What is a "Blog"? The name is a contraction of the term "weblog". Rest easy, it's not a disease or a space alien. It is however a website that is a form of online diary displayed in chronological order by most recent first.
Topics covered range from news, commentary on your life, events, or a particular subject. They combine text, images, video, links to blogs, and link to web pages all can be part of a blog. Blogs can be tremendously interactive meaning that visitors can leave comments. The blog author can, and should, determine who can leave comments, as the potential for spam is huge.
Most blogs are text based, meaning that they are writing in HTML although more and more blogs are focusing on other forms of communications such as images, photographs (photoblogs), videos, (vlogs), music and audio (podcasting).
A well written and well maintained blog is the crown jewel in your social media networking efforts. For instance this blog post that you are currently reading is a WordPress platform blog and each time I post here, Twitter and Facebook are automatically notified that a new post is available because we activated the appropriate WordPress plugins.
Traditional media at first ignored and dismissed blogs and now they are frantically trying to catch up as professional news blogs such as GretaWire on Fox and The Huffington Post explode on to the scene particularly as they did in 2008 election year by reacting swiftly to events in the news. Blogs can, and do deliver an incredible amount of content to a diverse user base. If you can think of it, there is probably an audience for it, and writing a blog is a very simple way of getting your thoughts, products, and services out to a global audience.
Go to Google and search for various types of blogs such as political, news, technical, and marketing. These aren't the only types but are generally in the realm of what I personally read. Many of these are restrictive in content and advertising if they have any. However, just when we see a pattern there is always some one to break it. The marketing blogs go in the other direction by making space available for ads and content even to competitors in some cases. Another source for blog searching is Technorati, It is a search engine focusing on RSS and blogs. They are tracking over 70 million blogs on the Internet. Some of them are up to date and some are out of date and irrelevant, but you may pick up some great ideas for blog posts of your own.
If you are looking to advertise to a particular demographic look for a blog that caters to it and see if they will sell you a banner, skyscraper of other ad method. If they don't advertise, but are popular contact them anyway.
Another effective way of bringing attention to your own blog is to comment on posts at blogs you visit in the demographic you are interested in. However be careful not to blatantly post your own product or service on somebody else's site. They won't appreciate it at all and you may likely be banned and your post rejected. Most blog authors are happy to accept a relevant post that mentions your name, email contact and possibly the name of your site. The benefit is that by posting on a well trafficked site you will be seen by more people and if the right keywords are in your posts you can get a little "link love" by getting some traffic pointed to your own site.
Remember you have to use the comment section that is associated with the post and put in your web link with an http:// otherwise the search engines will not pick up your link.
©THJ & Associates, LLC 2008