by Michael Fleischner
Perhaps you’ve heard of blogs, maybe even read a few, but haven’t started blogging yourself. A weblog, which is usually shortened to blog, is a type of website where entries are made (such as in a journal or diary), displayed in a reverse chronological order.
Blogs often provide commentary or news on a particular subject, such as food, politics, or local news; some function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. Most blogs are primarily textual although many focus on photograph (photoblog), videos (vlog), or audio (podcasting).
Today blogging has become a phenomenon, and for good reason. Blogs give individuals the ability to easily communicate to mass audiences whenever they feel the urge. This ability is what makes blogging truly unique – not requiring any technical knowledge of web development, design, or management.
Maintaining or posting to a blog is very rewarding and carries a variety of benefits, here are just a few:
1. Blogs are easy to create. Unlike starting your own website, weblogs can be created in just a few minutes. Sites like Blogger.com allow you to register and start your own blog for free. All you need is an email and a topic to start blogging about.
2. Blogs provide a dialogue with prospects, customers, and friends. Blogs are now being used as a communication vehicle to share important information with customers. Because blogs can be updated in real time, businesses are finding weblogs to be one of the quickest and most accurate ways to distribute their message.
3. Blogs are here to stay. Blogging gives you the ability to publish your thoughts in real time, whenever and where they like. If you enjoy writing, want to share your ideas, or even learn more about a particular subject; contribute to a blog on a regular basis. Now that blogs have become popular, you can find a blog directory that can help you locate weblogs by category. Find one aligned to your interests and post your comments. They’ll remain on the web indefinitely.
4. Blogs can drive traffic to your website. Using a blog, associated with a particular topic, can drive additional traffic to your website. This is essential for anyone seeking new leads for their business or have an interest in generating online sales.
The benefit of using a blog to generate traffic is that weblogs attract a different type of user – one that is very focused on a particular subject. These users are more prone to take interest in what you have to offer and convert into paying customers.
5. Blogs give you the flexibility to post whenever, wherever. When authoring a blog, all you need is an Internet enabled PC to post an entry. This level of flexibility removes many of the barriers associated with traditional forms of communication. Some blogs even allow you to make a post via email. Simply construct an email and send it to the blog address. The result is an instant post to your blog.
6. Establish yourself as an expert. By keeping a blog up-to-date and contributing in an area where you have experience, you can quickly build your reputation as an expert. Once you’ve establish yourself as having knowledge in a particular subject area, you can begin contributing to other web sources such as news articles and interviews.
7. Generate Ad Revenue. The beauty of a blog is that you can attract those interested in a very specific subject area. This is an ideal market for online pay-per-click advertising like Google Adsense. You can easily integrate Google Adsense into your blog – many blog hosts provide it as a built in option- and generate ad revenue. This is a great way to provide value to your readers while generating revenue for your business.
These are just some of the benefits of creating and contributing to blogs. You will find that weblogs are a great way to share information with others who share similar interests. It’s also a great opportunity for you to learn. Although I’ve been hosting my own marketing blog to provide expert advice on marketing, I have learned a great deal from others who comment on my posts. This is one of the most rewarding aspects of creating your very own blog. So what are you waiting for, start blogging!
Michael Fleischner is a marketing expert and the president of MarketingScoop.com. He has more than 12 years of marketing experience and has appeared on The TODAY Show, Bloomberg Radio, and other major media. Visit his marketing blog directory for further details.