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The What, Why and How of Business Blogsā€¦

Blog is short for Web Log or Weblog and the Blogosphere is the online blog world, some parts of which are hyperlinked extensively to each other.

This is the Wikipedia definition: Blog is short for weblog. A weblog is a journal (or newsletter) that is frequently updated and intended for general public consumption. Blogs generally represent the personality of the author or the Web site.

I recommend that you read lots of people's blogs to learn what blogs are. Go to your favorite search engine and type in the word 'blog' and the subject you're interested in. For example, 'web design blog', or 'blog music', or 'sports blog'. You'll find lots of blogs that way.

Blogs have become a way in which regular, non-technical people can post information to the Web as easily as they can access it.

Why Are Blogs So Important?

Well, they're not that important, yet. But they could be soon, and most likely will be. In fact, some would argue that they are already vital in today's Web business world. I am not ready to agree to that yet, but it is becoming more obvious to me over time that blogs can no longer be ignored in business.

Online businesses can benefit from blogging by taking advantage of a vehicle for easily posting new, original, and business-related content on a regular basis.

Here Are Some More Business Benefits Of Blogging:

* Blogs help to position you and/or your company as experts and leaders in your industry.

* They're interactive in nature. At the end of each blog entry is usually a link that allows anyone to add their own comments to your blog entries. This allows your customers and potential customers to make comments about your products or services or ask you questions to help them in their buying process.

* Blogs are marketed easily and quickly by their RSS feeds.

* Blogs allow you to stress your choice of products, services, relevant news stories, quotes, pictures and more with your audience, customers and potential customers.

* People are generous with adding links to your blog if the content is good, especially within their own blogs. More links means more traffic and better search engine rankings.

Here Are Some Ways In Which You Can Make Revenue From Your Blog:

1. Selling advertisements. Whether you use banners or text links, if your site draws a regular audience interested in your blog topics or theme, try to offer ad space to organizations that are looking to market to your audience. In fact, if your blogs becomes really popular then advertisers will call you.

2. Offering Google's AdSense. Google's website explains, "Google AdSense is a fast and easy way for website publishers of all sizes to display relevant Google ads on their website's content pages and earn money." Learn more about AdSense.

3. Affiliate Programs. Affiliate programs allow Web sites that provide links to your site to receive payments or reciprocal advertising in exchange for promoting your Web site. In the case of blogging, this is reversed, where you post links within your blog, and collect money from the owners of those links when they result in a click-through and sale.

Here Are Some Websites Where You Can Get Your Blog Listed:

* BlogWise - http://www.blogwise.com

* Blog Search Engine - http://www.blogsearchengine.com

* Blog Hub - http://www.bloghub.com

* Blog Daisey - http://www.blogdaisey.com

* Get Blogs - http://www.getblogs.com

* Is Blogs - http://www.lsblogs.com

How To Blog For Business:

First you need to get blogging software. You can choose to create a blog that is housed on another site such as http://www.blogger.com (which is a blog service) or you can host it on your own Web server. I recommend the latter since the links that are developed by others pointing to your blog won't be counted in the search engines. This is because the links are attributed to domains, so a link to http://MyNewBlog.blogger.com gives a link credit to blogger.com and not your domain.

If your blog is a business blog, you really ought to host your own blog as opposed to using a blog service. You'll need the extra functionality and control.

If you plan on hosting your own blog and if you plan to use a UNIX Web server platform, then you need to go with blogging software such as Movable Type, for example. If you have a Microsoft Web server platform for your site, then you'll need software such as BetaParticle blog. Here is a great list of various blog software: http://www.lights.com/weblogs/tools.html

Next you'll need a database to hook your blog up to. The database is what stores the blog entries, among other things. If you don't know if you have a database on or connected to your website server, or if you don't know how to hook up your blog to your database, contact your host company or Web server administrator for help.

Once you have the blog set up on your domain (for example http://www.MyWebsite.com/blog) and you've hooked it up to a live database, you can sta

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