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Monday, 31 December 2012

Making Money With Your Blog

I’ve sure you’ve heard before that it’s a possibility to make money with your blog and you may be wondering how this is possible. And were they really meant for making money or just for journaling your personal thoughts? I’m not sure what they were intended for but they are great ways to make money.

I have a personal blog which is just my own private little place to go online and jot down my thoughts, but I also have my business blogs.
Back In the Beginning
To be honest with you in the beginning of my blogging experience I really wasn't sure what I should do with my blog. I knew I wanted to make money with it, but I didn’t know how. I didn’t know what I could do to not only be a value to others so they would come back to my blog, but that I would still enjoy writing it.
So it was really important to me that I find a topic in which I would be excited about, and have enough to offer so that I could blog every week or so. After starting a blog that was meant to just be an add-on to my business at MommysPlace.net and struggling with the direction of that blog, I came across one of Alice Seba’s blogs, which she used to write about her experience through a traffic product.
So every couple of weeks she would update her progress through this course. She would tell us all about her successes with this product and how great it was for her business. And it made me think of how I could do something similar.

Product/Service Focused Blog
And this is when the light bulb moment went off in my head. This is when I realized what I should have been doing all along. I have been a member of an exclusive coaching program for mothers in business.
Since joining this program my business has seen great success. My income has increased more then 10 times what it was before I joined, and my traffic has increased even more then that.
I enjoy and believe in this coaching program and it happens to have an affiliate program. I often got emails from other work at home mothers who wanted to know my thoughts on this program.
Taking a cue from Alice’s blog I decided to start my own such blog. And named it Mom Masterminds Grad and it can be found at [http://www.mmgrad.com]
I use this blog for the purpose of documenting my successes with my business. My projects, new content added to my website, keyword phrases I was ranking for…etc. Basically anything that has to do with my business that was directly or indirectly because of my joining Mom Masterminds, I jot down.
Not only was this the best move I could have made for my promoting this affiliate link it also served as a great way to really see for myself the successes my business was achieving and also to keep me on track.

This is one way you could make money with a blog. There are other ways you could make money with a blog if you don’t want to devote a blog to one service or product you’re promoting.
Side Kick Blog
For instance, my blog at [http://www.telecommutingmoms.com] is a side kick to TelecommutingMoms.com and my forums. This is a blog in which I update my members on additions to the website, newsletter and forums. And also use it as a vehicle for updating members on any important telecommuting news and promoting affiliate programs.
So this blog serves more then one purpose. My main goal with this blog is to get traffic to certain sections of my website. I have a large website and it’s not always easy for people to find my information. This is a great way for me to keep certain new pages or sections of my website in the public eye and get traffic to those pages. It also serves as a way to make money with affiliate programs. And lastly it gives exposure to my forum and my newsletter.
There can be many ways and, many topics in which you can make money and gain exposure to other businesses you may have, or can help in creating you as an expert in a certain field.

Just take the time to really think about what you could be writing about and then how you can make money with that as well. You can take a look at others blogs to get an idea and see what other people are looking for.
Making Money With Your Blog - Resources:
Blogs to Riches- is an e-book that details ways you can make your blog profitable. And the really cool thing with this is if you list the publisher’s link on your blog for 45 days he will give you this e-book for free! If you don't want to wait that long you can also purchase it for a low price. Read more about Blogs to Riches - [http://www.blogstoriches.com]
Increasing AdSense - is an e-book about how to increase your AdSense revenue. This e-book isn't specifically geared towards blogs, but the information you will learn you can use with your blogs. (As well as websites and forums...anywhere you have adsense.) http://www.adsense-secrets.com
* Don't know what AdSense is? Go to http://www.google.com/adsense to learn more.
Ready To Blog?
Are you ready to take the leap into a blog? If so, it’s really very easy to set up a blog. The one resource I have used for my old blog is blogger.com and what I use for my current blogs is WordPress. Blogger is a great option for the newbie and you can host it with them. WordPress is a bit more complicated and must be hosted on your own domain, but it’s by far my most favorite option for blogs.

Submit Your Blog
After you create your blog you will want to submit it to blog directories to help get your blog out in front of the public. Some of the directories you can try are:
BlogWise - [http://www.blogwise.com]
Blog Search Engine - http://www.blogsearchengine.com
Blog Daisy - [http://www.blogdaisey.com]
Next, you need to add feeds to your blog. For adding a feed you add a little graphic to your blog. It can be a “my yahoo” feed, msn feed, or many other options.
When they click on that they can add your blog to their personal feed page. Then every time you add a new post they are alerted on their yahoo page that you have posted AND it even shows the topic of the post and how long ago it was posted.

This is one of the best resources I’ve found in keeping people coming back to your blog. They can subscribe to it so easily and they will be automatically updated whenever you have posted. It’s pretty easy to add an RSS feed to your blog. The resource I personally use is at http://www.feedburner.com
Watch Out Blogging World - Here I Come!
Now, see how simple this really can be? You can make money with a blog, gain exposure for another business or websites, can build yourself as an expert on a certain topic, can create a blog for free, get it listed for free and start an RSS feed for free! Now get out there and start blogging.
Want to learn more about Nell Taliercio, the author of this article? She is sharing the secrets that grew her business by 10fold in only one year! Go to [http://www.mmgrad.com] to learn more!

16 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Blog

You've got your blog set up and you've started posting pithy, useful information that your niche market would benefit from and enjoy. Days go by, you keep publishing, but no one comments and your traffic stats are barely registering. What do you do?

Like any website you own, you must do some blog promotion to start driving traffic to your site. Here are 16 steps, in no particular order of importance, that you can start doing now to get traffic moving to your blog.
1. Set up an email subscription form on your blog and invite everyone in your network to subscribe: family, friends, colleagues, clients, associates.
2. Set up a feed on MyYahoo.com so your site gets regularly spidered by the Yahoo search engine.
3. Read and comment on other blogs that are in your target niche. Don't write things like "nice blog" or "great post." Write intelligent, useful comments with a link to your blog.
4. Use Ping-0-matic to ping blog directories. Do this every time you publish.
5. Submit your blog to traditional search engines.
6. Submit your blog to blog directories.
Tip: Create a form to track your submissions; this can take several hours when you first start so schedule an hour a day for submitting or hire a VA to do it for you.
7. Add a link to your blog in your email signature file.
8. Put a link to your blog on every page of your website.
9. If you publish a newsletter, make sure you have a link to your blog in every issue.
10. Include a link to your blog as a standard part of all outgoing correspondence such as autoresponder sequences, sales letters, reports, white papers, etc.

11. Print your blog URL on your business cards, brochures and flyers.
12. Make sure you have an RSS feed URL that people can subscribe to. The acronym RSS means Rich Site Summary, or some may consider its meaning as Really Simple Syndication. It is a document type that lists updates of websites or blogs available for syndication. These RSS documents (also known as 'feeds') may be read using aggregators (news readers). RSS feeds may show headlines only or both headlines and summaries.
13. Post often to keep attracting your subscribers to come back and refer you to others in their networks; include links to other blogs, articles and websites in your posts
14. Use Trackback links when you quote or refer to other blog posts. What is TrackBack? Essentially what this does is send a message from one server to another server letting it know you have posted a reference to their post. The beauty is that a link to your blog is now included on their site.
15. Write articles to post around the web in article directories. Include a link to your blog in the author info box (See example in our signature below).
16. Make a commitment to blog everyday. 10 minutes a day can help increase your traffic as new content attracts search engine spiders. Put it on your calendar as a task every day at the same time.
Tip: Use a hit counter to track your visitor stats: how many unique visitors, how many page views, average length of visit.
And now I would like to invite you to claim your free instant access to my 5-part video course to learn more about how to get the best out of your blog. Visit http://masterbusinessblogging.com
From Denise Wakeman, Founder of The Blog Squad and Online Marketing Advisor.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Blog SEO - For A Rank Beginner

You've optimized your website why not your blog.

Picture it this way.
Each new post to your blog is fresh and new. I know you know this - search engines like fresh content.

I call it feeding the spider.
In this case the food is the new fresh content. What's more appealing fresh fish or fish that's been lying around for a while? See my point? Fresh fish is always better, who'd stick around smelly old fish anyway?
The same with search engines, they like fresh content that's updated often.
Even you return to a blog because of the new fresh content.Update your content often.The search engines like the fresh new content.
So, put a keyword or keyphrase in the title of each post and a few scattered out through your post and you now have optimized your content.
The search engines will love you for it!

Internal linking plays a part too. I've done this myself and the results are the search engine spider crawls my site everyday.
This is a tip that is so simple and cost you nothing but more free traffic to your site.
Wayne Hurlbert from Blog Business World says,
"Blogs are optimized using the same techniques as static websites. Keep in mind that a blog is simply another website. What works in the search engines for other sites will also work for optimizing a blog".
Great piece of advice.
The reward for the fresh content (food for the spider), the search engine spider will frequent your site more often.
Now don't forget to link to your main site with your rich keyword or keyword phrase. Many new bloggers just starting out forget to do this.
If your site is theme based, your blog page or the many pages you have on your blog can boost your PR (page rank), so by starting to blog it will benefit you in the way of more FREE traffic.

I've only scratched the surface on blog seo but you can see it is another strategy in marketing you can't afford to neglect.
Believe me, everybody and his brother are talking about blog seo. The reason why? It WORKS!
To your blogging success,
Cindy Warner owner of Christian Book Outlet writes about practical tips that work and how to get FREE traffic to your site without spending an arm and a leg.

Why Pinging is Good for Your Blog and Your Business!

First of all, if you have a blog then you should ping it. Now you are wondering, what is pinging? Pinging is a way to let other users and other blog tracking sites know that you have updated your blog. You should ping your blog every time you write new content and update your blog. This way others know immediately that your blog has been updated.

Now why is this good for your business?
Pinging lets people know you have updated so they will come back to your site. This allows you to build blog traffic. Your blog is connected to your business or is your business (in my case and many others) and helps to build traffic. Since pinging alerts the major blog tracking sites it then helps search engines crawl and reindex your new content much quicker. This also helps your search engine positioning which is even better for your business. It is better for your business because it brings new potential customers to your website via targeted traffic.

To ping your blog every time you update your blog, I suggest using Pingomatic.com or pingat.com since these two blog pinging tools are free. Don't pay for pinging software since these tools are truly free and work just as well. You are now on your way to blogging success!
Copyright 2005 –All Rights Reserved
About The Author: Amanda Compton is a work at home mom to 2 little boys. She owns and publishes an informative Home Business Resource site for Work at Home Moms. Go to http://www.HomeJobsForMoms.biz for daily tips, help, and support for Work at Home Moms to achieve Internet Home Business Success!
Feel free to re-print this article provided that all hyperlinks and author biography are kept as-is.

Business Blogs, Does Your Company Need One?

I'm often asked by clients and prospects whether or not their business should blog. While there is no universal answer, there are guidelines to consider. In general, blogs make more sense for business-to-consumer companies. But whether or not you are a B2C company, you should evaluate a number of factors including your brand equity, your target audience, and your internal resources to reach a decision regarding your blogging commitment.

If your company is associated with a well-known consumer brand, you might be surprised to learn you are probably already the subject of a blog or certainly mentioned in blog postings for various reasons. Searching the blogosphere for mentions of your brand is your first step in evaluating the corporate blog imperative. If consumers are posting comments about your brand, products, or customer service, you need to join the conversation. Ideally, you would launch a brand or product blog to give customers a sounding board. Remember, it is not your job to set customers straight with a corporate blog. Rather, it is your job to listen and learn!
Take a cue from your target audience. Consumers often depend upon word-of-mouth referrals from friends in their selection of products and service. If your target customers are likely to share their experiences with your product, a business blog can provide a credible platform for communication. How well does your company field customer service complaints? If you are unsure, a disgruntled blogger who considers your company unresponsive might tarnish your brand online. Consider also, if your prospects are likely to seek information about your products from a Search Engine. By maintaining active blog content, you will actually increase your page rank with Search Engines. For an example of a blog that maximizes brand and the consumer experience visit Weber Nation.

Ultimately, the decision to launch a business blog depends upon your ability to commit internal resources. Technology is a low-barrier to entry in this instance. While you can install software and host your own blog, you can also easily use a low-cost hosted service with no technology commitment. You will need a staff member dedicated to the task of blogging on a regular basis, daily postings are preferred. As such, you need someone who is capable in representing your brand and products in a glib manner. The same person must be a good listener with the ability to engage both your brand champions and your brand detractors. Finally, your company blogger must have the ear of management to share consumer-generated comments, complaints, or issues with executives as required.
Before you begin the business blog evaluation task, eStrategyOne recommends you seek help from an experienced business blogging consultant. For more information on business blogging, download the free "eStrategyOne Business Blogging Primer," and read "10 Steps to Marketing with Business Weblogs," available from the eStrategyOne website or weblog.
Rich Ottum is General Manager of eStrategyOne Online Marketing Solutions, and author of the award-winning business blog, "The eStrategyOne Buzz." eStrategyOne conceives and executes online marketing solutions to increase website performance and profitability. Services include E-Business and E-commerce Strategy, Business Blog Consulting, Online Advertising and Promotion, Website Analysis and Optimization.
Weblog: [http://estrategyone.blogs.com]

Bloggedy Blog Blawg

"Do you Blog?"
This seems to be the new question that is popping up in business and social circles around town, across the country and throughout the world. A year ago almost nobody, except those who were really hip, had heard of blogs, and now they are one of the hottest topics on the internet.
What is a blog? A blog is a reverse-chronological log that is hosted on the web, or also called a weblog (blog for short). It can be either formal presentation or a random connection of thoughts. It can have posts from one author or many. There can be open commenting from the general public, or strictly just snippets from the blog's owner. Individuals, companies and political pendants now have blogs, as they are a very easy tool with which to communicate to a wide audience via the web.

Before the 2004 presidential campaign I had never heard of blogs (I guess I am admitting that I am just not terribly hip). During the campaign both Republican and Democrat supporters began to break news (and some fake or fabricated news) on blogs. A lot of information on the Swift Boat Veterans issue and the CBS Memogate stories were put into the public domain, not by the established news media, but rather by the bloggers. For better or worse, these blogs on both sides of the political isle were widely read and they themselves were one of the big stories of the 2004 election.
Following the November elections, the term blog (or is it "blawg"?) has started to become a household term. I would regularly hear people talking about friends who were "blogging" their vacation, or corporate CEO's who interacted daily with customers via the "company blog". In March I attended a marketing seminar on blogging. At the start of the program they surveyed the audience about blogs, and most participants, like myself, had never read or written a blog.
That was when I decided I wanted to figure out why someone would blog in the first place. Since I am a frustrated want to-be writer, I decided to give blogging a try. I am releasing my first book this summer, Some Assembly Required: How to Make, Grow and Keep Your Business Relationships, and decided that if nothing else, a blog was a good way to help search engines, like Yahoo! and Google, find my website. With this in mind, I decide to make the topic of my book, networking and business development, the theme of my blog.
Thus Some Assembly Required - The Business Development / Networking Blog was born in March of 2005.
Since my book was not due out for another four months, and because the blog was just and experiment, I decided to keep it a secret. I wasn't looking for any publicity, nor did I care if anyone read my posts. This was just an exercise in regularly writing articles on a topic that I know something about. The benefit was that linking my articles to my book's website, it quickly succeeded in the goal of helping the search engines find the book's main page.

But then it got interesting. The more I researched how the blogosphere operated (blogosphere being the cyber world of those who blog), the more I realized that there is a whole blogging community. I discovered that one of the things bloggers do is to create links from their page to the pages of other blogs that they respect and read. I had uncovered many other business, marketing and sales oriented blogs that I began visiting, and linked to these pages from my blog. I also installed a piece of software counted how many people visited my blog. At first there was just one per day, and that was me. But then I started noticing the count was rising. Through my participation in the blogosphere, people were finding my blog and reading my posts. A couple of bloggers would quote my posts and link to my page. I started to receive emails from people who praised my work and then people I did not know began to pre-order my book.
Now there are regular readers of my blog. I was at a cocktail party recently and was introduced to a local entrepreneur who, upon hearing my name, stated; "Oh, I read your blog!". Wow. I will admit, that was a very flattering.
Like the fax machine, cell phone, home computers and the internet, blogs are not a fad. The future is here and it involves blogging.
Thom Singer is the author of "Some Assembly Required: How to Make, Keep and Grow Your Business Relationship" (New Year Publishing 2005), available at http://www.thomsinger.com He can be reached at thom@thomsinger.com and you can find his blog at http://www.thomsinger.blogspot.com

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Blogging Dollars in 7 Hours or Less

Need to make money fast, but you don't want to spend a single cent to establish an online business? Fret not, dear friend. You could actually start earning from the web with zero capital, zero obligations and zero risks! All these can be accomplished within 24 hours! Read on and I'll show you how.

Hour 1
Try to find a profitable niche. Niches are highly specialized segments of a market where the demand is high and the supplies are low. There are few competitions in a niche, allowing you more opportunity to establish your online presence.
Think of a market that you could cater to. Then narrow it down by enumerating its subcategories. The more you are able to reduce the subject, the higher the profitability will be. For example, the general market you thought of is about dogs. A subcategory of this would be about Chihuahuas. A further subcategory would be about Chihuahua grooming.
Hour 2
Once you have found your niche, run a search at http://www.inventory.overture.com or http://www.nichebot.com . The results would show how many searches were made for that subject. The more searches there are, the higher the demand is for that topic.
Run a similar search of the same subject in any of the search engines on the net. The results would reveal your competition. Naturally, you would want a subject that has less competition. This would mean that you're looking for one that would produce few results in your searches.
Hour 3
Once you've found a lucrative niche, it's time to look for its relevant keywords. Run a search of the topic at https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordSandbox to get a list of related keywords and keyphrases. Keep a copy of this list.
Hour 4
Open an account with a free blogging site. Or, if you already have your own website, download the Wordpress software at http://www.wordpress.com . It's free. And Wordpress can be easily integrated with any website.

Set up your account. Fiddle with the controls. You'll discover that using a blog is as easy as writing down your thoughts and clicking on a button to publish them for all the online world to see.
Hour 5
Enroll in any affiliate program of your choice. You could choose more than one, of course. Just make sure that such program is offering some products that cater to the niche you have chosen. Try to find a program that offers highly sellable products and generous commissions. Don't settle for a commission rate of less than 20%. Look for something that would give you at least 40% for every successful sale you would be able to refer. A good place to start is http://www.clickbank.com , but eventually you would want to "graduate" to something grander. But for your initial foray, ClickBank would suffice.
After enrollment, you would be able to immediately choose the products you want to pre-sell. Get the affiliate links for them. Do not lose these affiliate links.

Hour 6
It's time to put that blog to good use! The premise heart of this budget-friendly strategy is your blog. Blogs are excellent and cost-effective alternatives to websites. Search engines love them, and they have their own linking network as well. Also, they are easily updatable, and search engine spiders love consistently updated content.
Write an interesting piece about the niche you have chosen. It may be a personal review of one of your affiliate products, or your views on the niche in general.
The trick here lies in being able to strategically insert your affiliate links in your blog entries. It must be subtle. You won't want your blog to look like a blatant sales page. Your entries should be highly informative, first and foremost. Content is still king, and it is what will drive visitors to your site.
Hour 7
Go to http://www.pingomatic.com . Ping the blog directories and the search engines that can be found there. This would inform their spiders that your content has been updated, and they will check it out come the next relevant query. What does this mean? Fast indexing for your blog site!
So there you go. A zero dollar, seven hour marketing plan that would rake in some earnings. It doesn't stop there, however. Try to post a new entry everyday, and ping the search engines afterwards. Soon enough, you'll have a high traffic blog site where you could expose your affiliate links to a whole lot of people!
Good luck!
Mal Keenan is editor and publisher of Home Based Business Opportunities Newsletter [http://www.home-business-tips-newsletter.com/].
Visit his work at home opportunities website for more ideas, articles and resources PLUS your free 30 page home business success e-book.

The Lucrative Connection Between Blogs And Google

It's no great secret!
No great secret that is, unless you haven't discovered 
what many seasoned webmasters and just plain ordinary 
folks have found out.

"There's gold in them there blogs!"
Yours for the mining, or we should say writing.
Many people have discovered and are benefiting from 
the connection between blogs and Google Adsense. 
A lucrative connection that's earning them extra 
money each month as they receive their checks from 
Google. It's putting a big smiiiiiiile on 
their faces.

What's even more amazing, all this can be set up 
at zero-cost to anyone who can use a cursor. It's 
a totally free system that can earn you money each 
and every month.

What gives? What's the connection?
Actually, there is no big secret, anyone can 
set up a blog or blogs and put Google's AdSense 
code on them. If you're new to the Internet or not 
a webmaster -- these things may have to be explained 

Blogs are online journals where anyone can write 
on any subject or topic that interests them. Blogs 
are extremely popular with Internet users, with 
an estimated 60 million or more blogs on the web. 
Any and every topic (news, hobbies, sports, etc.) 
is covered in these blogs.

Creating a blog couldn't be easier, there are many 
online blogging sites that will let you set up a 
blog of your own for free. The two main biggies 
are bloglines.com (owned by Ask Jeeves) and 
blogger.com (owned by Google). It only takes minutes 
to create your own blog.

Or many webmasters who don't want to go the 'free 
route' can use a system from wordpress.com and 
place or host the blogs on their own sites. It will 
give you a lot more options. Regardless which method 
you use, once you have your blog up and running, you 
will need to get a Google AdSense account here: 

Google AdSense is an advertising system where you 
as the publisher places the AdSense code on your site. 
Google then uses this code to send targeted 'keyword 
guided' ads to be displayed on your site. If someone 
clicks on your Google ad, you earn a portion of the 
ad revenue. These ads come in many formats and sizes. 
Chances are you have already seen these 'Ads by Google' 
on many sites that you have visited, you may have even 
clicked on one or two!

Advertisers wanting visitors or customers to their sites, 
buy these ads using the Google Adword system. Commonly known 
as Pay-Per-Click advertising. This system is based on 
keywords, these are the words people use to search for 
things on the Internet. Because they are 'keyword based' 
-- these ads match perfectly with the content on your 
site or blog - delivering well targeted visitors to the 

Google's AdSense program is very user friendly. Google 
lets you customize your ads to match the 'look and feel' 
of your site. Google also gives you some good advice on 
'where' to place these ads on your site to increase your 
click-through rate. It would be a good idea to read this 
section before you place the AdSense Code on your site 
or blog.

Google also lets you track your AdSense code on 200 
different urls (channels) so you can see which web pages 
or blogs are earning you money. As part of Google's 'TOS' 
Terms of Service, individual publishers (that's you!) are 
not allowed to discuss any AdSense earnings they get from 
Google. So mums the word.

However, one of the 'keys' to making ad revenue from 
your Google AdSense account has to do with 'keywords'. 
Obviously, some keywords are worth more than others, 
that is - certain keywords or phrases that people type into 
search engines will pay more. For example, which one do 
you think will bring in more revenue to your AdSense 
program -- someone searching for a home loan or someone 
searching for a baseball cap.

Many webmasters or bloggers use sites like http://www.overture.com 
to see what advertisers are paying for certain keywords. 
Just as important, it will also give you the number of 
searches made by surfers for your chosen keywords 
or phrases last month.

The real trick is to set up a blog or blogs on popular 
(heavy traffic) topics or keywords that pay the most money 
to publishers like you. Also, it's best to create a blog or 
blogs on topics that will keep your interest for years to 
come. You do have to write interesting stories, facts, 
information on your topic in order to bring visitors and 
traffic to your blogs... so pick something that you're very 
passionate about.

Submit your blogs to all the blog directories, here's a 
good place to start:www.masternewmedia.org/rss/top55/

Once you have a regular flow of traffic to your blogs, 
you will see a regular flow of AdSense income coming to 
you each month. The more traffic or page impressions you 
get, the more you could possibly earn.

Blogs use RSS to syndicate their content. RSS stands for 
Really Simple Syndication, the standard format for syndication 
of content from online blogs, news sites, forums and other 
web sites. Google has introduced a system where you can 
place your AdSense Code into your RSS Feeds. You have to 
apply separately to get into this program -- it's only 
in Beta yet. But the potential for RSS AdSense could be 
very beneficial to bloggers, imagine getting your AdSense 
code syndicated to thousands upon thousands of 
subscribers or web sites.

Google has also gone so far as applying for a patent on 
RSS ads. This patent could give Google control of RSS 
advertising. The application was filed by Google employee 
Nelson Minar and is currently under review by the U.S. 
Trade and Patent Office.

Regardless of whether or not Google is successful in this 
application; the potential of RSS AdSense is great and may 
have far reaching implications in the very near future. This 
could also prove to be a very lucrative system for both Google 
and the ordinary webmaster or blogger.

A very lucrative connection indeed.
Everyone is profiting from Google, find out how you can too! Click here: Google Cash File
Copyright © 2005 Titus Hoskins. Get a Free Desktop Calendar & Planner compliments of the Author and DATEwise. This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.

Blogs: The New E-Tool

What are blogs?

Blogs are frequently updated web pages on which authors post articles about news items, interesting websites, and their thoughts and just about anything that interests the author. Blogs are the newest information age revolution that allows individuals to express themselves to the world.

Blogs operate using a content management system, where the blog owner can add, edit, and delete content from the blog to keep it updated as quickly and efficiently as possible.
They were originally used as online journals, or diaries, which were the mainstay of teenagers who love to write down their most private thoughts. However, given the Internet is a public information space and anyone with an Internet connecion can read your online journal it is not a good place to be posting those private thoughts.
Who should use blogs?
Blogging first came on the seen during the 2004 election, now has exploded as a marketing tool for companies, such as Sun Microsystems, StonyField Farms, and Kowabunga Technologies with the intent on bypassing traditional media of reaching customers. With more people finding companies by searching the Internet, and with 32 million Americans reading blogs, this makes blogging a cost effective tool for marketing.

Blogs would be perfect for college students. Many college professors require that their students keep a journal of their activities so that they can see how the student is progressing and if the student is learning the material. Some college professors even advise students to set time immediately after class to do their writing activity in their journal.
This journal activity can be done using blogs, where the professor can go to the website and view the blogs of his or her students. The professor can see first hand who is actively doing the activity, and contribute to a discussion with the student by posting a comment, thus creating a two-way dialogue.
Let's assume that the student is taking a course on Organization Behavior and is reading an interesting chapter on Interpersonal Communications in Organizations. At the beginning of the lecture, the professor hands out the lecture notes, usually as PowerPoint slides so the student can follow along. The first slide lists the learning objectives that the professor expects the student to be able to do upon completion of the lecture. Here is an example of a learning objective:
Describe the process of communication and its role in organizations
After class, the student can go to the computer center on campus and login to his blog, and attempt to explain what the process of communication based on the lecture. Being able to write about something in your own words immediately after hearing it can help in the learning process.
The Downsides of Blogging
Fear of negative comments
Blogs invite negative comments because there are a lot of people out there that just love to trash people and don't have anything nice to say. Companies should not be deterred. Blogs have a feature where you can moderate each and every comment that is made by a visitor, and the blog owner can choose to accept it or reject it at his discretion.

The comments made by visitors reading a blog creates a two-way dialogue between the writer and the readers creating an opportunity for acquiring new knowledge which can lead to learning. However, for learning to take place, action is required to be taken on that knowledge, for learning is a relatively permanent change in behavior produced by experience and the acquisition of knowledge.
Inappropriate content written by employees
Two employees were fired from their respective companies for what they posted on their blogs. Mark Jen was fired from Google for writing about the companies health care plan. A Delta Airlines flight attendant was also fired for writing about her escapades, some of which were sexual in nature.
There needs to be policies in place regulating what employees can and cannot write about in their blogs. However, the blog must be company owned, such as within a company website. If an employee of a company starts a blog on his own time for his own engagement, the company cannot regulate what that employee writes about in his blog. If the employer attempts to regulate that employee's behavior, that would be a violation of his first amendment rights.
Employers need to thread carefully so that they do not intrude in their employees personal lives. What an employee does on his or her own time is the employee's own business and not the employer.
What can a business use a blog for?
Implement a newsletter
Blogs come with an archiving function where posts that are published are archived on a monthly bases. This is about the same frequency as a regular email newsletter. Visitors to your blog can view past issues to see what was written in past months.

Newsletters are published documents describing information of interest to customers, employees, or anyone that is interested in learning more about that company regarding the array of business and nonbusiness issues. Blogs can be used as a delivery method for bringing these same news and announcements about a company, products/services and the online industry in general that the company is in. Whereas newsletters tend to be a one-way communication tool and are more impersonal, using blogs as newsletters can make it more personal by creating a two-way dialogue.
Blogs can be a huge opportunity for small businesses and be a very real threat for email newsletter companies, such as Vertical Response and Constant Contact [http://www.constantcontact.com/index.jsp]. These companies help small businesses build their email lists, publish their newsletters, and manage their email marketing campaigns. Small business owners only pay for the number of email newsletters that they send. The cost can range from as low as $15 for 1,000 to &750 for as much as 100,000 email newsletters.
By using a blog to publish a newsletter, the small business owner can save this money. The money saved can then be allocated to investing in the training and development of their employees, another critical aspect of running a business.
Improve a web presence
Search engines want to provide high quality search results for their visitors. Search engines love blogs and favor sites that are updated frequently.

Websites can get indexed almost instantaneously. Everytime you publish an article to your blog, it pings other websites. Pinging lets dozens of services know your website has been updated, thus increases traffic to your blog.
Become a published author
Everyone has an area of expertise, or core competency. Usually this area of expertise is based on a strong interest of the owner. You could haved owned a web design company and handled all of the Human Resources activities for your company because you had a strong interest in that field. Perhaps within this field you developed a strong interest in attracting and selecting the best candidates for your company. Maybe you tweaked the employment interview and turned it into an oral examination for the job applicant.
By writing articles, you will become known as an expert on the topics you write about. This will give you and your business extra credibility which will help you compete against your competition as you demonstrate your expertise.
To get started blogging, small businesses can save money by purchasing a reseller webhosting account, such as that from HostGator. A reseller hosting account is a tad more pricey, but cheaper in the long term. You have the ability to host unlimited number of websites without having to contact your web hosting provider and set up new account. You have to pay for every new hosting account, which can be a strain on your budget. With a reseller hosting account you will be able to create a hosting account for no additional cost (except for the domain registration).
Blogs are here to stay. As more people continue to learn what a blog is, it will continue to evolve with many new uses.
Nick Roy is an HR Researcher, Consultant, and freelance business writer. He currently holds a Master of Business Administration and Master of Arts in Human Resources Management from Hawaii Pacific University, and a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management from Florida Metropolitan University, Fort Lauderdale. He is also currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Organizational Change from Hawaii Pacific University, with theses research on “The Impact of Technology on Human Resources and Organization Effectiveness.”

Business Blogging: Why You Should Start a Business Blog to Promote and Market Your Small Business

A business blog is a great way to expose yourself and your small business. There are a variety of reasons why they're such a great marketing vehicle. In this article we'll discuss the top 5 reasons why blogging for business is so valuable and has so much potential.

1. Search Engines Love Blogs!
I've spent a lot of time promoting both my business website and my blogs. From experience I can tell you that promoting a blog is 10 times easier than promoting a traditional website, and the results have been 10 times more impressive. Why? Search engines just love blogs. They're current, their content changes regularly, and they're relevant. You have an opportunity to use your most important keywords on a regular basis, and the search engines just can't get enough.
There are literally dozens of blog directories where you can list your blog in very specific categories. This means that those using the directory and looking in your category are very likely to have an interest in your blog. All of these links back to your blog from the directories also boost your search engine rankings.

2. Demonstrate Your Expertise
Posting regularly to your blog with insightful comments, observations and lessons show that you know what you're talking about. Doing this regularly over time will prove to your readers that you're an expert. It's far better to demonstrate your expertise than to try and tell people that you're an expert. Your blog will give you this opportunity
3. The Only Investment Needed is Your Time
Blogging is probably the lowest cost form of marketing available. All you need to invest is your time. Of course that's not an investment to be taken lightly. For your blog to be successful you MUST post regularly. You'll want to post at least once a week. 2-3 times per week is a more reasonable goal. I personally post 2 or 3 times each week, and this only takes about an hour of time out of my week. This will probably pale in comparison to the time and money you spend on most of your other marketing efforts.
4. Connect with People on a Personal Level
Most of what you find on a traditional website, brochure, article or other marketing collateral is very impersonal. People are looking to make a personal connection with those they do business with. A blog gives you an incredible opportunity to be you. It's important to share some personal stories, history and opinion on your business blog. It will show your reader that you're a real approachable person. I've even had people I've never met start talking to me like they've known me for years. Later I found out that before we met they'd read my blog.
5. Develop Marketing Materials
One of the most overlooked benefits of blogging is the backlog of quality content you'll develop. Successful blogging requires that you post regularly. This means that you'll be writing several times each week. Do that for a few months and you'll have material for dozens of articles, maybe even a book! Most of the articles I write started as posts on my blog.
Blogging for business provides a great opportunity to expose yourself and your business in a very positive light. Take some time to find a few business blogs in your industry. You'll quickly see how much value the blogger and their business get from this medium. Then decide if starting a business blog is right for you.
Scott Ingram is the founder of NetworkInAustin.com, a networking resource for networkers in Austin, Texas who use networking as a business development and marketing strategy. They offer free blogs to their members and even help their members promote their business blogs. Scott also posts regularly to his own blogs: Business Networking in Austin and Austin Networking Events.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Blogs: A Fool Proof Way to Attract Visitors

Blogs might seem like an old hat at this time as by now really everyone has one him- and herself. But exactly this fact is what makes them such a valuable promotion tool even for long existing websites (that are no blog and don't have one yet): The wide and large userbase. There are thousands of bloggers around in every kind of niche that will visit every new blog they can find with great interest and thus making great new customers for your existing website. And the best thing is it doesn't even take much work to add your own blog to your website and promote it. This article will take you through the only three steps that are needed.

1. Create Your Blog
I won't get into the technical details of creating a blog here much. You can find more tutorials on how to set up a blog on the internet than anyone could ever need and in the end it doesn't matter if you use WordPress, TextPattern or any other blogging software. However make sure your choice provides a RSS Feed for your articles as this will be later for promoting your blog. It also matters what you add to the layout of your blog: Since you want to use it as a promotion tool for your website you will want to include one or several prominent links to your homepage on the blog and don't give your visitors many choices through links to other sites.

2. Write Something
This one might be the hardest part for many people, especially for those with no earlier blogging experience. However it isn't quite as hard as it sounds: You just have to write little articles, news and thoughts about the topic of your main website(and be sure to include a link to it in everything you write!) and the more often you do this the better your blog will perform.
3. Promote The Blog
That's easy again! The first and best thing you can do is to ping your blog. That actually means to tell all those big blog content aggregation sites out there that you have added a new article to your weblog. They will then spider it some time later and place a link to your fresh content on their site thus driving visitor to you. 

The best thing about pinging is that you can ping all the important blog aggregators out there at once with the Pingomatic. 
The next step is to add your new weblog to all the RSS directories out there. Those are basically the same as normal directories, just that they index the RSS Feed and not the site itself. You can find a big list of them here.

After those three steps everything should start to get rolling automatically. How far it will roll however is totally tied to your content: The more often you update your blog the more success it will probably have and therefore drive more visitors to your website.
Thomas Höfter is the webmaster and publisher of the metal music portal Metally.net and the smartphone software directory [http://www.smartphony.net/] Smartphony. You can find more of his articles and tips at his personal website lunaticstudios.com.