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Blogging = The Latest Phenomena in Traffic Generation
In what was originally a form of online journal keeping by stay-at-home moms and college students, it has now become a national phenomenon with its presence felt as a legitimate business booster. For the novices, blogs are online journals that are periodically updated with articles in the form of posts. It can serve as an informative vehicle between business and consumer. The possibilities are endless when it comes to its ability to draw customers. If your weblog is full of valuable information, you will earn more traffic by retaining them. How?
1) Suppose your weblog is based entirely on uncovering conspiracies from the JFK assassination. By creating a daily weblog , you label yourself as an expert to the subject, which makes it easier to promote yourself all over the net. This builds more of a personal relationship between yourself and your site visitors, since it can come equipped with message boards and comment boxes where they can voice their opinion about anything you write. A sense of community is established, and people will want to visit again and again.
2) Search engines will give you a boost in the rankings if you have a weblog added to your site. This is because blogs are frequently updated, and any fresh content will automatically trigger the search engine mechanisms to classify your site higher - generating more traffic. All it takes is 5 to 10 minutes of your daily time and search engine spide bots will keep reverting back to your site.
3) By adding a weblog to your arsenal, you can submit it to the myriad of weblog directories posted on the Internet. Some of them include Blog Catalog at blogcatalog.com, Blogarama (blogarama.com) and BlogsCanada.com which has a whopping selection of over 10,000 blogs.
Some of the better weblog sites on the Internet include wordpress.com, blogger.com, and blogista.com. They have full HTML capabilities which allow you oto insert the page into your own web site or direct to it if needed. I recommend using Blogger the most of all, since it costs absolutely nothing to get started with free hosting and you don't have to learn any fancy HTML or FrontPage to publish content to your site. Just write, and publish it to the Web for all to see.
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Seven Best Practices for Business Blogging
Blogs have become one of the hottest communication tools on the Web. Offering the opportunity for anyone to create their own free Web site, encouraging opinions and interaction, blogs provide forums for individuals to create their own highly personal presentations to the Web audience. They also provide for consortia of all types to experience the sort of online community feeling that was pioneered by early newsgroups and by the phenomenal success of AOL in the 1990s.
Blogs have reached into the corporate and government sectors as well. What started out as an outlet for teenage expression and grassroots journalism has turned into a lucrative communications tool for small and large businesses alike.
Corporate Blogging refers to a company producing or supporting a weblog that it uses to accomplish business objectives. As with anything, there are certain "best practices" to be followed to ensure your company reaps the maximum benefits. These seven tips guidelines will help make your weblog a success.
1. Fine Print. Blogging can lead to legal issues. Companies should have real concerns about liability, exclusions and limitations, and indemnity. Although there are laws that protect against libel, misappropriations and other injuries suffered as a result of posts on the Web, companies can still be held "vicariously" responsible for statements made by employees that are harmful to others. Since there are so many legal issues surrounding blogs, it is imperative that the site has some sort of disclaimer and limitation of liability.
2. Know What You're Doing. Senior management should be educated by the corporate communications and legal department about what blogs are and how they might affect business. That way, they can be contributing members of the weblog , further improving employee relations. Their support and participation is often what makes a weblog more effective.
3. Create blogging policies. In any medium where an employee is sharing information, there is the possibility of leaking trade secrets or financial information. Blogging also has a tendency to become personal. A company should have a list of policies regarding blogging to ensure that trade secrets are kept secret and personal lives do not become public. Policies may include keeping financial information from being posted, as well as severe consequences for anyone using the weblog for negative publicity.
4. Avoid the Marketing Blog. Making your weblog into a blatant marketing campaign is a bad idea. Customers are looking for real answers and honest opinions. They will pick up on insincerity instantly. Use the weblog for what it's for, transparency. This is an opportunity to make a real connection with your customers. Don't ruin it by filling it with empty advertising.
5. Keep It Fresh. Blogs are usually judged by their amount of new content. Easy to add on to, they are designed to be updated constantly. To keep your readers coming back, make your content relevant and timely. Don't forget, content can include anything from product releases to job openings, recent news to thoughts from the CEO. It's practically impossible to run out of material.
6. Reinforce the company's core values. Use your weblog to reflect your company's inner soul: its mission, goals and direction. A weblog is just another medium by which you interact with your customers and employees. It's another part of the brand experience. It should be consistent with the impression the company wants to make.
7. Encourage employees to use it. Create an atmosphere where they are comfortable asserting their opinions and concerns. You'll be surprised how the quietest employees will speak up when given such an opportunity. With all communication, blogging can become negative, so remind employees of the public nature of the blogs and the ramifications for their actions.
Kari White is a Content Developer for Brook Group, a full-service Web development firm near Washington, DC. More articles by this author can be found at http://www.broogkroup.com/resources and http://www.usabilityandbranding.com.
Embarrassing Employee Blogging And What It's Telling Corporate America
Nothing has embarrassed and worried corporate America in recent years the way anonymous employee blogging has. In fact if executives have nightmares and wake up in the middle of the night in panic and sweating, then that nightmare is bound to be about employees blogging some devastating corporate secrets.
These anonymous tell-all blogs always manage to pick up huge audiences within a very short time. In recent times, internal tensions within well known companies have quickly become public knowledge. A few of these companies have made things worse by firing these bloggers when they have been discovered, only for them to become celebrities and to quickly land plum jobs elsewhere, leaving their previous employer suffering backlash from the public.
But even as we dread the anonymous and damaging blogging, it is useful to ask a few questions.
For instance, what drives an employee to anonymous blogging? What kind of corporate environment forces the hand of this new breed of blogger?
These are interesting questions that should be answered with great honesty by many company executives in these organizations that have suffered damage from bloggers within. And more so from many others who fear just such a repercussion. This is because many of these blogs are really about ideas for improvements at the companies. Many of the ideas brought forward seem to be workable and the sort of great suggestions that many corporations can greatly benefit from.
While we cannot rule out some of the bloggers being nothing more than troublemakers, it is important to ask ourselves if we have done enough to create an environment that allows for the free flow of ideas from our people without victimization. Or have we just paid lip service to the process. Why should an employee with an open line of communication in the company choose instead to go the route of the anonymous blogger?
There is a lot that anonymous blogging is saying to corporate America. But are we listening?
Chuck Yorke - All Rights Reserved
Chuck Yorke is an organizational development and performance improvement specialist, trainer, consultant and speaker. He is co-author of "All You Gotta Do Is Ask," a book which explains how to promote large numbers of ideas from employees. Chuck may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.peoplekaizen.com/
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