What Is A Blog?
Blogs started off as personal diaries or journals where people wrote their thoughts, expressed their opinions, and so on. A good proportion of blogs are still used for personal purposes but large part of them has also become a tool for business promotion. Blogs are easy to create, run, and maintain and their interactivity makes them an excellent marketing tool. A successful blog with lots of readers means that users are happy with the content or service that is provided. This allows the blog to also serve the function of a customer relationship manager by allowing consumers to get directly in touch with a business’ representative. There are many advantages to starting your own blog.
Creating a blog these days is just a matter of choosing a name and then performing a couple of mouse clicks. Blogging services providers like WordPress and Blogger offer many templates to choose from and if those do not satisfy you then you can change the templates or even host the blog on your own website, there are many options open to you. Different blog services offer different levels of customization so it is best to choose carefully as to what will best suit your marketing needs.
If you wish your blog to closely resemble your website then you are better of hosting it on your own server, if you only require minor customisation like the colour scheme and adding a logo then you can achieve that easily on a hosted service. The best option in my opinion is to host the blog yourself, this gives you a lot more control and it means you can easily implement additional applications, something that is not allowed on certain services for security reasons.
Blogs can help make money because they are not blatant advertisements though there is nothing preventing them from becoming that. The idea behind a blog is not to drown your visitors in a sales pitch but to give them useful and helpful information and address the issues that they put to you. In short, a blog is a communication platform between you, your customers and prospects. The more helpful and informative you are, the better you position yourself commercially.
People will always buy from someone they trust and that is what you want to achieve with your blog. Earn the trust of all those who visit it, work on trust and goodwill and you will soon be seeing positive effects of the blog. There are many things you can do in order to get a blog to make money for you and help promote your business.
Google AdSense can become a good way to earn money through your blog but your income will depend on the traffic that you generate. Google AdSense is completely free and anyone can join the program and including it in a blog or website. There are some restrictions as to how you may use Google AdSense so read the guidelines carefully or your blog will end up being blacklisted by Google.
When you register for the first time Google AdSense will need to verify your blog for approval. Once approved, you can use the various options to set up Google AdSense on your blog. The approval is not difficult because apart from adult material and obscene content there is usually no rejection from Google.
Google AdSense is a smart program that reads the content of your blog post and displayed advertisements from Google that are relevant to the content. This means that people who are reading your blog articles are seeing ads that are interesting to them. Every time someone clicks on an advertisement Google AdSense pays you a commission. You can choose from different dimensions of the ad panels that will displayed and also choose whether you want plain text ads, text with graphic ads, or full graphic ads. You can also include a search box from Google AdSense. This is similar to the Google search box and when people perform a search and click on one of the results you will again get a commission.
ClickBank Ad Rotator is a great new program that allows you to place ClickBank ads on your website or blog. As with most adverts, your income depends on the amount of traffic you can generate to your blog. This is a great program as you can use direct link ads targeted by your own keywords, so you can mix them with your Google AdSense if you require. You can choose the exact size of ads you require by title length, description length, word length, ad number, width, height, orientation etc. All done from very simple menus in your members area. You can choose the look of your ad by font, font colours, font size, border colours and styles. You can even choose the order in which they display, such as most popular, highest earning etc. ClickBank Ad Rotator is especially great for blogs as blogs are basically information based and ClickBank only has information based products in its marketplace, so the ads showed are going to be very relative to the blog content, especially as you can target the ads by whatever keywords you choose.
This is a service that was started specifically to place ads on blogs. Advertisers make their own ads and choose the blogs where they want to show those ads. They also decide the duration for which the ads will appear. As a blog owner you can either take their offer or not. Read more about BlogAds here. This is a very simple way to place adverts on multiple blogs.
The service itself earns a percentage of your commissions because they are the ones hosting the ads and serving as the intermediary between you and advertisers. Again, the amount of money you make depends directly on the number of visitors you receive.
This is a service quite similar to BlogAds. AdBrite performs basically the same function as BlogAds. Using this service as a publisher you can place ads on your blog and get paid every time somebody clicks on them, you can choose the type of advertisement you wish to show and thereby get a very customized selection of ads that can be used to target your blog visitors. Using this service as an advertiser will help you generate traffic to your website or blog, you pay AdBrite to show your adverts, and you usually have to pay on a CPM (cost per thousand) basis. It is also possible that once your blog gets really popular you could have business approaching you and buying advertising space on your blog.
AdBrite manages the entire payment processing and so on, so you do not have to worry about those details.
Your blog posts are actually informative articles that you write in order to establish yourself as an expert on the topic of your blog. You can publish articles on anything that is related to your business, more importantly, this flow of information must never cease. Try to write at least one blog article each week, if not more, and make sure it is always written with a personal touch and in a conversation mode.
Do not write as if you are trying to get someone to buy anything, that is not what you are trying to achieve. Your purpose is to inform and be helpful not to score a sale. You can include personal anecdotes and jokes if you wish as long as you they do not become too removed from the article itself.
Another thing to think about when writing your article is, try to make sure that you are paying attention to the keyword details in the blog post because blogs are loved by the search engines for their personal and organic content, good keywords will give you better rankings.
The good thing about blogs is that there is no fixed length for your articles, even if you have a very small chunk of information that you think can be helpful, and it is only around 100 words, that will be fine. The average length of a blog post is around 400-500 words, use this as a guideline but as I said, there is no fixed length.
When writing more than 100 words it is a good idea to keyword optimise the article for better search engine positioning. Choose your keywords carefully and your blog could be enjoying a good rating pretty soon. Short blog postings are also good because it makes it easier to update your blog on a regular basis. If you can average around 400-500 words that is good enough and for days when you do not want to write a lot you can average around 100 words. The key thing is whether you write 100 or 500 words the information should prove useful to your readers.
Getting one way (incoming) links to your blog is a good way to improve your blog’s search engine rank, these are links that are placed on other blogs or websites and link to yours. This is why blogs have what is called a ‘permalink’ feature attached to every article you post, a permalink is basically a permanent link to a specific blog post, so when someone finds your article interesting they can use that link to include it on their own website and blog, providing you with one way links that can be really helpful in improving your page rank. Another method of blog linking is referred to as the ‘blog roll’. This is basically a group of links to your favourite blogs from your own blog. You place these links on your own blog in the hope that you may get some links back to your blog.
Affiliate marketing can also receive a serious boost through the right use of blogs. Once you have joined an affiliate program you can promote it quite well through your blog. Your success with affiliate programs depends on how well you can promote the products and services using your affiliate link. Blogs are one of the best marketing tools that you have as an affiliate marketer. The idea is to write about what you are promoting and explain how it can help people when they use the product or service you are promoting. This is just one of many different ways in which you can use a blog to succeed as an affiliate.
Blog marketing is also referred to as ‘buzz marketing’, this is because blogs help you generate a ‘buzz’ about whatever you are trying to do, whether it is building customer relationships or establishing your company brand. Generating a buzz is nothing more than putting out your message to your target audience and excite them with the product and services that you offer.
There are many various methods available for creating the right buzz when you are running a business blog. All you really need to do is to post something on your blog that is exciting, interesting or controversial. It’s all about generating enough interest to get the blogging community talking about your blog. This works on many levels in addition to helping with the promotion of products and services. Buzz marketing is also largely dependent on the tone of the blog. Facts are good but they are not enough to generate a buzz, you have to make the facts appealing, if your words are informative, but boring or not exciting enough, then you will not succeed in creating the ‘buzz’ you need. You must sound excited, confident, and full of enthusiasm.
Your passion must be easily felt through your words. Unless you can infect your readers with your own excitement there will not be much of a buzz around your blog. By writing in such a tone you will be making yourself unique and different from other websites and blogs that may be offering the same information.