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blogging - a guide

Wikipedia defines a blog as

“A blog (a contraction of the term "Web log") is a Web site, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order.”

Blogs have been with us since the late 1990’s and after their arrival quickly rose in popularity. Today there are literally millions of blogs on just about any subject you can name.

There are corporate blogs, media blogs, fashion blogs, political blogs, small business blogs and so on, but perhaps the most common blog is the personal blog. This is where an individual keeps a diary or log of their life, or in some cases, they discuss an event in their life, inviting comments and feedback. This is called a microblog.

Most businesses have yet to get into blogging with many wondering if it’s at all relevant to them. However, blogs are a way of helping to get and maintain search engine rankings. Search engines prefer new to old content and sites which are regularly updated and expanded tend to get better rankings. A blog is a quick way of doing this and adding new keyword content. So a blog can be good for business for this reason.

Hosting a blog
Blogs can be hosted by specialist blogging hosting services or you can use the usual web hosting services. There are also dedicated blog directories where you can submit your blog. And there are different methods of setting them up - Google Blogs, Wordpress etc. or you can have one tailor made by your web developer.

What a blog looks like
Blogs really look just like a web site with pictures, videos, as well as text, but one of their key differences is their high degree of interactivity. Anyone can log onto the blog and make comments or additions.

This interactivity is an important feature of a blog. Because the information contained in the blog changes all the time, people who are interested in what you have to say, or interested in the subject of your blog, will keep returning to it time and time again.

There are various different ways you can get to a blog. You can find them by going to the major search engines. Google and Yahoo, for example, index blog pages. There are also specialist blog search engines such as Google Blog Search and Technorati. Often businesses will provide links on their website to their blog which is another way of getting there.

How it can help your business

Keep in mind that a blog is really just another marketing tool in your marketing tool kit. So, like any form of marketing, you need to think carefully about how you’re going to use your blog and what it’s going to contain.

Think about your business and your audience. Think about what they would like to know more about, how best to present the information, then give it to them! This can include articles, tips, forums, competitions and giveaways, latest information about changes to your business or the industry you’re involved in, videos, images and so on.

If you decide to start your own blog, remember it’s critical to update it regularly, at least a couple of times a week or even daily. Once people start visiting your blog, they will expect it to be current and relevant. This takes time, so make sure you’re prepared to make the commitment.

For help with setting up a blog, give us a call on 04 212 6160 or if you'd rather send us an email for more information you could complete our enquiry form.

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