will need to develop content and substance. A headline or simple sentence is not going to generate the interest of readers or help with search engine ranking. Be sure to archive old blog posts to develop a large portal of similarly-themed content.

8.) Frequency.
If your blog content is updated frequently, search engines will tend to spider the pages at regular intervals.

9.) Spell checking and proof-reading.
It only takes a few extra moments and can save you from having to make embarrassing explanations. Remember that whatever you publish on the Internet can be found and archived. Think carefully about what you post before doing so.

10.) RSS.
RSS will increase your blog’s reach. It is important that you include your blog’s content in an RSS feed to increase readership and distribution.

Most weblog audiences are small, but with time and regular updates audiences grow. Bloggers may never have more than a few hundred readers, but the people who return to regularly are generally interested in what you have to say.

Should You Create a Website or Blog for Your Special Event?

A special “Event Website” might be a perfect way to promote your event. But is it worth the effort?

Let’s say your company or group decides to hold a special event six or twelve months down the road. Eventually somebody on the planning committee will suggest the group create a special website for the event: “We can create an online registration form, include information about the special speakers and entertainment, post a schedule, and provide links to accommodation, travel agents, etc., etc.”

Sounds like a good idea.

But how can you maximize the effectiveness of such a site? Will it be something that people actually refer to and use? Or will creating it just be a waste of time and effort? Do you have somebody in the group who can get this kind of site up and running quickly? Or will you have to defer to your already overworked company webmaster or the same creative volunteers who are always exploited for such projects?

And will anybody apart from a few select insiders (your committee members) actually be able to find the site once it is set up?

Some important issues to consider

Here are some of the more important issues to consider before you go ahead and create another website that nobody looks at.

1. Will its content be “deep” enough to make it more than just an online announcement? Many websites start out as good ideas, but quickly fizzle when their creators realize they don’t really have much to say. In the case of event websites, the “depth” of a proposed site will depend on the event itself.

For instance, say your Agricultural Society is running a Fall Fair. Wouldn’t an event site be ideal for providing details about competition categories, judging criteria, daily schedules of events, as well as online registration forms, entertainment highlights, and general program notes? In other words, an extended event of this sort provides lots of fodder for making a site “deep” enough to be a valuable resource for visitors and participants alike.

On the other hand if your committee is in charge of organizing a one night Fireworks Display, then chances are the program will be pretty light. There’s not much need for a complete website. You would be better off just creating a web page or an announcement and asking the webmasters of relevant sites to give you some exposure.

Of course there are lots of events right in the middle between these two examples. Family Reunions, for instance. What could be better than a “Jones-05.org” site? You could include contact information, program descriptions, historical photos, comments from family members across the country…on and on it goes.

2. Should your “site” be part of another already existing one, or should you register a new domain specifically for your event?

Say you are organizing the 50th Anniversary Some Company Picnic. The Company already has an active website — www.something.com. And the company website already has a skilled webmaster. Would it be better to ask your company webmaster to put your event in a directory on www.something.com — for example, www.something.com/50th, or www.50th.acmewidgets.com? Or would you be better off to create a brand new “domain” just for the event — something like www.something50.com?

First of all, don’t worry about the cost to create your own site. Yes, it does cost something to register a new domain and find a host. But these costs are insignificant in the larger scheme of things. You can register a “.com” domain for as little as $9.99 (per year), and an .info or .biz domain for as low as $11.99 or less. And hosting is very cheap as well. The standard these days is about $4.19 per month for a reliable host. Here is an inexpensive source for domains.

Much more important is whether or not your group has the know-how to actually create a website from scratch and then maintain it for a year or more. If you have an experienced web designer or webmaster on your committee he or she will probably be able to set the group up for next to nothing. If you don’t, I suggest you find one before tackling the job. This is not the time for flying by the seat of your pants.

If you are able to find someone with the necessary skills, then it’s a no-brainer. Go ahead. Register your own domain and build your own site. You won’t have to beg your overly protective company webmaster for favors. And just as important, you will be able to register a memorable domain name that will help you in your promotional efforts. Which do you think would be easier to remember and find: www.something.com/50th or www.something50.com?

3. Should you create an Event Blog instead of a normal website? Or both?

Blogs have several advantages over “ordinary” websites. First, you do not need a dedicated domain name, or even space on an already existing site. You can create a perfectly satisfactory blog site on one of the free blog services such as Google’s own blogspot.com.

Second, blog entries are usually easier to make than changes or updates to a normal website. Blog posts are made by using a web form. No knowledge of html is required (although it is helpful), and you do not have to use mysterious computer functions like “FTP” to “upload” your files to a server somewhere out in cyberspace.

Third, blogs have a more “happening” chatty feeling about them because they are generally less formal. You bang your posts off as regularly as you can. This allows you to issue regular updates to keep your readers informed as plans develop, schedules change, and so on.

Fourth, blogs have some advantages as far as “networking” and traffic generating are concerned. There are many directories where you can list your blog, and you can network with like-minded bloggers — other people interested in your subject matter. You can also use your blog to do some serious “power linking”.

The down side is that a blog may not be the best place to keep your definitive schedules and descriptions of events — the ones you expect people to refer to as authoritative sources of information. This is more a matter of perception than reality. A blog is quite capable of being home to “static” information which you can readily update and provide links to. But the perception may be that this is transitory and changing.

Corporate Blogging: 7 Best Practices

Blogs have become one of the hottest communication tools on the Web. Offering the opportunity for anyone to create their own free Web site, encouraging opinions and interaction, blogs provide forums for individuals to create their own highly personal presentations to the Web audience. They also provide for consortia of all types to experience the sort of online community feeling that was pioneered by early newsgroups and by the phenomenal success of AOL in the 1990s.

Blogs have reached into the corporate and government sectors as well. What started out as an outlet for teenage expression and grassroots journalism has turned into a lucrative communications tool for small and large businesses alike.

Corporate Blogging refers to a company producing or supporting a blog that it uses to accomplish business objectives. As with anything, there are certain “best practices” to be followed to ensure your company reaps the maximum benefits. These seven tips guidelines will help make your blog a success.

1. Fine Print. Blogging can lead to legal issues. Companies should have real concerns about liability, exclusions and limitations, and indemnity. Although there are laws that protect against libel, misappropriations and other injuries suffered as a result of posts on the Web, companies can still be held “vicariously” responsible for statements made by employees that are harmful to others. Since there are so many legal issues surrounding blogs, it is imperative that the site has some sort of disclaimer and limitation of liability.

2. Know What You’re Doing. Senior management should be educated by the corporate communications and legal department about what blogs are and how they might affect business. That way, they can be contributing members of the blog, further improving employee relations. Their support and participation is often what makes a blog more effective.

3. Create blogging policies. In any medium where an employee is sharing information, there is the possibility of leaking trade secrets or financial information. Blogging also has a tendency to become personal. A company should have a list of policies regarding blogging to ensure that trade secrets are kept secret and personal lives do not become public. Policies may include keeping financial information from being posted, as well as severe consequences for anyone using the blog for negative publicity.

4. Avoid the Marketing Blog. Making your blog into a blatant marketing campaign is a bad idea. Customers are looking for real answers and honest opinions. They will pick up on insincerity instantly. Use the blog for what it’s for, transparency. This is an opportunity to make a real connection with your customers. Don’t ruin it by filling it with empty advertising.

5. Keep It Fresh. Blogs are usually judged by their amount of new content. Easy to add on to, they are designed to be updated constantly. To keep your readers coming back, make your content relevant and timely. Don’t forget, content can include anything from product releases to job openings, recent news to thoughts from the CEO. It’s practically impossible to run out of material.

6. Reinforce the company’s core values. Use your blog to reflect your company’s inner soul: its mission, goals and direction. A blog is just another medium by which you interact with your customers and employees. It’s another part of the brand experience. It should be consistent with the impression the company wants to make.

7. Encourage employees to use it. Create an atmosphere where they are comfortable asserting their opinions and concerns. You’ll be surprised how the quietest employees will speak up when given such an opportunity. With all communication, blogging can become negative, so remind employees of the public nature of the blogs and the ramifications for their actions.

Blogging Can Improve Your Search Engine Ranking

Search engines are after one thing – providing their users with the most relevant and up to date information to match the search term that was used. Search engine results are no good to users when the information doesn’t relate to the search term. Nor are the results any good if they are old. People expect the most up to date, fresh information that is relevant to them.

That’s why search engines love sites which are highly focused on a specific subject and which have regularly updated content. If you add material to your web site every day, you will get noticed by the search engines. If the information you add to your web site is directly centred on the precise focus of your site, all the better as far as the search engines are concerned.

That’s why blogging can improve your search engine ranking. Blogging allows you to add content quickly and easily to your web site. However, you need to ensure two things:

1. The blog must be hosted at your domain – not at blogspot.com. or any other of the blogging hosts.

2. The blog must contain relevant content and links which are well within the focus of your site.

A blog which is an online journal won’t help your site’s search engine ranking because the content isn’t that relevant to the focus of your site. An online journal style of blog is unlikely to have keywords in the entries.

What this means is that your blog needs to contain hints, tips and short articles. It can contain summaries of articles which are carried in full on other pages. In short, your blog needs real, valuable content.

If you add real content to your blog pages, at the very least a couple of times a week, you will notice your blog gaining interest by the search engines. You will also see that your blog becomes a much more important ‘entry point’ for people who visit your web site. That’s an indication that your blog page is gaining ground in the search engine rankings. And that will be due to its regular updating.

Blogging- Vent, Sell, Promote and Earn Cash

There are many stress techniques out in the world today. Everything from working out your anger to counting. If you’re fed up with trying the same methods, try blogging. Blogging on many websites is free and can be fun. There’s no age limit and many have no entry limit. Instead of the old method, try blogging with a free online blog. You can make it private or public. Sometimes public is good because you’re still anonymous but you can receive feedback from others who have the same frustration. Then again you may get some cruel feedback. If you do, you can delete the comment/note.

Blogging can also help you become a better typist. How? If you have a lot of anger/emotion built up inside yourself, you will have a lot to write out. Writing a lot means you type more which can help improve your typing skills. An example of a blog helping is:

Let’s say you’re in school and you got an awful grade. You can go onto your blog and vent how you feel it’s completely unfair, that you spent hours on the assignment. Or let’s say you have a dreaded “family” visit and you sit there for hours with a fake smile while listening to these relatives who bore you out of your skull. Once they leave, log into your blog and vent how much you hated the visit. Allowing yourself to fully vent (I don’t suggest putting actual real life names because they could find your blog then, perhaps make it private) can help you get things off your chest and avoid things building up.

If you have google ads you can have them on your blog and have a chance of earning some cash on the side. Or on your blog you could sell an e-book. Blogs can also sell your services by showing what you can provide and samples. Search engines often times picks up on blogs. The more you update, the more a search engine will pick you up.

Lastly a blog can just be for you to keep others updated in your life or your business. One of the most well known blogging places is http://www.blogspot.com Check them out, if you don’t like, you can delete your blog. Happy writing!

Top 10 Ways To Get People Online To Read Your Business Blog

There are many advantages of running a blog, on top of your business website. A blog is an online diary, whereby you can easily posts clips about yourself, your thoughts and your personal life. If you publish a business blog, you posts good content, articles, breaking news or just about anything to build awareness of what you are selling.

Publishing a business blog gives your subscriber or prospect a chance to get to know you better. Through your blog, you can explain how your life has changed due to the product or service that you are selling. A blog can also be highly interactive if you also allow comments and for all to see. For sure, blogging provides a good avenue to establish some level of trust and security for an online prospect who has never met you.

Here are top 10 ways to get people to read your business blog:

1. Have a general theme and state this theme at the top or in a prominent location in your blog. Creating a general theme helps attract a group of targeted readers. However, do strike a balance. You don’t also want too narrow a theme. Otherwise, you may find yourself having difficulty finding new things to talk about in your blog every few days.

2. Be current in what you post. Don’t report about events that happen one year ago. You can refer to the particular event if relevant and/or via a link. For these past events, assume that people already know about them.

3. Keep a regular schedule. When readers return to your blog, they want to read about something new. Be sure to manage your readers’ expectations.

4. Post frequently. Search engine spiders love sites that are constantly updated with fresh content. At the very least, posting once every few days is a good idea.

5. Keep your posts short and clear. Don’t post long essays. Blog readers are known to like to zip in and out of online diaries. Keep your long essays to articles that you can publish on a separate webpage or in your newsletter.

6. Make your tittle keyword-rich. This helps in getting your posts better ranked by search engine spiders via the keywords that you use.

7. Post interesting content. No one is going to be interested in what you ate for breakfast. Not unless you are maintaining a food blog and you want to post your breakfast recipe!
Making your content interesting will ensure that your readers continue to read your blog loyally.

8. Have a unique perspective. Readers are interested to know what you think. If you are offering your opinion, be sure that you are able to qualify them.

9. Take note of your language and grammar. Even if you are posting an opinion. It is always safer to write in proper English if you are hoping to monetize from your blog.

10. Don’t forget to have a RSS feed. RSS means “Rich Site Syndication”. To increase readership and distribution, this is one thing that you must not omit in doing.

Gathered Statistical Data Announces That Blogs Will Dominate

At a distinctive and stable growth rate of Blog users at an average of more than 100% within a researched 190 day cycle, the Internet should be ready for a “Blog Boom” anytime soon. Microsoft announced more than 4.5 million weblog spaces were created in MSN Spaces since 11 January 2005. On average, users are updating about 170,000 blogs on MSN Spaces every day and uploading about 1.9 million photos a day.

France music radio station SkyRock’s Skyblog is no exception. They will have an estimated 3.5 to 4 million blogs by year end. On average, more than 8,000 blogs are created daily, averaging out about 39 posts and 53 comments per blog.

Blog search engines in particular, are reporting searches in the tens of millions, consisting of a large diversity in language and geographical differences.

Technorati, a giant blog tracking site, finds that its tracking volumes double for every 5 months for the past 20 months. Technorati is estimating a jump at a high 15 million blogs by the end of August 2005, and doubles up to 30 million in January 2006.

Bloggers themselves are not left out entirely by this rapid growth. It is not particularly uncommon for some to celebrate their 100 millionth visitor mark.

It is gathered, that one third of online adult Americans know blogs from a recent survey of the general public. More than a quarter of South Korea’s 50 million population are bloggers.

How To Create Your Own Blog Using Blogger

It takes only a few minutes and is easy to setup your own weblog using the Blogger weblog system. By completing only three simple steps, creating an account, naming your blog and choosing a template, you too can join the thousands of people now blogging on the web. Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide to help to get you started using Blogger

1. Go to Blogger.com and click on the arrow that says “Create Your Blog Now.” You’ll be asked to create a user name and choose a password that you’ll use to access your Blogger account; choose a display name that will be used to sign your posts (e.g., moody mom, blogger, etc.) and provide an email address. You’ll also be asked to check a box indicating that you accept Blogger’s Terms of Service . Then click on “Continue” to go the next screen.

2. On the next screen to name your blog (e.g., The Blog Report, Myrah’s Insanity Report, etc.) You can choose any name you wish. After you choose your blog title, you need to choose your URL address. This is the web address that people can click to access your blog. Again, as long as it’s not taken, you can choose any address you want. Remember, the shorter and easier to spell the better it will be for people to remember. Also remember, that many thousands of people use Blogger to host their weblog and it may take you a while to find a web address that hasn’t already been taken. Finally, for security purposes, you’ll need to provide word verification by typing in the box the word that is displayed above the box on the screen. Then, click “Continue” to move to next screen.

3. On the next screen, you’ll need to choose a template for your blog. This is the design of your blog, what your blog will look like to visitors. Blogger provides 12 different templates to choose from. Pick your favorite. You can change the look of your blog at a later time by choosing a different Blogger template or using of the hundreds of free templates that are available across the Internet. After you choose your template, click “Continue.” Blogger will begin creating your blog.

4. Once it’s created, click on “Start Posting” and write your first post for the world to see. Click on “Publish Post” and Blogger will tell you it is publishing your post. Then click on the “View Blog” tab and you’ll find that you’re officially a member of the blogging world.

The Real Bloggers Must Come From Another Planet

What in the world is up with the world of blogs? Blogs are meant to be this great new technology where people can share their ideas and interests with others around the globe. As far as I’m concerned the state of blogs is one of chaos, confusion, and anti-interactivity. The other day I decided to do some research on the Web and try to connect to some blog writers out there that interested me. Let me tell you it was not an enjoyable task as I had envisioned. I spent four painful hours surfing through around a thousand on-line journals, and I found only a few that interested me. What are we doing out there people?

First of all, just getting to a blog can be a pain in the arse. For example, you type in the words ‘Philosophy blogs’ and a whole bunch of sites come up. Some are conglomerate sites with thousands of journals, but the area you’re searching for may have only one blog in it! This is because they separate the blogs into a million different categories, like ‘love’, ‘lovers’, ‘lovable’ etc. Why not have just a few main categories to choose from?

The next problem is the content. People with ‘philosophical’ blogs are having personal chats with their mates about the local dance competition on Tuesday! Why not go to a chat room if you just want to talk to your friends? Blogs are supposed to be a personal viewpoint expressed to the whole Web community. Wouldn’t you actually like to meet more people like yourself? How is this going to happen if you talk in strange uncommon slang and acronyms that you and your friends can only understand? Please stick to the subject at hand, and take it at least half seriously.

Another major problem is the fact that you can find a really cool blog that sparks an interest, but then find that the writer hasn’t added an entry in over a year! What’s it doing on the Net? Have these people passed away? I seriously doubt it, as there are so many blogs in this ‘lost’ state. Having a blog is a responsibility; it’s a shared diary for the whole community. How can someone form a relationship if you only write in your blog once a millennium?

Back to the subject of content: These on-line journals are a real chance to communicate regularly with others with similar views to yourself. We can learn a lot from each other, as each human is an individual with special traits and skills that only they have. So why do we see so many blogs just talking about trivial nonsense like ‘Who the coolest movie actor is.’ Humanity is an intelligent species evolving everyday towards a higher consciousness. So where are all the thinkers out there, the people who have taken us to the next levels of spirituality and scientific exploration? I’d really like to hear what you’ve got to say, but all I can find are philosophical beliefs on why died pink jeans express one’s true inner self.

The issue of making comments on someone’s blog is also a controversial one. Why have comments sections if you’re not going to reply to people who have expressed an interest in what you’ve had to say? How is this community going to function if all the conversation is one-way! Come on people, wake up and smell the onions! Let’s change the blogging community into the awesome structure of shared knowledge that it was intended for. Please don’t let it turn into the small-talk world of chat rooms.

Blogging On Ecademy Will Boost Your Web Site

For many people blogging is the way in which they are able to update their web site with new information and fresh content. As such, blogs are a great way of gaining returning visitors to your web site.

However, there are other places you can post blog entries which can also affect the popularity of your web site. One such place is Ecademy.com.

Ecademy is the world’s largest online network of people in business. Once you sign up as a member you get access to the blogging system within Ecademy. This allows you to post entries to the Ecademy blog. You can post anything, as long as it is not an advertisement.

However – and here’s the important part – if your blog entry on Ecademy includes a link back to your own web site you will benefit. That’s because Ecademy is one of the world’s most frequently updated web sites; it changes every minute. As a result it is adored by the search engines who re-index Ecademy several times a day in some instances.

This means if you post a blog entry on Ecademy, include in it some keywords related to your site and have a link to your site in your signature, you will be indexed by the likes of Google. Once your link is seen within Ecademy you get a bonus benefit. Not only is your link followed through by the search engines, but because your link is on a high profile site, your site is seen more favorably.

However, you need to ensure that your entry on Ecademy is real content – no keyword stuffing for instance. If your entry is not useful it can be removed by the Ecademy staff. Even if it is allowed, Google will not see your site as important if your blog entry isn’t focused on what your site is about. But if you post entries onto Ecademy which are directly related to your web site you will see search engine benefits.

Furthermore, you’ll also see many people visit your site as a direct result of your link in the Ecademy blog. So, don’t just think of blogging on your own site; add your blog postings to Ecademy as well.