Blogs  -  What Are They

To understand blogs and blogging you need to understand their meaning.
A blog is an online diary or journal.  A blog is short for a web log.  It is used to publish information online.  A blog site can create opportunities to exchange ideas, share news, update projects, stay in touch with friends and family, show pictures, or simply to post a journal.
  Blogging is the activity of updating a blog.
  A blogger is the person who keeps a blog.

Blogs

If you can get onto the web you can have a blog.  You do not need to have a website to start blogging.  Simply subscribe to a free blog hosting service.
In a work related sense, blogging can be used for project posting, file sharing, related links, exchange of ideas, to pass on information, to keep customers updated with the latest information.
Some well known blogs (web log) attract the kind of traffic that even big name sites would be jealous of.
One of the things that has made blogs popular is the personal touch of the writer/owner of the blog.  This same personality of the owner can be used in business environment to create a personal touch of the organization.  A business related web log that does not have an individual face behind it will not work.  A blog can put a human face on a company especially for a large national or multi national corporation.
From a business point of view the first thing to do is to create a blog people want to read.  The task then from a business perspective is to create a blog that communicates more in your own voice and not like a marketing person.
Business has to seize the opportunity that is blogging before the competition does.
Business needs to be aware of the impact and opportunities that blogging and RSS feeds are causing in the way news and information are being delivered to customers.

The Advantages of Blogs

   1. Customers can be potentially better informed about your business or products and services.
   2. The business can develop stronger relationships and brand loyalty with its customers.
   3. It can be used by business as an internal mechanism for better communication between various departments and branches of an organization.
   4. They are also a good method to employ to gain feedback thru the comments section.  This process can also help you keep your finger on the pulse.
   5. They can be used to showcase the company as having talent and expertise in relation to products and services offered.
   6. Blogs offer opportunities for networking as you can  exchange links with like minded sites.
   7. Blogs can be a great way of communicating. A blog can be a quick way to reach a large number of people.

The Disadvantages of Blogs

   1. They need to be interesting, not all writers are interesting or able to write their ideas and so on in a clear and compelling manner.  This task is even more difficult when writing a business related blog.
   2. Some can say nothing but use a lot of words.  Such blogs can backfire on the organization.
   3. As with most web things, blog are easy to start but hard to maintain.  Whilst they might be a cheap strategy they are a very expensive one in that they can be very time consuming.  So if they are not updated then they can damage the reputation of the company rather than enhance it.

We are in an age where you build your professional reputation word by word.

If it is indeed true that a sale rarely gets made before the seventh contact with a buyer, then a blog can shorten the interval between contacts from weeks to days.  A blog will never replace email on a purely personal level.  But a blog will help you to reach a larger audience than you thought possible with opt - in email.

Blogs are effective because

  1. They are free
  2. They catch people at work when they are alert and thinking and making decisions.
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