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Is a Blog Right For Your Business?


Lemmings are cute, but dumb. If you tell them to jump off a cliff, they will. Just like the people who start blogs because everyone is doing it. Guess what happens after a little while? The blogs die.

In managing a list of many Web sites, most of which are blogs, I deleted countless sites from the list because the sites and blogs no longer existed. The people ran out of steam or had no reason to start them in the first place.

How do you know when a blog is right for your business? Learn why people start blogs, how they find their niche and how blogging tools can be used for more than blogs.

Some people like to read blogs, others like to read newsletters, still others like to rely on feeds and some read a few or all of them. No matter the method the information is distributed, each medium has one thing in common: content. Having a blog connects your newsletter and your business with all of these readers and delivers important content in a particular style.

I've been blogging since June 2000. If you review my early blog entries in meryl's notes, you'll notice they're more personal. When blogs first hit the scene in the late '90s, they were personal diaries and journals. Like the blog business, my blog has transformed from personal to business speak, although I still add personal notes here and there.

A few bloggers tend to talk about their work, their products and their little world. That might work for celebrities where fans want to know everything about them, but it doesn't work for the average business person. Other business people want information on how to succeed and when a blog spends time hawking products offering information of no value, few people will return. The people whose products sell well are the ones who provide valuable information. Readers already know what kind of information they're getting, so they trust that when they buy something, it will be of the same or better quality. This value must be reflected in their blog. It's much like people who only sign up for a newsletter after first seeing an example.

No one wants to be a lemming (I would hope). How do you decide whether or not to set up a blog? The answer isn't black or white (what did you expect?). Ask these questions:

The big decider is whether or not you can write in the blog almost daily. The people behind the high traffic blogs post multiple times a day. Though resourceful, merely linking to other sites doesn't give visitors much reason to make the effort to come to yours. Reading other blogs or feeds is a great way to learn how to carry a discussion. Find other blogs covering topics similar to yours and check them out. Disagree with their opinions? Write about it and explain your reasons. Cross-blog discussions are common, and that's where trackback comes in handy.

Trackback is a blog feature. If you decide to comment on another blog posting in your blog instead of in that blog's comments page, then you link to the conversation through the trackback link. Trackback is similar to the permalink, the permanent URL for the blog entry, but it has a different URL for copying and pasting in your blog's trackback box.

Aside from the technical aspects of operating a blog on a daily basis, subscriber list size and Web site traffic are good indicators of what kind of reaction you'll get when opening a blog. Starting from scratch with little traffic means you have a long road ahead and lots of work to do. There is no magic formula anyone can sell you for $97 to make your blog an overnight success. But with some perseverance and ingenuity, your blog can engage many prospects and clients.

Considering there are numerous blogs out there, pick a niche topic when starting a blog for a better shot at attracting and keeping an audience. meryl's notes focuses on three areas: webby, geeky and wordy. In reality, this is too much. What I need to do for my readers is create three separate blog entry points, so those interested in writing, newsletters and Internet marketing get nothing but the wordy entries. Those interested in Web design get the webby stuff and the technophiles receive the geeky content.

I also manage a personal blog separate from meryl's notes. It's about cochlear implants and deafness. This could fall under the geeky category, but it's a personal blog and doesn't belong in meryl's notes. This blog is written for a different audience.

The blogging tools for both of my blogs come with syndication capabilities so those using feed readers or aggregators can read the content through the software. When sending a new issue of a newsletter, comment on it or link to it in the blog, that way the blog and feed readers will get the goods, so all three bases are covered.

Blogging tools aren't just for, well, blogging. Such tools are an excellent way to help you update your Web site more often than you otherwise would. I use it to manage the list of tableless Web sites. Using blogging tools is much easier than the way I managed it before, updating the HTML files by hand. Though using a blog tool, it isn't a blog. In this case, the blog tool has become a content management system (CMS).

Small business owners don't have a need for the fancy and pricey CMSes out there. They find it easier to use blogging software to manage their sites or hire someone to adapt the tool for their site.

Blogs have found a place in businesses and people are finding creative ways to use them. Some companies have a blog on the intranet for communicating project status, jeopardies and metrics. They're used for knowledge management. With information pouring in, blog tools provide a way to share, organize and process the information.

Being a follower can be good or bad. No one wants to walk off a cliff with the lemmings, but everyone wants to succeed. Best practices won't help, since the decision to blog is based on the organization's mission, needs and goals along with its target market's desires and needs. A blog about lemmings? There is one, sort of. Or maybe you'd like to start your own and talk about dumb business moves.

Meryl K. Evans is the Content Maven behind meryl.net who increases conversion rates by writing and editing content so organization can focus on their core business. She is the editor-in-chief of the eNewsletter Journal and Shavlik's The Remediator Security Digest. Visit her Web site at http://www.meryl.net/blog/.


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE RESOURCES updated Wed. February / 24 / 2021

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Crime Lines 02/16/2021 – 02/22/2021 – The Bottom Line News  The Bottom Line News

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How to Create a Secondary Revenue Stream from Home  InvestorIdeas.com

Blogging 101: Why Bother & Key Elements of an Effective Blog - Business 2 Community
Blogging 101: Why Bother & Key Elements of an Effective Blog  Business 2 Community

WordPress.com Launches New Courses With A Focus On Customer Education - PRNewswire
WordPress.com Launches New Courses With A Focus On Customer Education  PRNewswire

Young London Digital Entrepreneur Creates First WordPress Blog Hosting Control Panel - PRNewswire
Young London Digital Entrepreneur Creates First WordPress Blog Hosting Control Panel  PRNewswire

Return of the RSS reader » Nieman Journalism Lab - Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard
Return of the RSS reader » Nieman Journalism Lab  Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard

'I'm the patient now' | Maryland ER doctor blogs about breast cancer journey - WUSA9.com
'I'm the patient now' | Maryland ER doctor blogs about breast cancer journey  WUSA9.com

RSS bets on small shakhas in hinterland to make it big in TN - The Times of India Blog
RSS bets on small shakhas in hinterland to make it big in TN  The Times of India Blog

eBay Kills Affiliate Tool that Drives Traffic to Seller Listings - EcommerceBytes
eBay Kills Affiliate Tool that Drives Traffic to Seller Listings  EcommerceBytes

Plano teen creates blog about mental health | News | starlocalmedia.com - Star Local Media
Plano teen creates blog about mental health | News | starlocalmedia.com  Star Local Media

The Rise and Demise of RSS - Motherboard
The Rise and Demise of RSS  Motherboard

How a retired senior executive went from Hearst's Manhattan C-suite to hyperlocal blogging in Maine - Poynter
How a retired senior executive went from Hearst's Manhattan C-suite to hyperlocal blogging in Maine  Poynter

news Packers-Saints Week 3 Live Blog Sep 28, 2020 - Packers.com
news Packers-Saints Week 3 Live Blog Sep 28, 2020  Packers.com

Mike Marrone's Blog - Game Dev Digest Issue #74 - Visuals and Math - Gamasutra
Mike Marrone's Blog - Game Dev Digest Issue #74 - Visuals and Math  Gamasutra

RSS is the greatest enemy of Hinduism - Times of India
RSS is the greatest enemy of Hinduism  Times of India

RSS’s standardised Hinduism – Part 1 - Times of India
RSS’s standardised Hinduism – Part 1  Times of India

VA Catholic priest blogged about child sex abuse. Now, he says bishop is threatening to defrock him - WUSA9.com
VA Catholic priest blogged about child sex abuse. Now, he says bishop is threatening to defrock him  WUSA9.com

David Logan's Blog - Indie Insights: Hooks and Anchors - Gamasutra
David Logan's Blog - Indie Insights: Hooks and Anchors  Gamasutra

How to Fix Miscommunication Issues in Your Team - Gamasutra
How to Fix Miscommunication Issues in Your Team  Gamasutra

As Microsoft moves more blogs off its MSDN and TechNet sites, here's how to stay current - ZDNet
As Microsoft moves more blogs off its MSDN and TechNet sites, here's how to stay current  ZDNet

What Happened to Tagging? - JSTOR Daily
What Happened to Tagging?  JSTOR Daily

XML – RSS - Business Blog Consulting
XML – RSS  Business Blog Consulting

VFX breakdown: combining 2D and 3D in Blightbound - Gamasutra
VFX breakdown: combining 2D and 3D in Blightbound  Gamasutra

My Own Personal Extinction - Scientific American Blog Network - Scientific American
My Own Personal Extinction - Scientific American Blog Network  Scientific American

What is RSS? And Is It Still Important? - Small Business Trends
What is RSS? And Is It Still Important?  Small Business Trends

Web 100: Best law blogs - ABA Journal
Web 100: Best law blogs  ABA Journal

Cision PR Newswire's Beyond Bylines Blog Featured in Feedspot's List of Top Journalism Blogs - PRNewswire
Cision PR Newswire's Beyond Bylines Blog Featured in Feedspot's List of Top Journalism Blogs  PRNewswire

RSS Feeds and How To Burn Them - Business 2 Community
RSS Feeds and How To Burn Them  Business 2 Community

Doing Gandhi and Godse with Sikhs and farmers’ movement - The Times of India Blog
Doing Gandhi and Godse with Sikhs and farmers’ movement  The Times of India Blog

Time has come for an all-India Muslim party - The Times of India Blog
Time has come for an all-India Muslim party  The Times of India Blog

Simon Carless's Blog - Estimating platform revenues - a discovery conundrum! - Gamasutra
Simon Carless's Blog - Estimating platform revenues - a discovery conundrum!  Gamasutra

Mario Mihokovic's Blog - Starpoint Gemini 3: Navigating a Year of Hell - Gamasutra
Mario Mihokovic's Blog - Starpoint Gemini 3: Navigating a Year of Hell  Gamasutra

Blogs - National Catholic Register
Blogs  National Catholic Register

Matt Smith's Blog - The Rapid Prototyping Game - Gamasutra
Matt Smith's Blog - The Rapid Prototyping Game  Gamasutra

How a blogger in Florida put out an early warning about the coronavirus crisis - The Washington Post
How a blogger in Florida put out an early warning about the coronavirus crisis  The Washington Post

The four reasons why Indian liberals are a fast-disappearing species - The Times of India Blog
The four reasons why Indian liberals are a fast-disappearing species  The Times of India Blog

Twibble Automatically Tweets Blog Posts or RSS Feeds On a Schedule - Lifehacker
Twibble Automatically Tweets Blog Posts or RSS Feeds On a Schedule  Lifehacker

The eccentric economic ideology of RSS and BJP – Part 2 - Times of India
The eccentric economic ideology of RSS and BJP – Part 2  Times of India

Forego the self-righteousness: Both Indian liberals and the new right need to introspect and re-examine their - The Times of India Blog
Forego the self-righteousness: Both Indian liberals and the new right need to introspect and re-examine their  The Times of India Blog

Manusmriti, maya and Hindutva’s other ghosts - The Times of India Blog
Manusmriti, maya and Hindutva’s other ghosts  The Times of India Blog

A return to blogs (finally? sort of?) » Nieman Journalism Lab - Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard
A return to blogs (finally? sort of?) » Nieman Journalism Lab  Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard

Ian Hamilton's Blog - Prioritising Accessibility Considerations - Gamasutra
Ian Hamilton's Blog - Prioritising Accessibility Considerations  Gamasutra

Ruben Torres Bonet's Blog - Forget Monochrome Shadows â†' Go Colored Instead - Gamasutra
Ruben Torres Bonet's Blog - Forget Monochrome Shadows â†' Go Colored Instead  Gamasutra

Intel's CES 2021 Press Event: The Future of Intel (A Live Blog, 1pm PT) - AnandTech
Intel's CES 2021 Press Event: The Future of Intel (A Live Blog, 1pm PT)  AnandTech

A Few Simple Benefits of Using An RSS Feed - Business 2 Community
A Few Simple Benefits of Using An RSS Feed  Business 2 Community

What Hindutva trolls can learn from Gandhi - The Times of India Blog
What Hindutva trolls can learn from Gandhi  The Times of India Blog

Start RSS Feeding Content Today With dlvr.it to Social Media [How-To] - Rocks Digital
Start RSS Feeding Content Today With dlvr.it to Social Media [How-To]  Rocks Digital

Best blogging platforms of 2021 - TechRadar
Best blogging platforms of 2021  TechRadar

Level Design Analysis: Oxenfurt level in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Gamasutra
Level Design Analysis: Oxenfurt level in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt  Gamasutra

Hernan Smicht's Blog - Enemy settlements mechanics for car games - Gamasutra
Hernan Smicht's Blog - Enemy settlements mechanics for car games  Gamasutra

Josh Bycer's Blog - The Subtle Manipulation of Mobile Games - Gamasutra
Josh Bycer's Blog - The Subtle Manipulation of Mobile Games  Gamasutra

What Is an RSS Feed? (+ How to Get Started) - G2
What Is an RSS Feed? (+ How to Get Started)  G2

How to Auto-Post your Blog Updates to Twitter - Digital Inspiration
How to Auto-Post your Blog Updates to Twitter  Digital Inspiration

Mindy Kaling complained about stories in online recipes, and the food bloggers let her have it - The Washington Post
Mindy Kaling complained about stories in online recipes, and the food bloggers let her have it  The Washington Post

Facebook refused to remove anti-Muslim posts to not upset Modi govt: WSJ - The Times of India Blog
Facebook refused to remove anti-Muslim posts to not upset Modi govt: WSJ  The Times of India Blog

8 Ways to Get (And Keep) Blog Readers - Backstage
8 Ways to Get (And Keep) Blog Readers  Backstage

2244™ Launches an Edited Blog and Annual Festival - PRNewswire
2244™ Launches an Edited Blog and Annual Festival  PRNewswire

Why Google killed off Google Reader: It was self-defense – Gigaom - GigaOM
Why Google killed off Google Reader: It was self-defense – Gigaom  GigaOM

Google AdSense Ads in RSS Feeds - First Impressions & Screenshots - Digital Inspiration
Google AdSense Ads in RSS Feeds - First Impressions & Screenshots  Digital Inspiration

How to Submit a Podcast to iTunes, Google Podcasts, and Spotify in 2020 - Voices.com
How to Submit a Podcast to iTunes, Google Podcasts, and Spotify in 2020  Voices.com

How to Move your Blogger Blog on Custom Domain to WordPress - Digital Inspiration
How to Move your Blogger Blog on Custom Domain to WordPress  Digital Inspiration

Farmer agitation: Use iron fist in a velvet glove - The Times of India Blog
Farmer agitation: Use iron fist in a velvet glove  The Times of India Blog

WordPress vs. Wix: What's the Best Website Platform for Manufacturers? - ThomasNet News
WordPress vs. Wix: What's the Best Website Platform for Manufacturers?  ThomasNet News

Will COVID-19 Make Us More Socialist? - Scientific American Blog Network - Scientific American
Will COVID-19 Make Us More Socialist? - Scientific American Blog Network  Scientific American

Five years after Google conquered and abandoned RSS, the news-reader ecosystem is showing green shoots - Boing Boing
Five years after Google conquered and abandoned RSS, the news-reader ecosystem is showing green shoots  Boing Boing

Wanted: An enemy for RSS to help BJP grow in Tamil Nadu - Times of India
Wanted: An enemy for RSS to help BJP grow in Tamil Nadu  Times of India

Move FeedBurner RSS Feeds From One Account to Another - Digital Inspiration
Move FeedBurner RSS Feeds From One Account to Another  Digital Inspiration

Chris Zukowski's Blog - Why people aren't buying your game - Gamasutra
Chris Zukowski's Blog - Why people aren't buying your game  Gamasutra

S. Matthew English's Blog - tschess 马 The End of Chess. - Gamasutra
S. Matthew English's Blog - tschess 马 The End of Chess.  Gamasutra

China-India standoff: India is destined become more glorious - The Times of India Blog
China-India standoff: India is destined become more glorious  The Times of India Blog

Impact of COVID-19 on Jobs in Gaming Industry: Bane or Boon? - Gamasutra
Impact of COVID-19 on Jobs in Gaming Industry: Bane or Boon?  Gamasutra

Rising divorces a sign of justice, not arrogance - Times of India
Rising divorces a sign of justice, not arrogance  Times of India

The Rule of 5 for Bloggers - Entrepreneur
The Rule of 5 for Bloggers  Entrepreneur

Lee Odden - Business Blog Consulting
Lee Odden  Business Blog Consulting

How to Migrate your Blog from Blogger to WordPress - Digital Inspiration
How to Migrate your Blog from Blogger to WordPress  Digital Inspiration

How to Set Up a Subscription Podcast on BlueHost - Chron.com - Chron.com
How to Set Up a Subscription Podcast on BlueHost - Chron.com  Chron.com

Introducing Circuit Breaker, a new gadget blog from The Verge - The Verge
Introducing Circuit Breaker, a new gadget blog from The Verge  The Verge

Reform suggestions for Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh - Times of India
Reform suggestions for Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh  Times of India

Sergio Garces's Blog - Steam in Graphs in 2019 - Gamasutra
Sergio Garces's Blog - Steam in Graphs in 2019  Gamasutra

Why BJP needs Nehru-Gandhi ‘dynasty’ more than Congress - The Times of India Blog
Why BJP needs Nehru-Gandhi ‘dynasty’ more than Congress  The Times of India Blog

Speeding Up RSS - TechCrunch
Speeding Up RSS  TechCrunch

Add Inside Higher Ed content to your site - Inside Higher Ed
Add Inside Higher Ed content to your site  Inside Higher Ed

‘Hindutva is not divisive, not anti-Muslim … RSS will abide by the Supreme Court judgment on Ayodhya’ - Times of India
‘Hindutva is not divisive, not anti-Muslim … RSS will abide by the Supreme Court judgment on Ayodhya’  Times of India

100 Best RSS Feeds to Follow Engineering News - SociableBlog
100 Best RSS Feeds to Follow Engineering News  SociableBlog

How to Read More and Become an Expert Blogger in 30 Days - Business 2 Community
How to Read More and Become an Expert Blogger in 30 Days  Business 2 Community

Private blog networks: A great way to get your site penalized - Search Engine Land
Private blog networks: A great way to get your site penalized  Search Engine Land

Simon Carless's Blog - Steam sales case study: 'Academia: School Simulator' - Gamasutra
Simon Carless's Blog - Steam sales case study: 'Academia: School Simulator'  Gamasutra

12 ways to automate and systemise 95% of your blog promotion strategy - Econsultancy
12 ways to automate and systemise 95% of your blog promotion strategy  Econsultancy

How to Write an Awesome Blog Post in 5 Steps - WordStream
How to Write an Awesome Blog Post in 5 Steps  WordStream

Timeline: The Life of the Blog - NPR
Timeline: The Life of the Blog  NPR

Meet the New Blogger: Meghna Datta | Research Blog - Duke Today
Meet the New Blogger: Meghna Datta | Research Blog  Duke Today

11 Amazing Affiliate Marketing Blogs - Search Engine Journal
11 Amazing Affiliate Marketing Blogs  Search Engine Journal

This Is the Dumbest Foodie Battle of Our Time - Slate
This Is the Dumbest Foodie Battle of Our Time  Slate

Everything Should Not Be A Blog Post: Start Using Silos - Search Engine Land
Everything Should Not Be A Blog Post: Start Using Silos  Search Engine Land

The Best Email Marketing Providers for Bloggers - Business 2 Community
The Best Email Marketing Providers for Bloggers  Business 2 Community

26 Platforms for Blogging - Practical Ecommerce
26 Platforms for Blogging  Practical Ecommerce

The RSS isn’t an NGO, it very much a government organisation - Times of India
The RSS isn’t an NGO, it very much a government organisation  Times of India

Content Syndication Basics: Who, What, Where, When, Why & How - Search Engine Journal
Content Syndication Basics: Who, What, Where, When, Why & How  Search Engine Journal

How to find ‘feeds for leads’ as a journalist - Online Journalism Blog
How to find ‘feeds for leads’ as a journalist  Online Journalism Blog

Community guidelines - BMC blog network - BMC Blogs Network
Community guidelines - BMC blog network  BMC Blogs Network

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