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Blogs have been around for many years but have recently become somewhat a new 'craze'. A Blog is short for Web Log is basically an online journal. They can be set up at little to no cost at all, and can be used for a wide variety of things. Some bloggers just blog for the fun of it, while others tend to use their blogs for business reasons.
The following are just a few ways blogs can be used:
Keep customers/clients up to date on changes to your website. Also new product announcement and new related websites.
You can give opinions, advice and personal recommendations on specific products or services related to your field.
3) Personal and Business uses
Blogs are a great way to keep track of your goals and plans just by open writing.
4) Stress Reliever
Jot down your vents, gripes, thoughts. Some also find general writing therapeutic.
5) Search Engine Optimization
Search Engines love text and content. You can also include links to your website which equal backward links which in turn equals high ranking.
6) Money Makers
Yes, you can make money with your blog by providing readers with quality copy writing and a few affiliate links.
So how is a blog set up? There are several options you can choose from when starting your own blog, and a few are:
1) Using a free service such as Blogger.com ( http://www.blogger.com ).
2) Using Blogger.com (or other free blog provider) with your own domain name that you can purchase through places such as Mommy's Helper Domain & Hosting Services ( http://www.mommyshelperonline.com/web-hosting.html ) .
3) You can also choose a paid services such as Blogit.com ( http://www.blogit.com/Blogs/Affil/?51483 ) for as little as $5.95 a month.
You have your blog set up, but how do you get visitors to it and get them comming back? Along with general advertising, here are a few more ideas:
There are many directories that you can submit your blog to such as BlogWise.com ( http://www.blogwise.com/ ) To find more simply do a search for blog directories.
2) Link Exchange
Place links on your website to your blog and visa versa.
3) Syndicate Your Blog
For example you can now give your visitors the option of having your blog headlines right on their MyYahoo! Page. (example - http://add.my.yahoo.com/rss?url=http%3A//www.2wahms.blogspot.com ) This makes it much simpler for your readers to quickly skim the topic headlines and an added benefit to you the blogger to keep your visitors up to date.
You also have the choice of letting your readers comments on your blog. Most services have these features and can be a great tool to keep your blog interactive between you and your readers.
With all the spam filters and spam blockers available or sometimes even automatically installed in email programs, it's getting harder every day to keep in constant contact with your visitors/customers and/or clients. Blogs have shed some new light in this aspect giving you a better way to communicate.
Most blog services are very user friendly. If you can run simple programs such as MSWord or Word Perfect then you have the knowledge to maintain your own blog. There's no need to even have html knowledge. In essence, anyone can have his or her own blog.
About the Authors: Kara Kelso and Anita DeFrank are wahms and the owner of a help site dedicated to mothers in direct sales: http://www.DirectSalesHelpers.com. You can read their business blog at: http://www.2wahms.blogspot.com