The reading level for this article is Novice

Blogging has been picking up steam in the media ever since Google bought Pyra Labs earlier this year. Even a Google executive has stated that Blogging today is what email was in 1992. People had heard of it, but really didn’t know what it was.

Could Blogging really have that type of impact on the market? Probably not, but if it can achieve half of that impact, any company who ignores Blogging now would be making a critical mistake.

This article will take you through the history of Blogs, how they can be created, and their future.

What Is a Blog or Blogging ?
A Blog is also been called a “Web Log”, not to be confused with your “web log” reports or web statistics, but a “web diary” of sorts.

This log, journal, or diary, is web-based and can be updated at any time, just like a web page but easier. Blogs are powered by publishing software, the most popular is Blogger from Pyra Labs – who was bought by Google earlier this year.

To get a feel for what a Blog is, please review the following example: web site builder.

This example contains commentary from the author and also includes links to resources the author feels is relevant to the Blog. This Blog was created with the author’s voice, and explaining a problem he had and the solution that was brought to his attention by an old friend.

Blogs are always displayed with the most recent entry shown first. So the next entry in this Blog would display at the top and the current entry would be forced downward, or be a link in the archived section to the right. This is also known as reverse-chronological order. Every entry has a date and time stamp.

Blogs are currently being picked up by search engines on their own, and if you link your Blog back to your site, this will increase your Link Popularity and Link Reputation.

Should My Business Have a Blog?
Absolutely. If you don’t you are missing out on a big marketing tool – for free. Why? Industry experts are pointing to the rise of legislation to block Spam email. If Spam does get blocked, or a large majority of it blocked, even if you run a clean list to your customers only, you will risk having most of your email messages go unseen.

The Solution? Blogging.

After all, is your bland marketing message still being read with the same fervor it did six months ago? Probably not. Every company has a “ghost writer” someone with a “edge” for a writing style that will be embraced online. Find this person and get them to start writing about your products in Blogs.

And don’t ever let them stop.

However, there are many websites that are run by a single person. If that is the case with you, handle the task yourself. But if you are not much of a writer, we suggest to place an ad in the paper of the local university and you can acquire the services of a college student with a writing style you seek for a fraction of hiring a professional writer.

Weblogs can have very useful applications in marketing, and can boost your visibility on the major search engines (i.e. Google). In fact, Blogs are starting to appear in the Top 30 results. The bottom line is, if your company has a plan for what it wants to achieve with blogs, it will be well worth the time investment to write the Blogs.

Think about it, your potential customers could very well find your Blog in a search, and with the non-formal writing style of Blogging, customers can be more easily swayed to be interested in your product. One simple link from the Blog to your product order page is all that is needed to close the sale.

How To Blog
First, the best way to start is to just dive in feet first – start Blogging. Since Google is the #1 search engine currently, and Pyra Labs the #1 Blogging software on the market, it makes sense to play with the “big guns”.

Start by downloading the beta version of Google’s Toolbar version 2.0. You will see the option to download the beta version on the right-hand side of the screen.

Once installed, you will now have an orange “B” icon for Blogger. Click it.

This will open up a new window and you have two choices: “Find Out More” or “Sign In”. Since you are new to Blogging you will need an account setup. Click the “Find Out More” button.

You will then be prompted to provide the following: a username, your first name and last name, your email address and finally, a password.

Once you have set up your account, you will now give your Blog a Title. Think of a good headline – very similar to the Title of an HTML page. You will also give the Blog a description. You can make changes to either of these later if you wish. Lastly, you choose whether this Blog remains Public or Private. After finishing this page, click Next >>>

Now you designate where you want your Blog to be posted, either on BlogSpot or on your own server. After you have made the selection, choose Next >>>>

If you chose to have your Blog hosted with BlogSpot, your next decision is vital – the domain name. BlogSpot gives you a “third level domain” or a “C-Name” as it is also called:

The reason why this is important, is that major search engines give your site a bonus if the keyword is found in the domain name. This will allow you to do so. But just as good domains are very scarce in the “dot com world” they are disappearing fast here.

Lastly, you choose the template for your Blog, once you have, you can begin to type and create your Blog. Once you are finished, just click on the “Publish” button and you are done.

That’s it. It is that simple. Start Blogging your way to better success online.

Stay tuned to a follow-up article where we show you how to promote your Blogs online.

This Ebusiness article was written by Jerry West on 2/11/2005

Jerry West is the Director of Internet Marketing for Web Marketing Now & Bright Builders. He has been consulting on the web since 1996 and has assisted hundreds of companies gain an upper-hand over their competition. Visit Web Marketing Now for the latest in marketing tips that are tested and proven.