So, you’ve heard the rumours about ‘Web 2.0’ and ‘Social Networking’ and the fact that blogs fit in there somewhere and you are scared that you are going to be left behind.
Or maybe you have just heard that blogging is a good idea but you have no idea where to start?
So let us take a look at what blogging is about and how you can use it to
a) promote your company or
b) make some money on the side as an individual with your blog or
c) express yourself on the Internet and build your personal brand
What is a blog?
A blog is nothing more or less than an online diary, with entries appearing on a page in date sequence. These entries are articles, or opinion pieces on a specific topic and are categorized according to subject (Category) and when it was written (Date Archive).
So what is so special about that? And why are blogs classified as being ‘Web 2.0’, or part of the whole ‘Social Networking’ thing?
The answer is that the power of blogging firstly lies in the way that blogs are implemented and then in the power of what is known as ‘citizen journalism’.
Blogs normally run on special blogging software that offers some special capabilities. These include:
RSS feeds: RSS feeds is a way of publishing your content not only on your own blog, but to make your articles available for publication on other websites quickly and easily. This means that every time that you write about something, there is a chance that your article or entry will end up published on potentially thousands of other websites. Just think of the exposure!
Commenting system: This is the powerful mechanism that exists to enable you to enter into communication with your blog readers – these could be existing customers, potential customers or just innocent bystanders! Every time that you write something on your blog, anyone who reads it has the opportunity of leaving a comment. Other people can then reply on that comment in turn with their own comments. In this way you involve your potential customers in the conversation.
Tagging and pinging: This is a mechanism that enables you to send out notifications to the blogosphere (other parties who blog) every time that you create a new blog entry. You can also identify your blog entry to be about specific topics (tagging your posts). This will attract more people to your blog since you explicitly tell them what your post is about.
All of these features together give you a powerful mechanism to communicate with customers and potential customers and to drag yourself or your company into the world of Web 2.0.
If you or your company has not started blogging yet it is high time that you investigate the power of blogging and get maximum exposure for your business. Setting up a blog for your business is one of the best things that you can do to attract new visitors to your website. But before you start – just remember that you will have to regularly maintain your blog! There is nothing worse than a blog that does not get updated regularly.