What is a blog? If your business is online, blogs form a part of the digital world you’ll want to understand to hunt out the potential benefit for your organisation.
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How? Read on to find out all you need to know…
What Is a Blog?
One person may run a blog, or a small group of people might be involved. Goods and services are presented in a way that feels more like the face-to-face experience of traditional (“brick and mortar”) retail services and shopping.
The tone tends to be conversational, personal, informative, opinionated, or all of this and more.
A small business owner may find that a personable, friendly blog helps them draw in online and in-person customers looking for a personal service experience in a sometimes technologically-daunting world.
How Does a Blog Differ from a Website?
Websites are any sites on the internet and can be anything from a bare-bones catalogue sales to video-heavy sites about – say – dog training. Blogs, technically, really are just websites of a particular kind.
Amazon maintains a huge shopping and review website, for instance. Compare your experience with Amazon with these blog examples:
This is a personal blog that reaches out to younger men. It’s smaller, more informal, and attracts a specific demographic.
To see what a fashion blogger does, here is a fashion blog that covers clothing, makeup, and culture.
The website and blog can blend together, as well. For an excellent example see this soap making business here. This is an extensive, well-established website with informative articles, products, and multiple levels of information to reach a variety of readers with different levels of interest.
The actual blog part is not specifically labelled as such. Instead, it is titled ‘business musings’ and ‘personal ramblings’. That part is still a blog.
It’s a great illustration of how the website and blog terms sometimes work well together.
It helps to realise whether your site is more of a general website or falls into the subcategory of a blog so that you can determine details like the all-important tone of voice, how many pages will be operating, and so on.
What Is a Blogger? What Does a Blogger Do?
The blogger is simply the person or people who contribute to a blog. They provide a running commentary on various issues, particularly those related to their interests and business.
Their blog is usually a portal for online visitors to learn more about the products and services their business has to offer with the goal of helping visitors linger and perhaps become regular customers.
A blogger will keep busy writing content for blog posts, staying up-to-date on related news, and increasing exposure for their blog. Word-of-mouth help, social media exposure, local community involvement, and other methods all help reach potential visitors.
No blog starts out as large as some of the examples above, so don’t worry. Nor do they have to grow into a huge undertaking.
Simply look at the main page of each (called the parent page), how visitors can click on tabs to other pages (the child pages), and how the site has a flexible yet approachable tone that encourages readers to stay a while and learn more.
It’s a standard business understanding that the longer visitors spend on a blog, the more likely they are to click more buttons, share the site on social media and perhaps make a purchase.
What Types Of Blogs Exist?
While the possibilities are nearly limitless, here are a few standard blog types. As you can see, some types are commonplace, like the niche or the business blog. Some popular blogs include fashion blogs, mommy blogs, and adventure/travel blogs. Pet blogs, cooking blogs, and photography blogs abound.
For the fledgling business blogger, the time you take to consider your options is well invested. Your blog may reflect a distinct personality of one person who is just starting up, or it may offer multiple areas to explore with a variety of blog talent to attract, inform, entertain, and retain visitors.
A blog needs regular updates for content as well as style.
The Importance of Updates
This means that while blogs are fairly new to the history of the world, a blog can look outdated pretty quickly if the template it uses starts to look old. Fresh new templates are always being developed and this allows for greater variety in styles for blogs.
If your blog needs to look hip and edgy, then this is something to consider. If, on the other hand, your products and services don’t rely on the latest fashion in internet tone and style, then you have more room to be flexible.
People across the world will have the opportunity to discover your blog. This makes a difference in revenue if shipping around the world appeals to your business plan. If you are a local service, then the global community doesn’t matter nearly as much as your local clientele.
It helps to realise that a blog and business may face global competition, but you don’t have to face it alone. Anyone can learn about building a great blog and boosting internet traffic for it.
What Is a Vlog?
A vlog is simply a video blog that has videos of products, activities, people, and more. These are growing in popularity because many people prefer to listen to or watch a vlog while doing other things rather than read a blog for themselves.
These can be very entertaining and informative and often make their way into classroom environments. A musical group may use vlogging as part of their connection to their community and customers.
It lets them showcase their style, start conversations about music, post their calendar, sell songs and albums, and build an online personality that they feel will attract potential customers.
Which Blog is Best for Me?
This is an excellent question which may depend upon these factors:
What kind of personal branding do I want?
Is my business a good candidate for video blogging, or do I prefer more of the traditional written article style?
How will I work blogging/vlogging into my business plan? Could I mix the two on the same site? (The answer is YES!)
Which am I more able to do at this time? Which might become a better tool for me later?
How To Get Started
Some people build their own blogs, but it makes sense to rely on the marketing experience of others. Blogging platforms vary, WordPress and Blogger being a couple. Each provides templates that are the basic building block of a blog.
A template is a frame for articles, tabs, sidebars, ads, pictures, links, and all the parts of a blog that need a place to sit so they look good on the internet. Some blogs maintain a consistent theme on the homepage while others change to reflect seasons, holidays, or to just stay fresh looking.
The important issue that many bloggers face is maintaining their blog. This is hardest for those who simply jump into the deep end by doing it themselves.
Thousands of abandoned blogs testify to the need for back up support both in the beginning and throughout the life of a blog. Relying on people with insight and experience can prove to be the lifeblood that keeps a blog going.
Building Traffic to a Blog
When a blogger wants to know how to start a blog and make money, building traffic flow to the blog is an essential skill to apply through every step of the process.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the skill of using words within blog posts that will match the words internet users type into their search bar when looking for products. The more commonly used words and phrases that refer to your product are the ones that will get your blog more attention.
Making viral marketing posts is a very desirable skill: these posts draw so much attention for their usefulness, on-point opinion, or warm human interest that they get shared around the country and possibly the globe.
Technology is always changing. A website that worked for desktop computer users will not translate well to the tablets and smartphones of the rising generations who are so plugged in today. Bloggers who can adapt will continue to build their blog traffic.
How To Make Money With A Blog
Traffic brings people to your blog and then, hopefully, they linger, settle in, and feel comfortable. Ways a blog raises revenue from this can vary:
- Clicking on ads (called Pay-Per-Click) is one of the simplest ways for visitors to generate income for a blog. Many ads can be loaded right away, and others are attracted to the blog as it gains significant exposure and a growing following.
- Selling your own products and services requires good communication, easily explored sites, and a socially savvy approach to marketing. Branding is an essential aspect of any good blog.
- Affiliate marketing is an agreement between sites and/or businesses where any referrals that result in a purchase on a second site earn income for the original site. A book blog, for instance, can have links that take book-loving visitors to Amazon to make book purchases. This brings in revenue for Amazon, obviously, and it brings in income for the book blog that serves as an affiliate for Amazon.
Summary: Where to Start
With the right skills, blogging can be a superb combination of fun and profit. Get the help you need to bring the very latest knowledge to your busiiness.
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