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Archive for March, 2010

Internet Marketing – Basic Strategies


Learn more at – www.itsontarget.com Our panel of experts discuss the basics of marketing your business online. Presented by Internet Traffic Solutions and Nefesh b’Nefesh.

Blogging and How it Can Help Your Business

What is a blog? Blogging is a term which is used to describe the action of publishing content to a blog. The word blog is derived from the term weblog. A blog is a website that is upheld by an individual, which includes the consistent addition of entries. Blog entries can contain numerous different types of content. Some bloggers use their blogs for commentary, graphics, audio, or videos. The use of blogs is diverse. Some individuals use their blogs as a way to display their creative flare by displaying poems, lyrics, music, or other creative forms of expression. On the other hand, some individuals use their blogs as a journal or diary. Other blogs are used to express opinions or to discuss different subjects. The entries of the blog are normally placed in reverse chronological order, meaning that the most recent blog entry will be displayed first. The first entry that was created on the blog will be the last entry shown.

With the continuous growth and popularity of blogging, there are numerous different types of blogs. These blogs include:


Personal blogs: a blog maintained by an individual who uses their blog as a journal.
Corporate blogs: can be private or public for business reasons. Used to increase communication and modern culture in to the corporate setting.
Question blogs: a blog that offers answers to numerous different questions. Normally, question blogs provide a question submission tool for readers to ask various questions.
Video blog: A blog made up of videos is referred to as a vlog.
Link Blog: blog composed of links is referred to as a linklog.
Sketch blog: blog displaying sketches is referred to as a sketchblog.
Photo blog: a blog used to display photos, referred to as a photoblog.

Blogs can also be categorized by how they are posted. For instance, they can be categorized by the device used to post the blog. If you use your mobile device to manage your blog, the blog is referred to as a moblog. Blogs are also categorized by genre. If your blog focuses on a particular subject, you have a genre blog. These blogs include; politic blogs, fashion blogs, travel blogs, education blogs, or project blogs just to name a few.

Blogs have grown to an enormous amount of popularity over the past couple of years. Today, there are numerous of different websites dedicated to hosting blogs. These websites are known as blog communities.

For some people, the act of blogging has caused them unwanted attention or caused them to have unwanted circumstances. Blogging has resulted in numerous individuals becoming terminated from their jobs because of the content that their blogs contained. Content posted in your blog about your job, co-workers, products, or financial subjects pertaining to your place of employment could put your job in jeopardy. In other aspects, if you put too much personal information in to the content of your blog, you may be risking your own personal safety.

 

Emmanuel MBA is an Internet marketer for the last three years. Currently involved in affiliate marketing, and publication of articles on affiliate marketing and blogging. You can visit my blog at http://bisinternetmarketing. com / blog


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The real benefit of hosting a blog and maintaining it has been a quick way to spread your business across the internet audiences. It has been proved by the search engine marketing specialists and bloggers in the past few years that a blog can benefits your website or business in very effective ways.


When you decide to host a blog on your website, the first question that comes up is where to setup a blog on your own website or separately. Each one has its own advantages that will help your website.


Where to Host Your Blog on Own Website or Separately?


There are two ways you can host your blog, either by creating an account on the blog platforms like Blogger or WordPress or simply installing your own blog software on your own website. Hosting a blog as a sub-domain of your own website looks like a professional approach and often preferred by those who want to boost their website ranking on search engines using blog as a tool.


Search engine ranking benefits


Setting up the blog in as a sub-domain on your existing website also benefits to your websites search engine ranking. Any new content that is added to your blog will be treated as new content part of your main website. Every new blog posts that you create are easily and quickly indexed than regular web pages. It thus helps promote better indexing and visibility of your main website, if the blog is hosted on the same domain name.


Backlinks benefits


If you spend some time and efforts on writing quality contents on your blog, you can easily attract the quality backlinks using those articles. If you host your blog on your main domain then all back-links will benefit your main domain. If your blog is on an external domain then back-links will not be directly passed on to your main website. However, you will still get the benefits if you are able to pull the PR and links from your separately hosted blog to your main website by cross linking. But, in order to get benefits via cross linking from your externally hosted blog it will need to be successful.


Brand targeting for business owners


Some business company’s or website owners can choose to start a blog on a completely new domain name. This can help if you wish to differentiate between the branding of your website and that of your blog. If the blog you are setting up is not directly related to the content on your main website, then you may not wish to combine the two on the same domain name.


If you wish to target on enforcing a collective brand for your company rather than creating a new brand for your blog, installing a blog as a part of your main website will help. If a blog is installed in a sub folder of your existing website, the blog URL will include your primary domain name in the address bar and appear as a cohesive entity.


Technical resources


If you are setting up a blog on your main website or domain name, you will require a certain level of technical skills in order to install the blog and add the database. If you are starting a blog using one of the free blog platforms then no software installation is required and a blog can be set up in a few easy steps.


Cost benefits


Another common reason for setting up an external blog outside of your main company website is the possibility for using one of the many available free online blog hosting services such as Blogger or Word Press. Most leading social networking websites such as Facebook also allow users to set up their own blog using their website platform. These services are usually free whereas setting up a blog on your main website or private domain name will require web hosting space and technical infrastructure.


So, decide your own where to host your blog, if it’s similar to your website and hosting it to boost your search engine rankings then definitely host it as a sub-domain of your own website.

Robin Dale is the webmaster for SEO SEM | | UK Web Hosting at www. teeky. org & quality with useful articles and news about search engine optimization, Internet marketing, search engine marketing, Dedicated Hosting, Hosting Reviews & UK Web Hosting. For more articles, please visit us @ UK Web Hosting Blog


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ABOUT BLOGGING

There is a new way to update friends and family on what is happening to your life. Using the internet, you can create a personal journal and share with people. This is called a web blog or blogging.

A blog is similar to a journal or diary where you can post your activities or thoughts on a regular basis.  Just like a diary this is solely maintained by you but the difference is that you can give access or allow people to read your blog or post comments on what you have written.

There are different types of blogs depending on the subject:

The most common type is a personal blog. Blogspot, WordPress and other blog sites make available spaces for personal blogs. Personal blogs are online diaries or journals. You can post anything on your blog including images and videos. People also make cultural blogs which cover topics about the arts, music, painting and culture in general. Most of these blogs are made for educational purposes. Niche blogs are also called topic blogs. These blogs focus on a specific subject like acne remedies, diet methods, etc. This type is usually created in support of a website which sells the product or service. Business related topics are covered by business blogs. This type of blog is used by people to update others about business and its environment. Good examples are the blogs about the stock market. Science blogs are made by those who want to inform others about a particular scientific field. Usually the blog is restricted since some information is sensitive or confidential. Blogs written by two or more people are called collaborative blogs. This type of blog is maintained by clubs or interest groups. Students have also found a use for blogging. This type of blog is similar to a cultural blog though the subject maybe about a particular course. When a discussion about certain topics is made though a blog this is called a forum blog. Using a blog for advertising purposes is called spam blog or splogs. This kind of blog advertises a product or service blatantly.

Anyone can make a blog especially that it is FREE. Let us discuss how to start a blog.

Choose a blog site service for which your blog will be published. You will then be asked to give your blog a title. Most blog site services allow you to choose a theme or style.  This will make your blog look interesting. There are blog site services that can make you set your publication for public or private view.  For private view blogs, only those given access usually through logins and passwords can read your postings. After making the aesthetics and access level for your site, you can publish your site. You can start posting to your blog.

Blogging has now become not only a hobby but has become an interaction point between people on a personal level. Business owners have found ways to use blogs to support their business as well.

Find a blog site service that you will be comfortable. Happy Blogging!

Therese Prentice is a social networking expert, joint venture broker, certified business coach and marketing tools and resources for lifestyle entrepreneurs. . . http://www. . socialnetworking queen comhttp: / / www. theoutsourcesquad. comhttp: / / www. inthelivingroom. comhttp: / / www. amazingsilverjewelryparty. com

Moving Your WordPress Blog

Moving a blog can make it unreachable for 24 – 72 hours, unless the new domain name has fully propagated around the Internet. It is just the way it is and WordPress doesn’t have anything to do with such limitation. Moving is best done when you have the time or have planned ahead.

Moving Towards a New Domain Name

The first thing to do is create a database back-up. The entire WordPress installation needs to be downloaded with no exceptions. This is not the time to tidy up your install or to upgrade/change anything. That would have to wait after the blog has been moved and is shown to be working. Your computer should now have these items: one or more database backups plus all your wpfiles, folders and images directories. The backups should be copied again to somewhere safe on your machine so that the next stage can be done on a copy.

Alterations are needed to be made. The details of your new mysql connection have to be changed by opening the file “wp-config.php” on your WordPress install. The file: SCR 1.0.002 Freeware Edition (13KB) should be downloaded to search and replace your website URL with your Xampp url. This is because your blog address inside the database has to be changed. Database files can be very large, thus opening them can be excruciatingly slow. It could even crash your machine. By replacing the old address with your new address, the URLs within your site will still work.

Moving hosts will mean changes in your passwords. You can double check your new passwords for your mysql connection as well as other passwords that you have in use. After which, it is now time to upload all your files to your new web space and restore your database. From the website cpanel, select the database you are using. You should still need to look inside the “wp – options” table to check that the values in “site – url” and “home” are correct. Clear your cache and cookies before checking your new site.

It is possible that you will get a blank page when looking at your blog right after moving. In this case, the themes should be checked. A faulty theme file causes a blank page. You can try changing themes or uploading a new theme then changing to it. Should this step not help, you should check whether all the WordPress files are present and are of the correct size. You can use your ftp client to download a new set of WordPress files, if needed.

There may be instances where you would need to move WordPress around within your server. WordPress is flexible enough to handle this situation. Moving WordPress from one server to another is also possible.

Moving Within

WordPress files can be moved from one location on your server to another. Start by creating the new location using any of these methods: create the new directory when you will be moving your WordPress core files to a new directory, or move the WordPress to your root directory by making sure all index, php, .htaccess and other files that might be copied over are backed-up and/or moved. This will then make the root directory ready for the new WordPress files. It is crucial that you set the URL locations before you move the file.

When done, test your site to confirm that it works right. Make sure that you let people know the new address when the change involves a new address to your blog. Consider adding some redirection instructions in your .htaccess file to serve as a guide to visitors towards the new location.

Handling Redirects after Moving a WordPress Blog

Concerns should not be limited to the moving of the actual WordPress program files but also on finding a way to redirect visitors that may be following outdated links to an old content. It is possible that redirects can mess up RSS feeds and search engine results thus an ideal redirect option that preserves both past and current search results is the key. After moving your WordPress blog, look into how 301 redirects can be properly handled.

A suggested way goes like this: open your .htaccess file in the directory that houses your newly moved WordPress file and edit in either your host’s file manager interface or by downloading to your local machine. Insert a line at the top that reads: redirect301/blog/http://www.yoursite.com/. You have to make sure to insert the opening and trailing / at the end of the destination path. Save your .htaccess file. Reupload it if you’re editing on your local machine rather than on the server. Load your old WordPress URL to make this work.

Moving Several Posts from One Blog to Another

When you decide to move over all your WordPress related posts from another blog, the task is basically to extract a few posts and their comments and to insert them into the database of the new blog. This can be accomplished by following these steps: click on the wp-posts table name in the left panel when you are in the proper database. It should be noticed that other tables might have a different prefix. Click browse on the top in the next panel. Select the checkbox at the beginning of the rows that you want to extract or export. Select “Export” at the bottom of the rows where it says “with selected”. Deselect structure on the next panel, leave selected Data, check Save As file, then Go. You will then get a prefix – posts.sqlfile.

Open the file in your chosen text editor such as Notepad. Change the wp-part everywhere to target_ -, depending on the prefix of the tables where you want to move the post using Search/Research. You are ready to go if you move the post to a new, empty database. However, if the target blog has posts in the database, there is some more work to do. You have to check in the database what the ID number of your last post is in the target blog. You should also go back to the .sqlfile and take a look at the first line below Dumping data for table…

Moving a WordPress Blog to Your Own WordPress Installation

WordPress is a platform you install on your own/hosted server and maintain the installation yourself. However, attempting to make the move should only be done if you’re comfortable with ftp, basic work in the UNIX shell, basic SQL and a little bit of general hacking. Expertise is not really required but possessing the basic skills and the willingness to give it a go are.

The first thing to do is to install WordPress and get a hosting service. Choose one that does an automatic install of WordPress to do away with fiddling. Of course, you would need http://mysql.php, some form of ftp access and a shell account. The challenge lies on setting up your blog on a new place while finding the theme and the plugins you want. The themes on http://WordPress.com normally have links to places you can download them from.

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13 Steps to Successful Blogging

Blogs can be a very marketable and very profitable tool if used correctly. Profiting from blogs is just a matter of grabbing the attention of an audience and not doing any actual salesmen selling. In this article you will learn the 13 most essential steps to successful blogging.

1) Where to start?

You should begin your blog with a free blog hosting service such as Journal Home. I don’t say that because I’m the owner, but a free blog host is very rewarding for a new blog.  Starting with a free blog hosting service allows you to begin blogging instantly without having any advance knowledge of scripts, hosting, or programming. It allows you to build an audience and buzz for your blog.  It allows you to focus on your content and not the internal maintenance of the blog. The best benefit of starting with a free service, is in the case your blog doesn’t become successful you do not lose any money or are you left holding the bill. The great thing about a blog is that they are organized in chronological order, your latest entry is displayed first. When your blog traffic grows greatly and you are ready to upgrade to your own domain then you can simply make your last blog entry the announcement of your “move”.  Simply add a last entry stating that your blog has “moved” and type the new blog URL address. Which directs visitors to your new blog site, keeping your following, without a major inconvenience to anyone. Upgrade as you need to…but only when you need to!

2) Niche

A niche is a targeted product, service, or topic. You should first decide on a product, service, or topic which interest you. Choose an area which you can enthusiastically write about on a daily basis. You can use keyword research services like Google Zeitgeist or Yahoo! Buzz Index to find popular searched topics. It does NOT matter if your topic is popular as long as there is a audience for your topic and the topic is precisely focused then your blog should be successful. Anything can be considered a niche as long as it has a target audience no matter how large or how small the audience is. A blog about your cat can be a niche or a blog about the species of the cat family can be a larger niche market, if there are people who are interested in hearing about your cat or the species of the cat family, then you have a niche…you can even choose to build your audience for a market which an audience does not exist, but first you must build your blog.

3) Update Daily (nothing less)

This step is a must and not a suggestion. Updating your blog daily not only keeps your blog more interesting to readers, but it also gives your blog fresh content on a day to day making it more appealing to search engines. Not updating your blog on an occasional holiday or one day here and there is understandable to most, but missing days at a time or weeks is unacceptable and will most likely result in your blog being unsuccessful. To keep your blog traffic and retain your visitors interest it is a must to update your blog daily with multiple entries. Though, I am seeing a growing trend of successful blogs that are not being updated daily, but they are successful and have a stable audience who continue to visit their blog daily.  Regardless, these blogs are still updated weekly with multiple entries.  Until you have a steady audience you should try to update your blog everyday with at least 3 or more daily entries. The best way to accomplish this is to set aside 1-2 hours a day for tending to your blog and adding new entries. It may even be wise to schedule a set time which you dedicate to your blog each day. Give yourself work hours and treat your blog as a job, what happens if you don’t come to work for days or weeks…you lose money or worse you get fired! Same applies here…if you don’t update your blog for days or weeks you’ll lose visitors.

4) Traffic

It’s no secret. You must have traffic to profit from blogs. There are numerous ways to build traffic. Paid advertising, free advertising, viral marketing, search engine marketing, RSS/XML feeds, and word-of-mouth. You should always use your blog URL address in the signature of your email, forum discussions, message boards, or any other communication media. You should submit your blog URL address to search engines and blog directories. You should submit your RSS/XML URL feed to blog ping services like Technorati, Ping-O-Matic, and Blogdigger. You should confidently share your blog with family, friends, co-workers, associates, and business professionals when it relates. Many blogs can be considered as a collection of articles, for this purpose you should submit your blog entries (those that are valuable and lengthy articles) to content syndicators like GoArticles.com or ArticleCity.com. Once submitted your articles can be picked up and published by others. The trick is to make sure you include your Blog URL address in the “About the Author” passage. What this does is create link popularity and backlinks for your blog, when someone picks up your article from the syndication then publish the article on their website the “About the Author” passage is included with each publication and the link you included is followed, crawled, and indexed by search engines. Imagine if your article is popular enough or controversial enough to produce 10,000 publications across the web. The search engines is bound to find your blog in no time with that many publications and credit you a authority on the topic, in return increasing your rank on search engines. The small effort of writing a well written article is rewarding. You should try to write at least 1 full length article every week for syndication and submit your article to at least 10 article syndicators.

5) Track Your Blog

How do you know if your blog has traffic? Just because no one is leaving comments doesn’t mean your blog isn’t growing. Many visitors do not leave comments but they are returning visitors. I know it sounds crazy but with blogs people are more interested in what “you” have to say! Many visitors do not comment their 1st, 2nd, or 3rd time. Some do not comment at all, but are active daily visitors.

Tracking your blog does not have to be overly sophisticated usually a simple free page counter like StatCounter.com or Active Meter will do the trick. Install (copy/paste) the code into the html of your blog template and start tracking your visitors. Its better to use a service which gives you advanced traffic analysis, such as keyword tracking information, referral information, and search engine information. Visitors, returning visitors, and unique visitors should be standard for any page counter service you choose.

6) Listen to Your Audience

When using the proper page counter you should begin to see how others are finding your blog and if through search engines then which keywords are being used to find your blog. If constantly your blog is being found by 1 or more keywords then focus your blog around those keywords to make it even more powerful. When writing entry titles and entries use the keywords as often as possible while keeping the blog legible and interesting.

7) Multiple blogs

Use multiple blogging accounts (free) to attract more people. This means you should have a blog with JournalHome.com and others. The more blog accounts the better (be sure to read and adhere to the Terms of Service for each site). You can copy/paste from 1 blog to all others. Having different blog accounts is like having a publication in different newspapers. This enables you to attract more visitors and this also increases the chance that 1 of your blogs will be in the search engine results for your focused keywords.

8) Short & Concise

Aside from the lengthy article a week for syndication and publication your blog entries should be short & concise (if you can help it). Sometimes there are exceptions to the rule and you have no choice but to blog lengthy entries, but try to avoid this as much as possible. You do not want your blog entries to become hours of reading. Visitors like to easily find information and skim through your entries. It is good to be detailed and provide useful information, but do not include useless information or run away sentences that veer away from your topic.  Stay keyword-focused.

9) Digital Art

Try to include non-advertising graphics, pictures, photos, and art in your blog entries. Not too much. Once a week is fine. Graphics can sometimes bring your blog to life. Of course, the content of the blog is the most important aspect and you do not want to overshadow your content with graphics, but displaying graphics can add a bit of spice to the blog. Be choosy about your graphics and make sure they fit your entry topic. You should add content with the graphic, at least a caption. Original graphics, photos, pictures, and art is recommended.

10) Keep it Personal

A blog is most successful when it is kept personal. Try to include personal experiences which relates to the topic of your blog entry. Stay away from the business style of writing. Write with a more personal style and use first-person narratives. Do not write any of your entries as sales letters, instead share product reviews and personal endeavors.

11) Interact With Your Visitors

You now have the traffic you deserve. You should begin interacting with your visitors. Create a regular theme such as: “Monday Money Tip” or “Picture of the Week” which entices your readers to look forward to each week.

Give your readers advance notice about a product, service, or topic which you are going to review and then talk about later. If the President was scheduled to give a speech then in your blog you should state that you “will discuss the speech and give your opinion after the speech airs. Comments will be appreciated”.

Try your best to find exclusive information that not many have. Do not disclose any confidential or secret information which is deemed illegal or can potentially get you into trouble, but try to get the scoop before everyone else does. Such as: If your blog was about Paris Hilton (the socialite) and you had a blog entry about “Paris Hilton Getting Married” then it would be interesting to your readers if you had a actual picture of Paris Hilton engagement ring. Give your best effort to dig and search the internet for exclusive information and you will possibly come up with something useful. Your readers will appreciate this and they show their appreciation through word-of-mouth referrals. Imagine how many readers will tell their friends, family, and others about information they only can find at your blog.

12) Make Money

Once your blog has gained some real momentum and your blog traffic is increasing then it is time to start thinking about turning your traffic into profit. You should use contextual advertising, like Google Adsense or Chitika. Contextual advertising is usually text links which use the content of your blog to publish targeted ads on your blog. The payout is usually based on a pay-per-click model, meaning for ever click an ad receives you are paid a small percentage of the profits. In addition to contextual advertising it is good to also use graphical advertising such as: BlogAds.com, Amazon.com, MammaMedia, or General Sponsored Advertising.

13) You’re a Professional

You’re a professional now! What are you still doing with that free blog hosting service? It is time to upgrade to a domain hosted solution. You need to get a web host and choose a domain name for your blog then check its availability. Select the blogging software you wish to use, such as: Squarespace.com, WordPress.org, MovableType.org, TypePad, etc. When you have your new blog domain setup and ready for traffic then it is time for you to announce your move on all your previous blog accounts. Your last entry to the blog should be a “move” announcement. The title should be “Moved” and the blog entry should state something like “I have a new home for my blog, please bookmark and follow the link: http://www.yournewblogdomainname.com/“. This way all returning visitors and new readers should not have any problem finding your new blog domain.  Plus, search engines can easily index and crawl your new blog, since your old blog should already be popular with the search engines.

At the level of a professional blogger you may want to team up with 1 or more other bloggers. This will create a more interesting and more powerful blog. The old saying “two heads is better than one”, more authors mean more advertising and exposure because each author will have a vested interest in the blog. The idea of a team blog is to make it profitable and rewarding for all authors, while continuing to target the blog topic and keeping the blog interesting for visitors.

Following these blogging techniques should make your blogging experience much more rewarding. There is no guarantee that your blog will become popular or a household name, but the effort should at least put you one step closer. Making money online is not an overnight experience like many may think, but making money online is definitely a foreseeable possibility. As well, growing popularity on the web is not an overnight experience, but through time, dedication, and persistence you will be rewarded with all the royalties of blogging.

To learn more about successful blogging subscribe to the Journal Home Newsletter

I am a seasoned and experienced SEO consultant. I specialize in search engine optimization, search engine marketing and pay-per-click management.


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The What, Why and How of Business Blogs

Blog is short for Web Log or Weblog and the Blogosphere is the online blog world, some parts of which are hyperlinked extensively to each other.

This is the Wikipedia definition: Blog is short for weblog. A weblog is a journal (or newsletter) that is frequently updated and intended for general public consumption. Blogs generally represent the personality of the author or the Web site.

I recommend that you read lots of people’s blogs to learn what blogs are. Go to your favorite search engine and type in the word ‘blog’ and the subject you’re interested in. For example, ‘web design blog’, or ‘blog music’ , or ‘sports blog’. You’ll find lots of blogs that way.

Blogs have become a way in which regular, non-technical people can post information to the Web as easily as they can access it.

Why are blogs so important?

Well, they’re not that important, yet. But they could be soon, and most likely will be. In fact, some would argue that they are already vital in today’s Web business world. I am not ready to agree to that yet, but it is becoming more obvious to me over time that blogs can no longer be ignored in business.

Online businesses can benefit from blogging by taking advantage of a vehicle for easily posting new, original, and business-related content on a regular basis.

Here are some more business benefits of blogging:

• Blogs help to position you and/or your company as experts and leaders in your industry.

• They’re interactive in nature. At the end of each blog entry is usually a link that allows anyone to add their own comments to your blog entries. This allows your customers and potential customers to make comments about your products or services or ask you questions to help them in their buying process.

• Blogs are marketed easily and quickly by their RSS feeds

• Blogs allow you to stress your choice of products, services, relevant news stories, quotes, pictures and more with your audience, customers and potential customers.

• People are generous with adding links to your blog if the content is good, especially within their own blogs. More links means more traffic and better search engine rankings.

Here are some ways in which you can make revenue from your blog:

1. Selling advertisements. Whether you use banners or text links, if your site draws a regular audience interested in your blog topics or theme, try to offer ad space to organizations that are looking to market to your audience. In fact, if your blogs becomes really popular then advertisers will call you.
2. Offering Google’s AdSense. Google’s website explains, “Google AdSense is a fast and easy way for website publishers of all sizes to display relevant Google ads on their website’s content pages and earn money.” learn more about AdSense.
3. Affiliate Programs. Affiliate programs allow Web sites who provide links to your site to receive payments or reciprocal advertising in exchange for promoting your Web site. In the case of blogging, this is reversed, where you post links within your blog, and collect money from the owners of those links when they result in a click-through and sale.

Here are some websites where you can get your blog listed in:

• BlogWise – http://www.blogwise.com
• Blog Search Engine – http://www.blogsearchengine.com
• Blog Hub – http://www.bloghub.com
• Blog Daisey – http://www.blogdaisey.com
• Get Blogs – http://www.getblogs.com
• Is Blogs – http://www.lsblogs.com

How to blog for business:

First you need to get blogging software. You can choose to create a blog that is housed on another site such as http://www.blogger.com (which is a blog service) or you can host it on your own Web server. I recommend the latter since the links that are developed by others pointing to your blog won’t be counted in the search engines. This is because the links are attributed to domains, so a link to http://MyNewBlog.blogger.com gives a link credit to blogger.com and not your domain.

If your blog is a business blog, you really ought to host your own blog as opposed to using a blog service. You’ll need the extra functionality and control.

If you plan on hosting your own blog and if you plan to use a UNIX Web server platform then you need to go with blogging software such as Movable Type, for example. If you have a Microsoft Web server platform for your site then you’ll need software such as BetaParticle blog. Here is a great list of various blog software: http://www.lights.com/weblogs/tools.html

Next you’ll need a database to hook your blog up to. The database is what stores the blog entries, among other things. If you don’t know if you have a database on or connected to your website server, or if you don’t know how to hook up your blog to your database, contact your host company or Web server administrator for help.

Once you have the blog set up on your domain (for example http://www.MyWebsite.com/blog) and you’ve hooked it up to a live database, you can start blogging. Generally, each entry is also a day. So you can write a new entry every day, or whenever you want, and that entry will show up on the blog at the top, moving older entries below.

You ought to think of a theme for your blog. In other words, your blog could be about your personal experiences in the industry you’re in. It could be about your company’s product reviews, or new services. It could be about your thoughts and opinions about issues related to your industry. It could be a place where you regularly find and list new resources to help others in your industry. The list is endless. But be sure to stick to a theme and be original. You want to offer something of value to your website visitors.

Sticking to theme helps you position yourself for future advertisers and also makes for better reading for your visitors. Furthermore, you want to give a good impression with your blog and with each and every entry if you want it to augment your online business. Finally, sticking to a theme helps with the search engines since it’s believed that engines determine website themes and use this information for ranking.

Of course your blog could be about personal things too. Many blogs are just that, an online journal. But since we’re interested in Web business here, I am discussing business blogs only.

What’s great is that blogs get indexed easily and quickly by search engines. Each entry is another “page” that can be potentially listed in Google for example, which will drive more traffic to your site.

Another neat thing about running a blog once it’s set up is that you do not need to be technical at all to make regular entries. This is helpful if you want to delegate the writing to someone else, since technical skills won’t be a prerequisite. This allows you to have the most qualified person regarding the blog’s theme and hopefully the best writer actually making the entries.

Be creative. Add images to your blog entries to spice things up a bit. Although blogging can be lonely, keep at it. Sometimes it seems like you’re just writing new entries each day for yourself only. It may be a while before someone chooses to add a comment to one of your entries. You may not hear from anyone for a long time. But that doesn’t mean people aren’t reading it. In fact, check your website statistics to see just how many people are visiting your new blog. As you add more entries, get your blog listed on other sites and market your blog. It will build, and eventually you’ll have a nice following of engaged readers.

Most importantly, be sure to pepper your entries with calls to action. For example, if your business blog is attached to your travel website and the blog’s theme is traveling and finding great travel deals all over the world, make sure you add a link to an entry that points people to a travel special you’re running on your website. What would be even better is a blog entry about the fantastic vacation you took to Hawaii and included at the end was a link to cheap Hawaii vacation deals on your website.

Copyright Jason OConnor 2006

Jason OConnor owns and operates Oak Web Works, LLC, an e-strategy Company and also like to read sports, Tickets and Music Blog mailto: joconnor888 @ hotmail. com

My friend put together my small business website in dreamweaver for me. However, I now want to maintain it myself—my friend recommended putting it into wordpress. However, I am not a web designer and have no idea what I’m doing—is there an easy way to convert my current website from dreamweaver to wordpress (for someone who can’t read code, etc)

Thanks!

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