BLOG OR PERISH: BLOGGING AND YOUR BUSINESS
Recently I suggested to a couple of clients that they create a blog to promote their businesses and Web sites. One of them asked me what a blog was and the other asked me which blogging software I recommended.
Hmmm, I thought. Time to get busy.
What is a blog?
Short for “web log,” a blog is an online journal of sorts. “Blogging” is the act of adding posts to a blog. “Blogger” is the author of a blog. “Bloggish” is how I feel after writing a really long blog.
Your blog can consist of regular posts, images or other types of files. Visitors can read your blog and even post comments if you allow it. Some blogging software allows visitors to subscribe to your blog as well.
How do I start a blog?
Blogger is completely free. Typepad is $4.95 a month for the entry-level blog, which is what I chose. Additional functionality is available for $8.95 or $14.95 a month.
I found both to be incredibly easy to use. You can use any browser to post to your blog, although I recommend Firefox for Mac users. For Windows users I recommend Firefox or Internet Explorer 5.5 and above. Of course, Windows users need to be concerned about using IE in general.
The reason I recommend these browsers specifically is that they allow for easier formatting of your blog; you can format your text, create links, and do spell checks in your blog without knowing any HTML.
If I had to recommend one over the other I’d recommend Typepad. Although Blogger is free, it doesn’t offer any hosting of images. You can host your images elsewhere and link to them. Of course, to do this, you need hosting space and comfort with both FTP and HTML.
There appears to be a partnership with another company offering free hosting for images, but they say it’s for Windows users only. In any case, it certainly wasn’t as simple to use as Typepad.
Why Would I Want a Blog?
A blog is a digital soapbox. With it, you can rage against the machine, promote your business, protest the war, support the troops, talk about your pet rock, or anything else. If you’re passionate about your business (or anything else) a blog is a great medium.
A blog can also help you attract new business. Incoming links help your site rank higher in the search engines, and your blog is a great place to create links to your site.
For example, imagine you are a professional organizer. You could blog about how you helped people clean up their work areas, create links to organizational resources, and post tips on how to keep a clean desk. Create links to and from your blog and Web site and you’ll more than double the chances of a prospect finding you.
Tips on Your Blog
- Write with your own voice, and what you’re passionate
- Try and write something almost every day
- Link to other people’s blogs, and get them to link
- Blog posts don’t have to be long; sometimes a paragraph
or two is enough
Where Can I See an Example of a Great Blog?
If you’d like to talk to flyte about starting or promoting your own blog, please contact us.
President, flyte new media