Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Blogging 101

If writing is an art, then, blogging is one way of using words to come up with an art. This is because people who are into blogging are the ones who are artistic on their own sense, carefully choosing words that would best describe their feelings, sentiments, wishes, desires, and everything.

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Basically, blogs were first introduced as weblogs that refer to a "server's log file." It was created when web logging hit the virtual market. Since its inception in the mid-1990s, web logging gradually saturated the virtual community making the Internet a viable source of greater information.

However, with web logging, you still need a web site and domain names, but with blogging, you do not need anything just an account with blog providers. In most cases, these kinds of blogs are free of charge.

With the onset of blogging in the industry, personal journaling had been a common ground for people who wish to be known all over the world. However, not literally famous as this is not a case on being popular or well-known personality.

Generally, blogs are created for personal use. Like a journal, people can write their daily adventures, sentiments, and whatever ideas they want to express online.

Nevertheless, with the advent of the online businesses, blogs had gradually taken the limelight in providing businesses a chance to boost their productivity online. This is where the business blogs have taken the limelight.

Business blogs are, basically, created to advertise the services or products of a certain web site or online business in order to increase online sales.

Moreover, business blogs are also one way of promoting the company so that the other readers will know that a certain company exists online. With blogs, entrepreneurs are able to establish a name in the virtual market through articles that can be very useful in the reader's life.

From there, you can make money out of blogs by simply syndicating it to your business' web site. This can be done through the RSS technology.

So, if you are thinking to create a blog, whether for business or for pleasure, you need to know some tips that could help you get through and make your blog one of the interesting blogs online.

Here's how:

1. Consider your audience

Even if your blog is generally personal, still, it would be better to consider the minds of your readers. You have to think of something that would interest them.

After all, most of the reasons of people who write blogs are not at all confined to their own personal motives. Most of them would love to be "heard" (or read) and would love to be known, in some way or another, even for just a minute. Hence, it is very important to come with a write up that everybody can understand, not necessarily that these people can relate to it but they can understand it.

2. Pictures speaks a thousand words

To make your blogging worth the browsing effort of your readers, it would be extremely nice if you will put some pictures in it. It does not necessarily mean you have to place a picture of yourself. Any photographs will do as long as it does not pose danger or insult to anyone who will be reading your blog.

3. Make constructive and beneficial blogs

Even if you are free to write anything you wan to say to the world, still, it would be better to create some write-ups that would be beneficial to your readers.

After all, its information technology that you have there so better be inclined to provide information rather than sheer quirky entertainment.

4. Avoid making multifaceted and complicated blogs

In order to have an interesting blogs, try not to use some highly technical and highfalutin words. After all, it is not a science discourse or a debate that you are making, so better stick to simple facts and short blogs.

Bear in mind that most people who use the Internet usually do more scanning than scrutinizing each site word for word. Therefore, it would be better to come with blogs that will not bore your readers just because you have these lengthy articles.

5. Make it interactive

As much as possible and if your capacity will allow it, make your blog interactive. Yu can do this by placing some video or audio clips in your blog.

You can even place an area for comments or for some feedbacks. In this way, you can get some impressions or reactions of other people. Who knows, you might even gain some friends just by making them feel at home in your blog site.

Indeed, blogs are not created just for the mere fun of it. It also has its own purpose in the world of the Internet.
Therefore, for people who wish to harness their craft, as far as writing is concerned, blogs are the best way to do it.

As they say, blogging is the contemporary term of creative and commercial writing.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Boost Your Business With Blogging!

Business blog is an incredible online marketing tool that saves you thousands of dollars but provides great business opportunities in just one click. Blogs are user-friendly, customized and flexible medium for disseminating useful information for effective positioning of your products in the market.

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Companies engaging in business blogging have a definite edge over its competitors.

Here are some advantages:

- Word-of-Mouth. In a survey, there are currently 14 million blogs with 80,000 more being added each day and about 30 percent of the 50 million users are blog readers. Imagine how much gain your company will have, if your products are advertised through blogs. With Internet, information spreads so quickly especially if an impressive write-up goes with your product. Soon your blogs will be passed on to hundreds of possible customers.

- Awareness and loyalty. Open communication with your customers creates trust and loyalty among them. Being there to respond to their questions and comments make them all the more willing to try your products and services.

- Feedback. Blogs is good for product research and reviews. It would be easier to improve on your products if you observe your customers' thinking and behavioral patterns. You can also take immediate action to your customers' concerns.

- Community halo-effect. Bloggers are reasonable, friendly and helpful. They are more than willing to create blogosphere of comments regarding your product. The only thing you have to do is embrace and take active part in the culture and your product will surely be considered in their next stop to the supermarket.

For better marketing results, actively promote your business blogs by submitting your blogs to blog search sites and directories. Do not forget to paste in with your blogs, your URL. Be sure that your blogs contain exclusive information with value and are always updated to keep readers popping in, read up your blog, move on to the next and click on again for updates.

Blog is like a setup booth in the biggest trade show on earth everyday. Marketing possibilities are just around the corner waiting to strike your sale scales up.

The Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds are important too in conjunction with your blogs to get the best benefits. Use effective keyword phrases to generate high ranking status in the search engine traffic. In this way you have better chances of people finding your website leading to your blogs. More traffic means more potential sales.

For this to be successful, you can use RSS for news update feeds which can be read through RSS reader application. This is a very useful tool for business and internet marketers as well.

If you are already convinced with the potentials of business blogs for marketing and targeting sales increase, your company is now ready to start blogging. But first, you have to be in tune with your company's business objectives and determine if blogging will really help you achieve your goal.

1. Several blogs are dedicated to teaching people the do's and don'ts of blogging, READ them! Include in your reading materials blogs that are consumer-based too to give you an idea.

2. Setup several test blogs right away.

If your initial try out with blogs worked well, you can now start setting up your blogs.

1. Study blog design. Blog hosting services provide pre-designed templates. But if you opt for paid blog service, you can ask your artist to design and layout your blog site to match the company's identity and needs.

2. Choose a topic. Its good to have a line-up of topics you want for your blogs but be sure they are in consonance with your business objectives. This would be a test of your flexibility and open-mindedness since results may be going against the set objectives.

3. Remember the following safety measures in blogging:

- legal issues are sometimes involved in blogging; it is safer to include disclaimers and limitations of liabilities;
- corporate communication and legal department are responsible in educating the senior management on how blogs might affect business;
- create blogging policies; set limits on who gets to blog and what information are allowed to be made public;
- avoid outright marketing blog or you will shy away your readers;
- make content updated, relevant and fresh;
- reinforce the company's core values; and,
- encourage employees to use it.

4. Start blogging and complete 20 posts before going to marketing.

5. Begin marketing.

6. Regularly monitor the coming ins and outs of readers and get updates. Then, measure your results.

7. Adjust if needed. You can always play with your designs in the blog site as long as it remains to match the company's identity.

8. Strive to be consistent with your topic all the time.

9. Try to have unrelated topics with general and broad appeal.

10. Schedule updates regularly. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday would be best to update blogs.

Once you have done all these things, you can now ultimately enjoy the benefits of business blogging.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Beginners Guide To Blogging

A blog is basically an online journal wherein you can digitally pen down your thoughts, ideas, opinions and practically anything that you want people to read. Blogs come in different styles, formats, and settings, depending on the preference of the user. Many blogging sites, offer built in features such as hyperlink, straight texts, pictures etc. Some blogging sites, even allow you to put video and mp3's on your blogs.

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Instead of writing texts, some bloggers choose to make their blogs more audio friendly, by using spoken word entries. This is called audio blogging.

Basically a blog contains these features:

title- which allows you to label your post
body- this is the content of your post
trackback- other sites can be linked back to your blog
permanent link- every article that you write has a URL
comments- this allow readers to post comments on your blog.

One of the advantages of blogging, is that it is made of only a few templates. Unlike, other websites that is made up of numerous individual pages. This make it easier for blog users to create new pages, because it already has a fix setting that include: slots for title, body of the post, category, etc.

This is especially useful for first time users, since they can start blogging right away. They can chose from a number of templates that blogging websites provide.

Anyone who wants to start a blog can do so by becoming a member of a blogging website of their choice. Once they've become members, they automatically become a part of that particular blogging community. They can browse through other bloggers pages, and link them back to their own blogs. They can also make comments on other members' blogs.

Blogging is not just limited to personal usage. There are a lot of blogs that follow a theme such as: sports, politics, philosophy, social commentary, etc. These blogs espouse on their specific themes. This way blogging becomes a medium in which people can share their knowledge and opinions about a variety of themes and topics.

Some bloggers even use their blogs as a means to advertise. Some authors advertise their books on their blogs. While other bloggers, use their blogs to shed light to currents issues, events, news and catastrophes.

Nowadays in education, blogs also play an important part. Professors use blogging to document the lessons that they have discussed and taught. This way, students who who have missed classes, can easily catch up with their assignments.

A lot of entrepreneurs benefit from blogging by promoting their businesses on their blogs, with millions and millions of people logging onto the net everyday, blogging has become a lucrative move. Some bloggers who run online businesses promote their merchandise online. While others profit through advertisement.

But by far, the most popular blog type is the one that takes the form of a personal journal. This is the kind that is usually used by first time bloggers. Individuals who want to document the daily struggle of their everyday lives, poems, rants, opinions, find that blogging offers them a medium in which to express themselves.

Bloggers usually communicate within themselves. This is one of the appeals of blogging. It creates a community of people sharing their ideas, thoughts, and comments with each other.

Blogs varying in topics, themes, and set-ups, can be found in blog directories. First time users who want to get an idea of what the blogging world is all about can browse through a number of blogs using these directories. This way they'd get an idea of what these blogging communities are like.

Blogging is popular all over the world. Blog is short for the term weblog. There are no rules when it comes to blogging. Bloggers have the freedom to express themselves how ever way they want, and the best thing about blogging, is that most blogging sites are free.

There are numerous blogging websites to choose from in the net. This give first time users the option of joining a blogging community that appeals to their interests.

Just search any blogging directory and you'd get a listing of a lot of blogging sites that are available on the net. It's easy to search a blogging directory, because it is organized according to category. This way you would get exactly what you are after. Blogging is really for everyone. It is fun, simple and easy.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

ProBlogging: Making Money From Blogs

A weblog (or simply blog) is a website that 'publishes' or features articles (which are called 'blog posts', 'posts', or 'entries'), written by an individual or a group that make use of any or a combination of the following:

- Straight texts
- Photographs or images (photoblog)
- Video (videoblog)
- Audio files (audioblog)
- Hyperlinks

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Usually presented and arranged in reverse chronological order, blogs are essentially used for the following purposes:

- Online journal or a web diary
- Content managament system
- Online publishing platform

A typical blog has the following components:

- Post date -the date and time of the blog entry

- Category - the category that the blog belongs to

- Title - the title of the blog

- Main body - the main content of the blog

- RSS and trackback - links the blog back from other sites

- Comments - commentaries that are added by readers

- Permalinks - the URL of the full article

- Other optional items - calendar, archives, blogrolls, and add-ons or plug-ins

A blog can also have a footer, usually found at the bottom of the blog, that shows the post date, the author, the category, and the 'stats' (the nubmer of comments or trackbacks).

There are numerous types of blogs. Some of them are the following:

1. Political blog - on news, politics, activism, and other issue based blogs (such as campaigning).

2. Personal blog - also known as online diary that may include an individual's day-to-day experience, complaints, poems, and illicit thoughts, and communications between friends.

3. Topical blog - with focus either on a particular niche (function or position) that is usually technical in nature or a local information.

4. Health blog - on specific health issues. Medical blog is a major category of health blog that features medical news from health care professionals and/or actual patient cases.

5. Literary blog - also known as litblog.

6. Travel blog - with focus on a traveler's stories on a particular journey.

7. Research blog - on academic issues such as research notes.

8. Legal blog - on law (technical areas) and legal affairs; also known as 'blawgs'.

9. Media blog - focus on falsehoods or inconsistencies in mass media; usually exclusive for a newspaper or a television network.

10. Religious blog - on religious topics

11. Educational blog - on educational applications, usually written by students and teachers.

12. Collaborative or collective blog - a specific topic written by a group of people.

13. Directory blog - contains a collection of numerous web sites.

14. Business blog - used by entrepreneurs and corporate employees to promote their businesses or talk about their work.

15. Personification blog - focus on non-human being or objects (such as dogs).

16. Spam blogs - used for promoting affiliated websites; also known as 'splogs'.

Blogging is typically done on a regular (almost daily) basis. The term "blogging" refers to the act of authoring, maintaining, or adding an article to an existing blog, while the term "blogger" refers to a person or a group who keeps a blog.

Today, more than 3 million blogs can be found in the Internet. This figure is continuously growing, as the availability of various blog software, tools, and other applications make it easier for just about anyone to update or maintain the blog (even those with little or no technical background). Because of this trend, bloggers can now be categorized into 4 main types:

- Personal bloggers - people who focus on a diary or on any topic that an individual feels strongly about.

- Business bloggers - people who focus on promoting products and services.

- Organizational bloggers - people who focus on internal or external communication in an organization or a community.

- Professional bloggers - people who are hired or paid to do blogging.

Problogging (professional blogging) refers to blogging for a profit. Probloggers (professional bloggers) are people who make money from blogging (as an individual blog publisher or a hired blogger).

Below are just some of the many money-making opportunities for probloggers:

- Advertising programs
- RSS advertising
- Sponsorship
- Affiliate Programs
- Digital assets
- Blog network writing gigs
- Business blog writing gigs
- Non blogging writing gigs
- Donations
- Flipping blogs
- Merchandising
- Consulting and speaking

The following are a few things that you need to consider if you want to be successful in problogging:

1. Be patient. Problogging requires a lot of time and effort, not to mention a long-term vision.

2. Know your audience. Targeting a specific audience or group is a key to building a readership.

3. Be an 'expert'. Focus on a specific niche topic and strive to be the "go-to" blogger on that topic.

4. Diversify. Experiment with various add and affiliate programs that enable you to make money online (aside from blogging).

5. Do not bore your readers. Focus on the layout. White spaces, line spacings, and bigger fonts make a blog welcoming to read.

Certainly, it is possible to earn money from blogs. One just needs to take risks, the passion, and the right attitude in order to be a successful problogger.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Getting Started With Videoblogging

Videoblogging is the next generation of posting ideas and products over the internet. Everybody knows about textblogging. Now they use videos for a better way of expression. This form of communication may entail a lot of resources, but it is all worth it. If pictures say a thousand words, videoblogging exceeds that by far.

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A videoblog requires larger disk spaces on websites, a faster server, and a whole new set of programs to support it. Videoblogs can be fed through RSS. This is technology of syndicating your website to other RSS aggregators.

Videoblogging works with people on the internet expressing their selves. Now if you put this on a business prospective, you are up to a lot of benefits. Think of it as a powerful tool in making showing your prospective customers your line of products or your services. It's just like showing a commercial all for free. And if you videoblog through RSS, then most probably you are getting your target market.

People like to see what they are going to buy. Some would like to see proof and be sure that they are getting their money's worth before shelving their dimes on it. All of us know the influence of a thirty second commercial. The effect of videoblogging is similar to that. You show your product, people watch it. If they like it, they buy it. If you present it good enough, they'll buy the product even if they don't need it.

Now on the web, things are pretty much static, unlike in television in which all are moving. If you post something that is mobile, it would most likely catch attention. Now imaging your product parading in all it's royalty through videoblog. You'll get phone call orders in no time.

If your business is just starting up, you can create a videoblog right at your own home. All you need is your web camera, microphone, video software, and lights. For as long as you know how to use your camera, then you can create a videoblog.

Invest in a good web camera. The higher its resolution is the better the output. And you like to present your goods in the optimum way so get the best one possible. Make a short story, or just capture your goods in one go. Just make sure you are getting the best profile for each. Get those creativity juices flowing.

Lights are important in a production. Make sure you illuminate entirely the area you are going to use to create videoblog. The brighter the area, the crispier the images will be. You can also use lighting effects for added appeal to the presentation.

Should you require sounds for your videoblog, you need a microphone. Record you voice as a voice over for promoting the product and its benefit to consumers. Sounds are as important as videos on a videoblog. It is advisable to make your sound effects as enticing as the video.

Your video editing software can be any program. You need this to finalize your work. You can add sounds, delete some bad angles, or insert some still pictures in there too. Some programs are user-friendly and can be used even with zero knowledge on video editing. Even simple video editing programs should do the trick. Select your background carefully too. The light affects the presentation so make sure that the background and the light complements each other.

Videoblogging is a great tool but it also has it downside. It may slow down the computer so other may steer clear of it. Download time may also be time consuming especially if customer is still on a dial- up connection.

But don't let those stop you. Let videoblogging be an alternative for you, though it is best to still keep the text and pictures present in your presentation to accommodate all possible viewers of your site.

Nowadays, the more creative you are in presenting your product to the market, they more you are likely to succeed. Videoblogging offers an interactive way of selling. You involve the customers. You instill in them the advantage of your goods. And at times, those are enough to make a sale.