The Future Is Blogging
By Lori Osterberg
Seems like everyone is talking about blogging. The writers in your favorite magazine have a blog. Your teenage son has a blog. Is it time for you to have one too?
A blog is an online web log, or journal, that allows the owner to easily write entries onto their website. A typical blog contains text, images, links to other sites, and in some cases video, all related to one particular topic. A blog is easy to start, easy to maintain, and offers people an easy way to share their thoughts and ideas with a worldwide audience.
So why have blogs become all the rage over the past year? It lies with their simplicity.
Blogs are a simple, friendly way of communicating with an audience. Using a blog is as easy as typing into a Word document. Whether you choose a free, templated system such as Blogger, or have a custom designed blog to match your business branding, a blog allows you to be in control of the content.
Blogs are naturally search engine friendly because they are filled with text-rich content, link-rich information, and are frequently updated with new material. They are also built for simplicity, and have very little extraneous HTML coding - which means your content is what the search engines see, not the programming.
Blogs may have more access to audiences than ezines, and can be worked in conjunction with your ezine to offer more information to a larger audience. Ezines, or e-newsletters are sent through the email system; which means they are subjected to Spam filters. Studies show that up to 30 percent of all legitimate email can be blocked by incoming Spam filters. Blogs however, can be subscribed to in many ways, including RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds. When people view the information coming through RSS, they are in reading-mode, and pay more attention to the content. Because email can often come in overwhelming quantities, even requested information may be deleted due to lack of time.
Blogs also allow you to easily share all kinds of information in all kinds of media. Show your personality and your expertise. Speak in a voice as if you were speaking one to one with your visitors. Share your thoughts, your photographs and your videos. Link to appropriate websites and resources. Become a resource within your community.
And above all have fun with it. Don't treat it like a daily chore. Instead, think of it as a way of sharing valuable information with future clients.
You'll be surprised at the response you'll have.