An Introduction to Blogging As an Internet Marketing Strategy

One of the biggest changes in the Internet in the last five to ten years has been the rise of the blogosphere, the massive, global network of personal, business, and group blogs. This huge increase in the number of blogs means not only a huge amount of content to read, but a great deal of money to be made. However, before you can begin to work from home from blogging, you first need to learn the basics.

So What the Heck is a Blog?

Possibly the weirdest word to come from the Internet lately, aside from maybe Twitter, is blog. Short for “weblog,” a blog is generally a website that chronicles the publishing of information Some people use these as an online diary, explaining who they are and what they are doing. Businesses and professional groups often use them to describe various things happening within their institutions, such as promotions or the progression of new product development.

Some people have even figured out how to use blogging to make money – which is exactly what we’re going to teach you how to do. After no time, it will be directly integrated into whatever Internet marketing strategies that you may have.

Where Can I Blog?

You can publish or read blogs just about anywhere. Many major news institutions and other websites, like Wired, have entire sections of their websites dedicated to blogs. Other websites are nothing more than just a blog – in fact, most of the most popular websites on the Internet right now are essentially just well-designed blogs that publish new information on a daily or even hourly basis.

What this means is that if you want to, you can buy up a domain you like through a service like GoDaddy and begin blogging right away. However, this costs money, as you will have to not only buy the domain, but you will also have to have the blog itself hosted. After attaining your own domain, you will want to install blogging software, like Joomla or WordPress, to begin blogging.

Alternatively, you can jump onto a number of different websites dedicated to hosting blogs for free to get your feet wet. While there is nothing innately worse about freely-hosted blogs, they do require you to have particular elements attached to your URL, as well as being forced to follow their terms of service. Blogger and WordPress are two of the more popular free blogging spots out there.

A blog is a standalone website, or part of a website, comprised of regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, opinions or the experiences of the author, or the company the author works for. Entries, called posts, are usually arranged in reverse chronological order (most recent at the top) and uses text, links, images, video, audio, and music to interact with audiences.

There are usually two reasons people include a blog in their web design. Some people want to share something: information, their options their creative talents, and others want to sell something. Whatever the motive the underlying need is the same – CONNECTION. The main purpose of a blog is to connect with audiences. Whether for altruistic or financial gain the design techniques and principles used are the same.

Blogs are a great website feature. An important element of blogs is that they are interactive. Users are able to leave comments, follow links, watch videos, and listen to music. Readers can actively participate with and in the creation of content.

If designed successfully audiences of blogs feel a bond or relationship with the authors and trust their opinions. This is where the value of a blog is found… trust and credibility. Many companies include a blog in their website design as it is a quick way to give their version of news and events. A company is able to build a relationship with audiences by sharing stories and information about their company and letting readers comment on it.

Who should not include a blog as part of their web design?

Blogging can be time consuming; it requires regular updates of interesting and fresh content. Content is key. People don’t visit your blog to see the flashy gadgets in your sidebars, People read blogs for the content. Users are more likely to return to your blog, and thus your website, if they know they will find new and interesting material. 

As a minimum, a blog needs to updated with interesting stories, special offers, a video or a good photograph, once a week. This is the absolute minimum; otherwise your blog will not be an effective website design tool. 

If you, or your company, do not have the time to create content at least once a week there is no value in including a blog in your web design. If there is nothing interesting or funny happening at your company then your company can not produce interesting updates so there will be no value including a blog in your website design.