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What Is A Blog And Why Do I Need One?

John Onam

Have you been caught up in the buzz on blogging?
Have people been telling you that you MUST have a blog?
Have you read other websites on blogging and still DON'T GET IT?

Is everyone telling you that you need a blog but you have no idea what blogging is and why you need one?
Don't worry anymore cos I was once like that and like my blogging mission states, I am out to create blogging millionaires from just simple and free blogs.

To save you from the pain and agony I went through trying to figure out blogging I created the simplest, most straight forward explanation to share with you.

On this blog, you will learn that a blog is more than just a website. You will also learn how it can help you build a community, attract more customers, make money and what it takes to get started. You won't believe how easy it is and that it could be free.

What Is Blogging?

Blogs have been around for many years but have recently become one of the most popular internet technology due to its wide application by internet users of today.

You've probably been hearing the buzz on the Internet about "Blogging" and you're asking yourself, "What is Blogging?"

First of all, it is one of the hottest ideas to hit the Internet in the past 10 years.

A Blog (short for Web Log) is basically an online journal that can be set up at no cost at all, which (among other things) is used for making money by simply writing and publishing free and useful information on it.

A blog is more than just being referred to as a website. The following are just a few ways blogs can be used:

1) Updates: Keep customers/clients up to date on changes to your website. Also new product announcement and new related websites.

2) Reviews: You can give opinions, advice and personal recommendations on specific products or services related to your field.

3) Personal and Business uses: Blogs are a great way to keep track of your goals and plans just by open writing.

4) Stress Reliever: Jot down your vents, gripes, thoughts. Some also find general writing therapeutic.

5) Search Engine Optimization: Search Engines love text and content. You can also include links to your website which equal backward links which in turn equals high ranking.

6) Money Makers: Yes, you can make money with your blog by providing readers with quality copy writing and a few affiliate links. This is my own application of a blog.

Blog is a cross between a website and a discussion group/forum.
It is more interactive than a website but not as interactive as a discussion group.

Here is a brief explanation of all the different ways of broadcasting your message.

• Websites introduce you to an individual, company or organization by communicating their company’s mission or offering you their products or services. It’s like an online brochure. The information on a website is static with the content changing once in awhile. Since there is programming involved, most people need a web designer to make the updates.

• Email is sending a targeted message to a certain group of people that you select.

• Ezines/Newsletters are considered an electronic magazine. In an ezine you publish short articles that let your customers know what’s happening in your company, your industry or about products and services they might find valuable. The format is written in a more formal tone. They are usually published weekly, bi-monthly or monthly. Your audience can be narrow because ezines are only available to people who have subscribed.

• Discussion Groups/Forums are like having a telephone conversation on a computer. Lots of people can be in a discussion group and you send messages back and forth. Unlike a blog, there is no leader that directs the conversation. There is also no linking between different discussion groups, whereas blogs can refer to each other.

• Blogs fall somewhere in the middle. Think of them as an online journal or diary where you can share what's on your mind with others (family, friends, customers).

  1. Blogs are written in a more informal style.
  2. Blog are web pages that are date and time stamped.
  3. All messages (posts) are saved and archived for instant access at a later time.
  4. Blogs are frequently updated with new information, which search engines like. It is recommended that you post 2-3 times per week.
  5. Blogs differ from forums in that they link to other blogs and websites. This is called a blogosphere.
  6. Blogs are interactive. Visitors can leave comments about your post.
  7. Blogs are published instantly. There is no need for a web designer.
  8. Blogs get around the email spam filters so your message will be seen.
  9. You can create a blog for free using Blogger™ software.

What makes a blog stand out from a website or discussion group is that you plan what you want to say (versus a discussion group where it's live). The best part is that YOU have full control over creating your blog - no web designer, no cost!

Why Do I Need A Blog?
I'm sure you're probably saying to yourself, "Why do I need a blog?" "Can I live without one?"Justify Full No, not really. Why? Because blogging is the easiest way to get your message out to the world. Here are a few highlights of "why you should blog."

• Become a trusted expert
• Build rapport with your customers
• Share information among employees at different locations or on different shifts - cuts down on email
• Stay in touch with your family and friends
• Make money through Google AdSense and/or links to products or affiliate programs.

Read the following examples of how a blog will benefit you.

1. Do you own a business? Business blogs are cutting-edge. Do you ever say to yourself, "Boy, I wish I had more customers?" Blogs can give you an advantage over your competition. They can help you be viewed as an industry expert, which can attract new customers.

For your current customers it’s a great way to keep them updated on what’s happening in your company – from great specials to new products. Because reader’s can leave comments, blogs build rapport and keep you on the pulse of what your customer’s want.

Blogs also add a personal touch because you are writing them from your own experience, not one of a corporate message. By blogging you become a trusted expert in your field. When you write and publish, you are seen as an expert with credibility. People do business with people they trust. Even when you use other people’s content you are seen as the "go-to" resource of information.

2. Use Blogs For Internal Communication. Blogs are ideal for sharing information among employees. They can be used to give team updates on a project, especially if team members are in different locations. An employee can be given a blog to provide project updates or business trip reports.

Blogs are also great for disseminating company information and policy updates. Because all posts are archived, blogs become a wonderful source of information.

3. Staying in touch with your family and friends. We all lead such busy lives that it's difficult to stay in touch with our family, let alone our friends. Let's say you want to tell your Mom and Dad and your Aunt Sally and Uncle Mike and... about your daughter's dance recital or son's baseball game. Creating a blog is a quick way to give ALL your family and friends an update and only do it ONCE!

Consider the pain-staking alternative - give everyone a call or write an email, look up everyone's email address and send it out. With a blog, writing a quick paragraph or two is all it takes. You can even post pictures! Because your family can see the comments left on your blog by other family members it's another way for your family to stay in touch.

The other great thing about blogs is that each message is stored so it can be found again. It's a great way to keep a diary of what's happening in your life. Picture this...with one quick email to your family that gives them your blog address they can check in anytime to see what you're up to. You also have the ability to decide who can see your blog.

4. Maybe your message is about concerns in your neighborhood. With a blog you can post the latest information about the traffic problem your councilman is working on or a new restaurant that opened up in the neighborhood that you want others to check out.

5. You might have kids at college. Blogs are a great way for kids to stay in touch with ALL the family.

6. Making Money • You can put links on your site for products or affiliate programs (where you sell other people’s products) • You can activate Google AdSense links on your blog. This is where Google puts relevant ads on your blog and when people click on the ad you make money. • You can also use blog entries to repackage articles into e-books and e-courses that can be delivered through auto-responders.

How Do I Create A Blog?

So how is a blog set up?

There are several options you can choose from when starting your own blog, and a few are:

1) Using a free service such as Blogger.com ( http://www.blogger.com ).

2) Using Blogger.com (or other free blog provider) with your own domain name that you can purchase through places such as Mommy’s Helper Domain & Hosting Services ( http://www.mommyshelperonline.com/web-hosting.html ) .

3) You can also choose a paid services such as Blogit.com ( http://www.blogit.com ) for as little as $5.95 a month.

But, my advice to you would be to simply follow option 1 above.That is, "Using a free service such as Blogger.com ( http://www.blogger.com )"

You can set up blog up for FREE. To begin blogging you only need two things.

1. What you want to say (your message)

2. Software to create your blog. As far as software goes, there are many blogging softwares on the market and each has its pros and cons. To get started quickly and blog at no cost to you I recommend the #1 blogging software, Blogger™ (from Google.)

In just 3 easy steps you will be blogging. It takes about 15 minutes to set up your first blog.You will learn how to do that in my next post
When I created my first blog it was easy to do the 3 steps to get started but then the questions started…

• How do I edit my post?
• How do I change the background?
• How do I add Google AdSense?

I searched the Internet to find a simple step-by-step guide but there was none to be found so, being the computer freak that I am, I decided to write one for the internet world and myself, the product I called Make Money Blogging At No Cost (makemoneybanc for short) which is what I will be teaching you at www.makemoneybanc.blogspot.com. (I hope your hobbies are more fun than mine!) Wouldn’t it be nice to finally have a user guide that teaches you, in plain English, how to use the software so you can have your questions answered in minutes, not hours?

This blog www.makemoneybanc.blogspot.com is a guide to help you have a profitable Blogging experience.

The Blog will walk you step-by-step through finding your niche, using keywords to attract readers/customers and showing you how to monetize your blog.

But, for that, you have to visit MakeMoneyBANC at least on a weekly basis, as it would not be possible to expose you to all the nitty gritty of blogging in just one single post.

My next post would show you how to open your own free blog if you have not already done so.

That is my opinion.What is your comment( or question) as to what a blog is?