To Blog or not to Blog?
One of the very interesting Digital Marketing topics involves the use of “Blogs” on business Web sites as a traditional “What’s New” page combined with a conversational “How ya do’in?” look and feel, and also incorporating recent FAQ info. It can also incorporate feedback from Web site visitors.
Also see my Blogs & Blogging Blog posts for the latest information on this subject.
Let’s learn what a “Blog” is and how to create one.
From WordPress (the blogging platform I use):
What is a “blog”?
“Blog” is an abbreviated version of “weblog,” which is a term used to describe web sites that maintain an ongoing chronicle of information. A blog is a frequently updated, personal website featuring diary-type commentary and links to articles on other Web sites. Blogs range from the personal to the political, and can focus on one narrow subject or a whole range of subjects.
Many blogs focus on a particular topic, such as web design, home staging, sports, or mobile technology. Some are more eclectic, presenting links to all types of other sites. And others are more like personal journals, presenting the author’s daily life and thoughts.
Generally speaking (although there are exceptions), blogs tend to have a few things in common:
- A main content area with articles listed chronologically, newest on top. Often, the articles are organized into categories.
- An archive of older articles.
- A way for people to leave comments about the articles.
- A list of links to other related sites, sometimes called a “blogroll”.
- One or more “feeds” like RSS, Atom or RDF files.
Some blogs may have additional features beyond these.
Content is the raison d’être for any web site. Retail sites feature a catalog of products. University sites contain information about their campuses, curriculum, and faculty. News sites show the latest news stories. For a personal blog, you might have a bunch of observations, or reviews. Without some sort of updated content, there is little reason to visit a web site more than once.
On a blog, the content consists of articles (also sometimes called “posts” or “entries”) that the author(s) writes. Yes, some blogs have multiple authors, each writing his/her own articles. Typically, blog authors compose their articles in a web-based interface, built into the blogging system itself. Some blogging systems also support the ability to use stand-alone “weblog client” software, which allows authors to write articles offline and upload them at a later time.
Want an interactive website? Wouldn’t it be nice if the readers of a website could leave comments, tips or impressions about the site or a specific article? With blogs, they can! Posting comments is one of the most exciting features of blogs.
Most blogs have a method to allow visitors to leave comments. There are also nifty ways for authors of other blogs to leave comments without even visiting the blog! Called “pingbacks” or “trackbacks”, they can inform other bloggers whenever they cite an article from another site in their own articles. All this ensures that online conversations can be maintained painlessly among various site users and websites.
How do I get started?
If you are new to WordPress and you’re worried about where to start, you’ve come to the right place! Here is a very simple step-by-step plan for getting started with WordPress. Please remember, if you need help along the way, plenty of options for assistance are listed in this article. Welcome to the exciting world of WordPress!
After installing WordPress and going through the following process step-by-step, consider making your first plugin installation the Codex and Forum Searcher Plugin. It allows you to search both the WordPress Codex and WordPress Support Forum from your WordPress Administration Panels. Click on one of the search results and the page will open in a new window or tab so you can have the article or discussion open while working on WordPress. This will make your transition to WordPress a much gentler one with information right at your finger tips.
Is Blogging Free?
The basic WordPress service is completely free.
How do I get started?
Easy. Click here. If you have questions, problems, comments, suggestions, please use the help system.
And Then There’s Twitter…
Twitter is a blog? That’s right, it’s technically a “micro-blog”. A maximum of 140 characters per tweet – thus the term micro-blog. Learn a lot more about Twitter and tweeting by reading my blog post about it:
And Now There’s tumblr…
tumblr is one of the latest, and one of the most popular, new blogging platforms.
Technically, tumblr is classified as a tumblelog, a short-form blog, yet another form of micro-blogging.
Features include the following popular blog management tools:
- Dashboard – The dashboard is the primary tool for the typical Tumblr user. It is a live feed of recent posts from blogs that they follow. Through the dashboard, users are able to comment, reblog, and like posts from other blogs that appear on their dashboard. The dashboard allows the user to upload text posts, images, video, quotes, or links to their blog with a click of a button displayed at the top of the dashboard. Users are also able to connect their blogs to their Twitter and Facebook accounts, so whenever they make a post, it will also be sent as a tweet and a status update.
- Queue – Users are able to set up a schedule to delay posts that they make. They can spread their posts over several hours or even days.
- Tags – For each post a user creates, they are able to help their audience find posts about certain topics by adding tags. If someone were to upload a picture to their blog and wanted their viewers to find pictures, they would add the tag #picture, and their viewers could use that word to search up posts with the tag #picture.
- HTML editing – Tumblr allows users to edit their blog’s theme HTML coding to control the appearance of their blog. Users are also able to use a custom domain name for their blog.
Check it out at: tumblr
A word of caution about blogging and SEO:
If you do not have your blog hosted by the same Web Hosting company that is hosting your Web site, you will get very little overall SEO benefit from the content on your blog.
Here’s a link to my blog, the Digital Marketing Tutorial Blog, the complementary blog to this Digital Marketing Tutorial. Take a peak to see how I’m developing this Digital Marketing resource. (If you prefer, here’s a link to the RSS feed.)