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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Why And How To Blog?

The following is a first draft of an introductory piece on why and how to blog for a class on blogging at Bastiat Free University.

Please feel free to contribute any information in the comments that may assist the students.

A blog is a multi-faceted Internet tool.

Many blog platforms are are available at no-cost. If you are just starting out Blogger or Blog Charm are easy ways to learn blogging basics. There will be some frustrations - but they will allow you to customize your presentation.

A few of our blogs; Speculation Rules, The Sovereign Speculator, An Online Prayer Chapel, and the BFU update blog can serve as examples.

Using the standard looking templates provided, the above show some of the different approaches available.

The power in a blog is first in its simplicity. It is easy to create a web presence with a blog - it is easy to add material. Using just a few no-charge Internet tools you can bring both search engines and visitors to your blog within a reasonable period of time.

Blogger is owned by Google - and is trying to improve. Your blog started on this platform begins with some visibility.

Your first step after creating your blog is to make a post - write a , usually short, entry. Normally a hundred words or a bit more are enough - but it is your blog, do as you wish. Now write more entries following the theme of the blog. One of the measures the search engines will use to evaluate your blog is the number of entries. For the first week or two write several a day, if you wish you can then tapper off to one a day, and once you have over fifty "posts" to your journal you can continue at whatever is a comfortable pace for you.

To get your blog noticed, syndicate your entries by "pinging" sites that list new blog postings. A good no-cost pinging services is Ping Goat, there are others. You only need to use one, and only when you have new content to distribute.

There are also several sites where folks share their favorite blogs, Delicious and Digg are two of them. Post a few key words of your choice to describe your favorite blogs. You blogs can be described by you also - adding a bit to your sites visibility.

You can submit your sites to Yahoo search and google for free, once found they will continue to return to your site looking for useful information. There are probably web directories in your blogs field that will also list your blog for free, and there are many free general directories.

As your blog grows it will likely attract links from other similar blogs, you can add links on your blog to sites you enjoy. Your incoming links, and to some extent your outgoing links, will effect your ranking in the search engines. Post a comment on the BFU blog (or here) about one of our posts - and use your blog's URL address where requested - you now have a link to your blog. If you post relevant content you can do this on many blogs - you will get to know them - they will get to know you. Avoid quick and general comments - those may be treated as spam.

You can also use the free tools of the Internet marketer to enhance your blog's impact, pick and choose from many useful sites.

Another tool is traffic exchanges - while they may have limited long term value - using them for a short while will help you discover blogs you like - and help others discover you.

Your blog does not have to be a stand alone site. The Speculation Rules blog above shares its readership with the main Speculation Rules site - enhancing both. A blog can be used to drive traffic to a more standard site, something I am sure you are already considering.

In short your new blog can do many things - you will keep discovering them as you learn.



At 2:37 AM, Blogger Elmari said...

Thanks for some very useful information on your blog. All of the best with your business.

At 4:23 AM, Anonymous allan said...

Thank you Elmari.

All the best with yours also.


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