What Is A Blog?
It’s quite clear that if you want to make money on the Internet and want to increase the Search Engine Optimisation (S.E.O) of your website then, without question, you absolutely, 1000%, NEED A BLOG!
77% of Internet users read blogs (you are reading ours right now!) and that, right there, is massive exposure for your website. Blogs have become absolutely indispensable to businesses in their quest for improved commerce and are a great way to provide your clients with information that bonds them to your business as blogs lets them see you as an authority on your subject and a friendly person they can contact. Usefully, they are a feature that you can easily add to your website.
Blogs started as VERY simple online applications for posting online diaries. Those diaries were used as personal diaries, political activists, amateur news reporters, and for anyone that needed a soapbox. Today, that has all changed, and with this article I’ll show you some of the reasons why blogs need to be a necessary part of your online marketing (and all for just a little more than free).
You are sure to have heard about blogs on the Internet umpteen times and you are sure to have read them but do you know what they are? Do you know why they are so useful in selling your products and making yourself money?
A blog is a type of website where relatively short entries (almost like diary entries) are written in chronological order and displayed in reverse chronological order (i.e. your latest blog post sits at the top) like a news-feed. Blogs provide a commentary, information, news or your own thoughts and commentaries any particular subject (could be food, politics, sports or local news; absolutely anything you like). A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic and as such can be a rich and rewarding to read. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs and involves the visitor. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (artlog), photographs (photoblog), sketchblog, videos (vlog), music (MP3 blog), or audio (podcasting), and are part of a wider network of social media. If you are an authority on a subject, whatever it is, you can blog about it!
Like many online tools and applications, blogs started out as a tool and a toy for geeks. If you look at email, forums, html, and now blogs, they were all used by geeks for some time before businesses found a way to monetize them. Blogs have fairly recently become the next online tool to become indispensable to businesses.
Blogs Are Almost Free!
You can create a blog for your website in minutes and this has eliminated all barriers to creating blogs online. As you can see, this blog you are reading is a WordPress blog; we love WordPress because it is highly extendable. WordPress is a free addition to your website. Naturally, arthurwales.com hosts blogs and provides the Fantastico auto-installer, so you can install WordPress in just a few minutes and with just a couple of clicks and at no extra cost whatsoever!
Install WordPress Using Fantastico
One-click installation is the quickest way to get WordPress up and running on your website; after you’ve determined that one-click would best serve your needs, you can follow the tutorial below to learn how to set up your WordPress blog using Fantastico’s one-click installation option.
1) If you have not already done so, log into your website’s cPanel account, then click on the Fantastico icon.
2) Click on WordPress Link From the Fantastico interface, scroll down until you see the Blogs section and just below it, you should see WordPress in the list. Click on the WordPress link.
3) Check WordPress Version To the right, you will be provided with some information about the version of WordPress you will be able to install. Take a moment to ensure that it’s up to date. If all is well, click on New Installation.
4) : You should arrive at the first of three steps in the one-click installation process. Here, you’ll be able to determine which folder you’d like to have WordPress installed to, as well as some other blog information:
: If you want your blog to be your website’s homepage, ensure that you leave the space blank, otherwise type in the name of the folder you want WordPress installed to (make sure it doesn’t already exist).
: Choose the username and password you’d like to use in order to access the WordPress admin panel after installation is completed.
: Type a nickname you’d like to use throughout the blog. By default, the nickname is used whenever you leave comments or write an entry on the blog, so choose something you don’t mind the world seeing. The admin e-mail address is where notices, passwords, and other information about the administration of the blog is sent. Your blog’s name and description should be self-explanatory.
: You only need to worry about this if you plan to blog via e-mail. If you’ve set up a special e-mail account that you’ll use for blogging via e-mail, then enter the settings where applicable. (Bear in mind, you will need to enter an e-mail account password in order to proceed with the installation, simply use a false one if you don’t plan to blog via e-mail.)
When your blog information is complete, click on the Install WordPress button at the bottom.
5) Confirm Everything Is Correct: Verify that the information you provided is correct and click on Finish installation. Fantastico will create a brand new database for you and create the necessary WordPress files.
6) Confirmation Message: When the process is complete, you will receive a confirmation notice with the details of the installation. If you’d like a copy of the report for your records, you’ll have the option to send an e-mail to an account of your choosing.
Benefits Of Blogging
- You get increased sales of your product or service – If, let’s say, you were selling Baby Wears, you get a chance to promote your products through your blog and talk about your experience with them.
- You become known as an expert in your field – People will come to view you as an expert on Baby Wears and will take your advice with less hesitation.
- Blogs get more traffic from search engines
- They get traffic from next-generation social networking search engines (like Technorati.com)
- News agencies are more likely to do a story on your business
- Real-life stories and tips warm up your web presence and help your customer connect with a real person. This makes you far more trustworthy. As your visitors relate to you more, they will spend more money with you.
- Educating customers on how to be a better customer helps your business run better – Tell them to why to buy your products and tell them how to buy your products. The guidance of a human being is way better than the static instructions on your website.
- You can update your blog on your own without your webmaster’s help – More time to spend blogging, more money to spend creating and marketing your products.
Uses For Blog
- Create a how-to section – these tend to get attention from search engines
- As a replacement for a static news article on your company home page
- Warn customers of possible problems that they could have with products/services in your industry
- Use the blog as an “ask the expert” section of your website
- Tell customers about new products and services via your blog
- Link to related articles and web content from your blog
- Blogs are hard work to maintain and because they must be added to periodically so that the visitor feels they are getting the benefits.
12 Reasons Why You Need A Blog
There are many blogs for many different things and here are the top 12 reasons why you need to get a blog to compliment your money-making efforts.
1) You Get to Earn AdSense Income!
You know those Google ads you see on some web pages? Well, those ads have the ability to earn you money! Having a blog that doesn’t have Ads on it is like turning up to your Prom with no clothes on – it just doesn’t make sense.
Signing up for AdSense is easy. Then you just choose what size ad blocks you want your blog to display. When visitors land on your blog and click on an ad you’ll hear “ker-ching” every time they do!
2) You Get to Call Yourself an Expert
When someone wants to learn something new and interesting about permission marketing, the image of a bald Seth Godin springs to mind. What do they do? They Google his name and stop by his blog to learn what his most recent insight is.
Here is where different is better because it helps you stand apart from the crowd. What are you known for? Add your personality or character to your blog and let it help you build a brand for yourself. Who hasn’t heard of the Rich Jerk or Seth Godin? You have if you’ve been in Internet Marketing very long…
3) Google SEO Loves Blogs; and rewards them handsomely
As a result of all the great Internet Marketing blogging that we have done on this website, it’s no secret to most of you that the way you get good ranking in the Google is to write fresh, original content on a regular basis. That goes for all types of sites.
Well, isn’t that what blogs are best at? Write something newsy, thoughtful, controversial, or opinionated and you’ll get noticed in the search engines more easily. This is the secret to having a profitable blog, too!
Search engines recognize blogs in several ways. At the most basic level, they naturally crawl them like any other website, indexing the content n them. In this way, a blog provides your company with a second website, which can cross-link to your main website. If your company has only one website, this can help. But blog software tends to be very optimized for search engines out of the box. As long as you are entering meaningful articles that contain your keywords, text links, and categories, then you should get most of these benefits automatically. Blog software typically generates nice page titles, text link titles, and search engine safe URLs. All of these Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tricks make your blog get noticed by search engines.
4) People Subscribe and you get an Audience to Pander to!
Blogs are easy to subscribe to – if your blog theme doesn’t have RSS built-in, then it’s easy to download the plug-in to make it work. Feedburner Feedsmith is one that comes to mind. Too technical for you? If you have a blog set up for you, then your blog will definitely come RSS-ready. RSS is used for many things besides subscriptions, so make sure your blog has an RSS feed!
With RSS your followers can get your regular posts sent to their favorite RSS reader or even sent directly to their email. Best of both worlds! Put your readers in your niche pipeline and make them remember you, love you, and buy from you.
5) You Can Automate Your Blog Posts If You Want To!
What’s better than a static website? A self-posting blog! Did you know there’s a super sneaky way you can queue up months of blog posts that post themselves for you – and then even bookmark themselves on the web?
You can write a “Merry Christmas” message in January and set it to auto-post in December… and completely forget about it! It’ll be like having your own little robot employee.
It might make you feel like you’re no longer needed on your blog, and maybe you won’t be if you queue up enough posts – but it’ll be a wonderful relief knowing your blog’s left the nest and is able to care for itself – you raised it well – be proud!
6) You Don’t Have to Be really Tech Savvy to Update Your Blog
Once your blog is set up you won’t need any outside help to keep it going!
Blogs are so newbie friendly, really. The typical Internet user can keep up with a blog and make changes without any headaches at all –The best thing is that you don’t have to know any HTML or CSS. You have the control like a webmaster without all of the head knowledge of a tech geek. Once set up, you can basically just fill in the blanks and press Publish!
7) You Win the Ultimate Trust Award!
Your customers trust you more when you have a blog – they say you’re committed, consistent, and reachable. Take a bow and smile – you’re loved by your loyal fans and followers!
As you post consistently, you’ll build a following of people who bookmark your site and return day after day to see what you’ve said that’s new. Or, if they’re not stubborn with technical tools, they’ll subscribe to the RSS feed and have your blog words of wisdom come to them!
Have a contact area on your blog and allow your fans to reach you if they want to. And be committed to regular updates. Don’t post daily for 3 weeks and disappear for 5 days without warning. You’ll break their little hearts!
The key is to ALWAYS BE CONSISTENT. Post once a day, once a week, or once a month, just be consistent about it!!!
Hint: See reason number 5 above
8) Backlinks from Your Blog Boost Your PageRank on Google!
Backlinks – ah yes, the key to ranking well in Google. So, make sure to refer to your main site, if applicable, throughout your blog. Don’t overdo this because Google frowns on this if it’s forced and too frequent. Just be natural, and you’ll notice the difference.
Just make sure you have links to your website on your blog, using appropriate linking text if possible.
9) Blogs Offer Online Reputation Management
Now, here again you’re creating a sort of storefront – a place where people can get to know you better. Suppose someone stumbled over your name or a product you sell on some other website and they want to know more about you before they buy.
Having a blog lets you address rumors, false information, and other nonsense floating around that was put out there by your competitors to try to tarnish your reputation.
It also lets you be a do-gooder! Helping people in public through your blog aids you in building a stellar reputation on the Internet.
There is nothing that will brand you quicker than a comment on your blog from someone gushing about how much you’ve helped them out!
10) Visitors Can Post Comments on Blog Posts
There’s just something about a blog that says, “I am here – talk to me.”
Your blog is a place for you to share your thoughts, ideas and opinions and others can talk back, even if they disagree with you.
When you get feedback or comments left on your site, it all contributes to your rank in Google. Did I mention that 77% of active Internet users read blogs – you don’t want to be left behind!
Think of the exposure you’re missing if you don’t have a blog.
Also, (and this is a golden nugget for you entrepreneurial types) one of your best sources for ideas and how to best serve your customer can show up in feedback in your comments section. If they have a problem, you find a solution. Isn’t that what we’re here for – to solve someone else’s pressing, if not desperate problem?
11) Blogs Deliver Traffic to Your Main Website!
Let’s say your main site sells an eBook or software program. If you have a blog, you can talk about aspects of your product and you can feature some benefits of your product and then promote your main URL via a link to the sales page.
Stick the 3D image of the ecover in your sidebar and make sure you hyperlink it. Add banners between blog posts that take them to your main site. And hyperlink anchor text from your blog posts to your main domain to keep visitors on the slippery sales slope you’ve cleverly created.
Don’t have your own product? Doesn’t matter! You can promote other people’s products as an affiliate and get up to 75% of the cash. Affiliate marketing and blogs are a match made in heaven!
NOTE that for maximum benefits, your blog should be part of your website domain name and not a link to some free blogging sites like wordpress.com or Google’s Blogger.com
12) Remember – Your Target Audience Is Reading Blogs
Who’s reading blogs to gain information? The question should be, “Who isn’t?!“. The fact is, every gender from teenagers to Baby Boomers and everyone of every financial classification are reading blogs!
If you don’t have a blog, then you’re saying it’s perfectly okay with you that your competition is stealing your rightful income.
A blog gives you power and presence – claim yours and rule your niche!
- Posted using BlogPress
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Wale Falade is Nigerian. A Business Systems Analyst, Technology Enthusiast and a Linux Server Administrator.
He engages actively in improving online visibility of Nigerian brands.
Follow him on twitter @diaryofageek