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Blogging for Business

Blogs have quickly evolved from quirky and droll Internet diaries into the next wave of the information revolution. Many companies are starting blogs or encouraging their employees to weblog . A number of books on business blogging are starting to be released and many companies are offering business weblog consulting.

What exactly is a weblog ? Blog is short for "web log." A weblog is a simple web site or extension to a web site that is written in a personal and conversational tone. Most blogs allow readers to leave comments making them interactive and fostering a sense of community. Updating a weblog is similar to writing an email; no technical knowledge is required.

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One example of a weblog is "FastLane" by Bob Lutz, Vice Chairman of General Motors. Bob writes in his weblog roughly twice a week about automobiles and the automobile industry. One recent weblog post is about the future plans of General Motors. In another, Mr. Lutz shares his opinions about the results of a recent automobile quality survey. These posts have anywhere from 40 to 150 reader comments.

There are many other companies with blogs including Microsoft, Boeing, and Sun Microsystems.

Blogs can help companies in several ways:

by adding a personal voice to a company and personality to its web site and brand

by publicizing company programs, opinions and values

by engaging customers in discussions and receiving feedback as well as providing company insights

as a useful tool for internal collaboration, allowing communication without writing reports or generating email

Until recently, blogs were considered a bizarre Internet phenomenon without much practical use. Today blogs are a cutting edge information dissemination technique that is quickly becoming a significant mainstream business tool.

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Ted Demopoulos is co-author of Blogging for Business and a business blogging consultant. Subscribe free to the BizBlog+ Newsletter for in depth tips and secrets on effective uses of blogs for business.

The Blogging Boom :: Why Your Competition May Already Be Two Steps Ahead Of You

Technorati has been reporting quarterly on the state of the blogosphere. The blogosphere is a term they have coined to mean the weblog world.

In the most recent "State of the Blogosphere" they have reported that the blogging world continues to expand at an incredible rate.

This leads to the question: Are you blogging? And if not, why? In this article I look at blogs in general and why they are good for your business.

The first time I heard of the "Blogosphere" was back in October 2004 when David Sifry posted the first State of the Blogosphere on his Blog

At that time Technorati, a well known, well used, self-proclaimed authority on weblogs announced its first report on the weblog universe. At that time there were 4 million weblogs and it was "more than 8 times as large as it was in June of 2003."

Flash forward to March 2005 and Technorati was tracking over 7.8 million weblogs - more than double the number reported just 5 months previous.

Recently Technorati released yet another report on the weblog universe and it continues to grow.

In this most recent edition of the State of the Blogosphere Technorati reports that there are now over 27 million weblogs - almost 4 times what there were less than 1 year ago. They are still tracking how quickly it grows - continuing to double every 5.5 months. The most impressive point in this most recent article: "The blogosphere is over 60 times bigger than it was only 3 years ago."

With growth this rapid, and with such widespread adoption why aren't more business sites adopting blogging as the new content development strategy?

I guess that's the point of all this - blogging isn't just blogging any more. It's the new form of corporate communication, content development and search engine marketing rolled into one.

Blogging is the long tail searches which will drive the best qualified traffic to your site. It is the link baiting used to drive buzz around your site helping to build your brand. It is one of the best ways to build links to your site as well.

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Knowing all this, why aren't there more blogs?

Before you say "It's too hard to set up," or "We don't have the resources to keep it up," consider that there are many free weblog software packages out there that only take minutes to set up. Then all that you need to do is commit to posting on a regular basis - whether it's daily, weekly or every couple of weeks.

And really, all you do when you post is report on your industry. For example, if yours is a site devoted to home building, why not post about the latest industry news such as new regulations in your area, new techniques being employed, the latest salary reviews and more?

Anything to do with your industry that will help you build your brand is acceptable blogging material.

In fact, I recently helped a client do just such a thing. They sell houseplans online and their concern was like many I've heard, "But what do we write about?" Once I told them to merely report about the industry they were amazed. "That's all we have to do?"

Since then they've been posting 2, 3 even more times every day. Their weblog is now referred to by dozens of other builders' sites on the web and their backlink count has increased by a few hundred.

That's the other benefit of blogging - the increase in backlinks. This is one of the most natural ways to build links to your site. Not only that but they are the best type of links - those highly relevant, highly related links the engines look for when determining your link popularity.

No longer do you need to spend hours hunting for links. Now the links can come to you provided the weblog content is timely and relevant to your industry.

So before you dismiss blogging as an effective organic search engine positioning strategy, take a look at the most recent State of the Blogosphere and look at just how quickly it's growing. Also consider that while you are dismissing it, your competitors may be considering it or have already implemented an industry weblog .

Rob Sullivan is a SEO Consultant and Writer for Textlinkbrokers is a link building company. Please provide a link directly to Textlinkbrokers when syndicating this article.

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