Month: June 2012

How to Build a Successful Business Blog

It is the 21st century and physical addresses for businesses just do not suffice anymore. The world is slowly being converted into a global village and because of this, shoppers can be found from anywhere. If a business is in the United States of America for instance, it could find that some of its prospective clients are in neighboring countries like Canada or even more far flung ones like France and Germany. Starting a blog could be the perfect way to enable communication between the business and the clients.

Whether the company is a huge multinational or a small one, starting a business blog could have a positive impact. It must however be remembered that not all blogs are successful. A blog built in a haphazard manner will not attract viewers and will therefore fail. To make a blog successful, there are some elements that must be factored in during its setting up. The following are some of the questions that are often asked by blogging businesspeople as they build their blogs.

a.) Who is intended to visit the blog?
Each and every business blog must have a predetermined target audience. If for instance it belongs to a construction company, a blog should be able to attract builders, contractors and others involved in the industry. If it is a technological blog, it must also be able to attract experts and trainees in the sector. It would be completely wrong for a business blog to combine too many sectors as this could create a lot of confusion for the visitors to the site. In fact, focusing on a particular field is very important as it will enable the blog to make a point and specialize

b.) What is the function of the blog?
The vision for setting up the blog must be clear. There are many reasons for setting up a blog, but it must be definite. Is it a Public Relations tool, a means of communication with the clients or one that is meant for advertisement and marketing? It can also be used to conduct market research, branding or for the promotion of particular services or products. Business blogs can effectively combine more than one of these functions, but they should not be too much to an extent that the site loses focus. It is better to do a few of these functions properly than do so many of them ineffectively.

c.) What is expected from the blog?
This factor focuses on the benefits that are expected to be made by the business from the blog. There would be absolutely no reason tom operate a business blog if it will bring no advantage to the business establishment. The best thing to do therefore is to decide at the very beginning what the blog will be expected to achieve. The end result is what matters most. Is it to increase the clientele base, improve the company’s sales, build up new connections with clients through faster communication or publicize any new product? The criteria of deciding this must be one that is measurable over an agreed period of time.

d.) Choosing the hosting software for the blog
There are numerous types of blogging software that can be used to set up blogs. Each of them has a different set of advantages and disadvantages which must be taken into consideration before making a choice on which software to use. The selected software should be one that will be able to fulfill all the needs of the upcoming blog and make it easy for the blog administrator or owner to use. It should also be one that has an allowance for growth so that as the business expands it can also grow correspondingly.
Many people often jump at the idea of choosing free software, but this may not be the best option. It is more advisable to try looking for software that could come at a reasonable price and yet offer all the necessities.

Understanding Blogging

The number of blogs that have been created within the last twenty something years has gone up to a hundred million and above. Blogs are becoming more and more popular as the days go by. The big question is what is a blog? Of what importance is a blog?

A blog can be described as a personal diary and a piece of collaborative space through which the author(s) or administrators can share information with others. It is a kind of pulpit that allows people to make their private feelings and thoughts accessible to hundreds of thousands or even millions of people all over the world.

A blog is an instrument that can be transformed into whatever its owner wants it to be. With millions of blogs already in existence, every new one needs to be different and unique in its own way in order to attract viewers and users. For instance, if it a blog that gives news, it must be one that gives the news as soon as they break.

There are some things that anyone wishing to operate or run a blog should bear in mind.

One of them is the simplicity of use of blogs. There is no necessity for specialized training for blog operators. The interface that is used to put up any new posts on the page in many circumstances is just like a Windows page, making it a very easy exercise. This eliminates the need for any form of technical expertise and makes it possible for almost all manner of people to run a web page. A blog does not require the services of a web designer when a person wants to make updates or any related things.

The comments section allows readers to say what they think about the posts that have been put up on the site by the page administrators. In the case of a business blog, this section helps a lot in sourcing for clients, who will often place their requests for services or products there. In fact, the commentaries have often been found to be the pulling point for many blog users, because of the interesting points that some of the commentators have.

Another thing to note about blogs is that they are usually organized automatically. The use of archives, titles and categories in blogs is something that is an integral part for any blog. The organization of any web page makes it much easier for anybody to use it and gives some sense of structure and organization to the blog. This is because each and every post will be saved under a specific category according to the various categories available.

Optimization to search engines is something that is also of great value to any blog page or indeed any type of website. Posting articles regularly, using key words, addresses and links that are easily identified by the search will make the site very popular to the various search engines available and therefore ensure that more people are able to access it.

Links, both external and internal help blogs to thrive. They do this by referring other articles to the blog for readership by the users of the blog. This has been known to shore up promotion of various articles as well as increasing the comments made on the stories. It also helps a blog to build networks and relationships.

The use of more than one author is a great idea because the number of ideas and stories to post will automatically go up. This will lead to more interest on the website by blog users and make it a whole lot more popular. Each of the authors will be given a specific area to cover and give stories on. This particular feature also makes blogs very important tools for internal company communications.

What to Check When Creating A Blog?

Operating a blog is not a very hard task to do, especially once all the setting up has been done. The hardest part for many blog owners and operators is the creation of a new blog, i.e. what to include in it, the design, and the font for use in the page, the background color and many other features. The best thing to note when creating a blog is how the writer(s) of the page will be able to share information with its readers or viewers.

One very important element to have in a blog is the archive. Every now and then, the author of a blog or authors (if they are more than one) will put up a new update. If this goes on for some time, then the readers will soon find that they get confused and are not able to find the one article that they really would want to read. Sometimes also, after a few posts have been put up, the readers will find it rather difficult to search for some of the stories to read or videos to watch.

To help readers find their way within a blog page, designers brought in the archive, a feature whose main intention is to organize the information on the page for easy use. It keeps track of all postings on the page in a variety of ways. The stories can be archived on a yearly basis or on a monthly basis. It can also be done through the available posting categories, which can be done on the basis of topics. Another way in which archiving is done is through alphabetical order or according to the name of its author. Without the archiving feature, blogging for web user would become a very difficult exercise. As a matter of fact, this tool has made blogging so popular to millions of people.

Another blogging tool of great importance is ‘The Feed.’ This is a very special tool that allows blog users to access more than one blog almost simultaneously. This is done by allowing Feedreaders access sites automatically when they are searching for some new data to post on other sites. Feeds therefore enable blog users be able to get all the newest information. Some options for feeds have included RSS, RDF and Atom files.

A Blogroll is another feature that has done a lot in popularizing the blog. This is a small feature that is found in a bar on the side of the screen. A blogroll can be defined as a type of list that includes links to other websites or pages that the author of a specific blog could find interesting or worth a read. The links that are given by blogrolls often lead to other sites that have information that is similar in taste.

A syndication feed is a feature that helps a blog author track down new posts in the blogs that he or she could be following. Through syndication feeds, blog authors are able to automatically discover new information from other sites and post it on their blogs. Feedreaders can continue checking blogs and when they come by something new, they display it as well as a link to it. Some of the syndication tools bring an excerpt of the post.

Comments are very important for any type of interactive web page. The comment section is often one of the most interesting parts of a blog, often allowing users to make their comments about some postings on the page or even recommend them to others. Sometimes, these features can also be called pingbacks and trackbacks.

A trackback is a feature that was designed to enable websites share notifications. It allows an author of one blog to first post a comment on another person’s blog, and secondly to ‘borrow’ the post. When author ‘B’ responds to a post by author ‘A’, the comment appears on Author A’s page, but with a link back to his or her blog page.

Types of Blogs

About twenty years ago, the world of the internet was almost non-existent. Very few people had any idea about it, least the fact that it was a tool that could someday change the manner in which the world communicates.

The few websites that were present at the time provided simple forms of information to a limited number of people. These sites did not even have an allowance where their readers could leave their comments or communicate with the owners of the site. However, as time went by, the world of the internet began to develop, from a one-sided platform to one that allowed people to communicate to and fro.

The big change was brought about by the advancement of Web 2.0, also known as the social internet. This type of internet created a two-way form of communication and brought about the creation of the first blogs during the 1990s. These blogs were most often collections of daily life events and were often seen in order of the most recent post to the earliest ones.

As the evolvement of blogs continued, more of them were created and even more features were added to them. They increased in popularity too, growing in the millions every year. In fact, it has been estimated that the number of blogs has exceeded a hundred million. They are now like diaries, where people can keep important updates about their lives and share important information with others.

There are numerous categories of blogs, which include:

a.)    Personal Blogs

These types of blogs are ones where the author discusses various issues and events, putting a personal touch and mood on them. It has long been said that personal blogs brought the beginning of blogging. A personal blog can be explained as a scrapbook of sorts or as a personal diary. Personal blogs are fun to write and even more fun for the readers in most cases.

b.)    Business Blogs

These types of blogs came up as a result of natural progression. The manner in which they are set up is the same all over, though they each have specific target groups, niches and markets to target. The audience must be given the exact information that they are looking for when they visit the blog page. For instance, each business blog should properly spell out the products and services that the business has to offer, as well as put in any other information that could be imperative to the business.

The internet –and specifically a business blog- is a very powerful tool for marketing, considering that it helps businesspeople be able to communicate with all their stakeholders, sometimes on a one-on-one basis. These stakeholders include clients, suppliers and other important partners in the business. Not only do they connect these important people to the business enterprise, they help in developing long lasting relationships that are necessary for good business.

Since blogs also appear on the search engines if they are compatible with some keywords used by a search user on the internet, it means that the blog will also be able to pull in more people that were initially anticipated. This means that if the blog has been given good keywords, then it is likely to be visited by more people.

Caution must be taken however, to remember that corporate blogs are not like personal blogs. They should not be used to keep a daily record of happenings at the workplace. Their main functions are public relations, branding and marketing. Blogs that are similar to the business blog are the group blogs and club blogs, which inform their members about ongoing or planned activities.

c.)    Media Blogs

Blogs are also found according to the type of media that they offer to users. For instance, a vlog is a type of blog which updates using videos, while a linklog is one which gives users access to a number of links. A sketchblog is a site that contains numerous sketch portfolios, while a photoblog is a blog that has photos only. Those blogs that have posts that are shorter and make use of a combination of various media are known as tumblelogs.

What is a Blog?

A blog, also known as a weblog, is a term that is used to refer to websites that are used to keep records of ongoing events. It works almost in the same way as a diary does, only that it is found online.

Usually, the events that are recorded in a blog are done so in a reverse order. This means that the commentaries and the blog posts are arranged in a form of order in which the most recent event is on top, while the earliest of them are placed at the bottom of the page.

Various blogs have various topics of focus, often depending on the interests of the writer. They can be used to keep updates of daily events or memorable ones that the writer or the blog has been involved in. Blogs can also be focused on political issues, personal issues, a single topic, or a wide range of them.


Some topics that blogs could deal with include web design, art and music, sports, Information Technology, cookery, relationships, media and news, life biographies and auto biographies as well as many others that could interest the readers.

The design of individual blogs will often vary, depending on the decision of the owner or administrator of the web page. Despite this, there are a number of factors that are general to all the blogs.

One of them is the reverse chronological arrangement of the articles, beginning with the newest articles at the top and the oldest ones at the bottom of the page or in successive pages. To make it much easier for some of the blog visitors to use the blog, most of the articles have been organized under categories.

All blog pages also have archives where articles that are much older can be stored. They also have an allowance for readers of the blog to leave their comments after reading the articles posted. Another thing that is shared by blogs also is that they provide links to other pages that the reader could be interested in checking out.

The content of the blog is its most important aspect. The writer must at all times strive to ensure that the articles that are posted on the site meet certain criteria. One of them is ensuring that the information posted auger well with the intended readers. For instance, if the website has been designed to target students, it should be able to provide the information that would suit students, such as the best courses to take, faculties in the universities and the available curriculums.

News sites for instance, have to be at the forefront in breaking the latest news to its readers if it is to stay way ahead of their competition, while a blog that carries personal information should be able to give proper details of the author’s life, review, opinions or observations about certain events. The articles pasted on the site must be timely. There would be absolutely no reason for people to visit a blog is it is not going to provide them with any new information. Blogs can be manned by a single author or a number of them. When there is more than one author on a blog, each of them will usually have a specific segment to be in charge of, especially if the site deals with a variety of topics.

A good blogging page must have an allowance for the readers to leave comments. Blogging is all about being interactive and having a space for comments will allow the readers and the posters of the articles to discuss issues and share information.

Blogging is an activity that will most likely go on growing for as long as internet is there, with millions of new blogs being created each year.

Networking A Necessity or an Advantage

My friend and I were debating about this topic just a while ago. We were arguing if networking is essential to a website’s growth, or if it is just something that we can take advantage of. I personally chose the latter; networking is just a tool which we can use to help relieve our internet marketing hardships. I will state our points here, starting with “Networking is a necessity.”

After reading all the valid points, please, let me know what you think. Is networking a necessity to a website’s (or an online business’) growth, or is it just something that we can gain additional benefits from?

Please note that two persons wrote this single post. One wrote some things for networking being a necessity and one wrote some things for networking being an advantage. So it’s just like we’re debating with each other through a blog post.

Networking: A Necessity

Networking can be considered as a need in order for a website to grow. Consider this situation: A person who has a lot of contacts and friends launches a website. Right after the launch, he sends everyone in his address book (or IM list) a message saying that the website is now live. Most, if not all, of his contacts would then visit the website and if it’s really good, the word would spread like a virus and the site would develop rapidly.

Another thing that a person’s contacts can do is they can complement your deficiencies. For example, you own a blog and you can’t post for a month. Your friends could help you if they’re capable enough. If you didn’t have any contacts, then your blog would surely die. Imagine, one month of no updates. Your readers would be bored and eventually they would unsubscribe.

Finally, networking is really a necessity because without it, you will actually get little to no visitors. If you don’t tell anyone about your site, how would people find out about it (besides advertising of course)? Sheer luck? Typos? These reasons just prove that networking is indeed a requirement for a site to grow.

Networking: An Advantage

Networking is not a need, it is merely an advantage. Before I start with my arguments, let us define networking first.

From http://www.pricedrightllc.com/id90.htm:

Two or more devices (or people) that communicate with each other and share resources

A website with great content can tremendously grow within a month or so even without the use of networking. Creating ad campaigns, SEO campaigns, and building lots of backlinks can send in tons of traffic to a site — yes, WITH NO NETWORKING INVOLVED. This just proves one thing: networking is not a prerequisite for a website’s growth.

Now let me talk about why networking are just advantages. Allow me to share some things that networking can do to give an online business or a website an edge (take note, just advantages) over others.

Let us create a sample scenario wherein a new webmaster is searching for a great web designer, and he knows no one yet since he is just a newbie. He would search high and low for web designers and probably, he would end up with someone who offers services for a high price, yet the quality is just so-so. Now, let’s recreate the situation. Suppose the new webmaster had contacts. He could just ask these people if they know great web designers. Surely, one or two (or even more) of his contacts would respond, especially if the people in his list are all webmasters! Who knows, he might even get a discount by simply being a referral. So now his website gets a great design for a great price. He may use his remaining budget for advertising or other purposes. He’s got an EDGE.

I hope you get what the situation was trying to explain. Networking only gives us benefits and other advantages; it is not a requirement for one website to grow. It is merely something which aids our businesses, but not something that needs to be there in order for us to attain success.

What Do You Think?

We have delivered our points, and I strongly believe that each side had a firm stand. Now, what do you think about this issue? Is networking really a requirement in order for an online business to succeed, or is it just an advantage to further increase the development and growth of a certain website?

Are Typo Domains Worth It

If you have not heard anything about typo domains yet, let me explain what it is. It’s when you buy domains which are common typos of another known domain, so that you can either redirect it to your affiliate link or simply steal traffic from your competitor. :twisted:

I have tried this already, but I haven’t explored the whole of it yet. I only tried it to make some web hosting affiliate sales. A few months ago, I owned typos of the domain “hostgator.com”. I think I had three or four. Guess what? I managed to refer 7 people in one month (that’s $75 per person for a total of $525), and I spent less than $40 for the domains!

Instead of killing myself by writing persuasive sales letters and sending numerous e-mails to everyone I knew, I went the “effortless way”. I bought domains and… ta-da! Profits rolled in.

The use of typo domains is not limited to gaining affiliate sign-ups; you can also use it to steal visitors from your dreaded competitors, redirect typos of your own domains to your main sites, and so on. Actually, the only limit is your creativity on how you’re going to use them!

So, I think some of you are already going to buy dozens of domains right now. But wait! Let’s weigh out the pros and cons of this method before you do so. I’ll let you decide later whether it’s worth implementing or not.

Why They’re Worth It

First, typo domains have the potential to reel in BIG profits. As I had mentioned a while ago, I owned some typo domains of hostgator.com. Sure, I could have just marketed my way into getting sign-ups, but I chose to sit back, relax, and wait for people to bring themselves to my domains.

You can easily convert big sites’ traffic into your own traffic. Imagine if YouTube didn’t have a policy about typo domains (I’m not sure if they have.), you owned yiutube.com, yputube.com, toutube.com, and youyube.com, and then you redirected them to your own video site. I reckon hundreds of thousands of people would be flocking over your site in a day!

You can STEAL your competitors’ traffic. I know this is an evil thing to do, but usually marketers are evil so… you get the point. If your competitor’s domain is bum-marketer.com and he’s getting 10,000 visitors a day, maybe you should get bun-marketer.com or something similar to steal around least 10% of his visitors. ;)

You may be able to sell them for more than 100% profit. I strongly believe that there are people who want to own all typo domains of their sites — and they pay a fortune just to get them! If this is the case, then more typo domains equals more money for you.

Why They’re Not Worth It

You never know, a lawsuit can be filed against you! There are people who can file lawsuits if you buy certain typos of their domains, so I guess it’s better to not get the $100 you can earn from the domain than to shell our $x,xxx for a lawyer.

Some typo domains just don’t bring in conversions. Even if you buy all the typo domains of a certain site, you might be unlucky and not get even a single conversion. I’m sorry to say this but sometimes, this just happens. So if you bought 10 domains (that’s around $80), and you get nothing in return, then you would lose almost a hundred bucks. That’s not something to be happy about!

Net surfers tend to stay away from sites on typo domains. Let’s say you bought bun-marketer.com, a typo domain of your competitor’s bum-marketer.com. I don’t know why, but some people get angry when they see people trying to steal visitors from other sites. Maybe they’re so loyal to “bum-marketer.com” that they will curse your typo domain and your site forever.

What Do YOU Think?

Now that we’ve taken down some advantages and disadvantages, I’m throwing the question to you: Are typo domains worth it? Share your insights with me through the comment form, and I’d be glad to concur… or maybe have an interesting debate with you!

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