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What The Hell Is A Blog Anyway?
The word 'blog' is a shortened version of 'web blog'. A 'web log' just means a log or diary-type entry on the web. So if you were away travelling on a round the world trip you might post a diary on a website so your friends and family could keep up to date with your progress. On this online diary, or 'web blog' you might also post photos for your friends and family to view.
And so - the BLOG was born. And it's really nothing more than that - a collection of thoughts and information from one individual to be read and seen by others.
So What Makes A Blog Different To A Website?
A blog is more immediate and informal. A blog doesn't have a homepage as such - it just has blog entries or 'posts'. The author or 'blogger' makes regular posts into the blog that are archived as new ones are added.
The main difference between a website and a blog is that a blog is designed to be added to much more frequently than a website. Some blogs are added to by their authors once a day or more! But it has to be said that such bloggers are in the minority.
**Is Blogging For You?
Well, it provides you with a unique opportunity to keep in close contact with a specific group of people. The CEO of a company may choose to launch a blog to keep in touch with staff members and shareholders. As a business-owner you might want to start a blog to let your customers or suppliers know what is happening in your business.
Blogs are not for everyone, so here's a few key questions to ask yourself.
** Question 1
Do you want to keep in close contact, on a one-to-one basis with a specific group of individuals?
** Question 2
Do you have the time to add a new and valuable information to your blog at least once a week? (Or can you pay someone to do this on your behalf?)
** Question 3
Do you find that people are always coming to you wanting more information about your product or services and that maybe posting regular updates on the Internet about this might free up your time to be spent on other activities?
** Question 4
Are you offering information products or services that you can provide 'tasters' of in a blog?
If you find yourself answering yes to most of these question then you should seriously consider starting your very own blog.
It's A Gut Feel Thing
Ultimately the decision comes down to whether you have things to say to others on a one-to-one basis. Unlike many websites you see out there, a blog is very much a person-to-person experience. A corporate blog wouldn't really work unless you had a face and name that people could put to all the posts.
It's also worth noting that a blog can be a two-way communication tool. Most of the blog software available includes options for readers to be able to post comments in response to what has been written. This can be an excellent marketing and research tool for your business if handled in the right way.
Whatever you do - don't take the decision to start a blog lightly. It can be a big commitment and once you've started out on that road there's no going back. People will be regularly checking your blog after you've publicised it and the pressure is then on to deliver readable material on a regular basis.
Some Blogging Software To Consider
Typepad - very popular and comes with a free trial and upgrade options: http://www.typepad.com BlogHarbour - also comes with a free 30-day trial http://www.blogharbor.com Blogger - the 'grand daddy' of blogging http://www.blogger.com
My blog: http://michaelcheney.typepad.com
Michael Cheney is Author of The Website Marketing BibleTM. Take the Free 7-Part Course "Internet Marketing Made Easy" and get your free sampler of 'The Bible' here: http://www.websitemarketingbible.com/marketing/
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