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Old 24th June 2006, 01:28 PM   #11
Hendry Lee
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First of all, it is possible to setup a website using a blog. I've used WordPress Mu myself, because I need multiple blogs on one domain, much like WordPress.com. I successfully modify the template so I can share most of the things, and just for simplicity. I mean, when changing one item on the site, I want it to apply to other blogs as well.

If you use MovableType or ExpressionEngine that would be easier because they are created with that in mind. Especially the latter is kind of a CMS -- Content Management System -- with a blog feature. You can always go to Drupal if you want more powerful features like access control, integrated forum support, etc. But for blogging only, I prefer WP or MT.

A blog, arguably is a website too, with social features, automatic archiving, ping, etc. Before you jump into blogging, realize that there is actually two very basic types of business blog:

1. A business blog to promote your product and service.
2. A blog as a publishing platform (niche blogging)

They are very distinguishable indeed. A business blog is a marketing tool that allows the company to communicate with their prospects or customers, extend their visibility, rank in SE, etc. Examples of this type of blog are Sun Microsystems blog, Intuit Quickbooks blog, etc.

Small businesses -- even solopreneur -- have used a blog for this purpose too. A self-published author can blog about her book, its progresses, etc. and let people know how far she goes. It also build anticipation before the book hits the market and at the same time getting valuable feedback to improve her book.

Case studies of successful uses of blogs are very common nowadays, for businesses of all sizes.

The second type of blog is as a publishing platform. I mean, in the first type of blog, you also use the blog as a publishing tool. But the content itself is to promote your business. In niche blogging, you build content as the very base assets for your business. When you have enough content that people want to read, you can start earning revenue from contextual advertising or sponsorship.

The latter can leads to indirect opportunity too. Just recently a blogger (Paul Stamatiou) was contacted by Yahoo! for the Blogger Internship position at the company.

After your blog has enough traffic, you can start creating product to sell too. The possibilities are endless, just you have to start somewhere in the right direction.

To blog is not just blogging. Sure if you network with other fellow bloggers, you too can increase traffic from referral links from other blogs. But most people use blogs as a search engine "magnet".

In order to achieve that, you need to research your keywords. See if there is enough demand for that. See if you are able to get traffic to move your blog ahead.

Commit to a schedule. If you are in a competitive market, make sure you are willing to put enough effort to the blog before you start seeing result.

Just like a business, starting a blog is pretty much like one. Because it is. So strategically plan the venture before moving ahead. Just too many people abandon their blogs on half way because the have lost interest or simply got nothing to say anymore.

It doesn't have to be that way if you plan from the start.

And finally, find your passion. That is the only way you can survive hard time when you work hard but nothing yet happens.

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Old 4th July 2006, 09:59 PM   #12
leejoseph
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Actually i am dealing with apparels business. my blog will be helping me in promoting the different designs of clothings to mainly the teenage locally and also to my own school mates. As these clothes are mainly imported from other countries while the rest are self-designed and print, i'm able to sell them at a low price. What type of tone or how shall i improve my blogs to increase the number of viewrs and thus sales.

Do you have any relevant or any others well-done business blogs that you can recommend me to view so as to enhance my own blog? thanks !

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Old 5th July 2006, 11:30 AM   #13
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I think that given your target market, your blog would benefit from a casual, spirited tone that is both fun and edgy at the same time. Take a look at the way teens behave over at MySpace.com. There is a perfect market research opportunity right there! Just get an account and start perusing around and observing how they post and what they talk about.

Then mirror some of those values over at your blog. It's all about relevance with marketing. Talk about things that matter to your market: fashion, price point, the "cool" factor, social issues, freedom of expression, friends and social life, annoying parents ... the list is long so try to narrow it down a bit and then be sure you use language your audience can relate to. It's a balance between being consistent with your theme but also continuing to offer up fresh commentary that is interesting and unique.

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Old 8th July 2006, 04:10 PM   #14
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i now somehow have the idea on the type of tone to be used and how my blog shld be done for my business.. however taking the case that now, my friend and i are thinking of helping a bike shops, that sells high end bicycles, to advetise and promote. We wanted to cut down the total cost of advertising thus we are thinking of using blog as one of the means to promote for the bike shop. the only thing now is that we do not know how to get the correct target market to view the blog. the target market would most likely include those whose are very interested in bicycles and are willing to spend a large amount of money on them. what should we add to our blog or do to attract the right target market to view our blogs? or do we have just have to wait for chances that these targets market may view upon our bolg someday some how? is there any fast methods to achieve this?


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Old 28th July 2006, 10:44 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by caseyturton
OK, I see from the posts that blogs must be pretty cool. I've reviewed the technology, understand the concept, read about how it will drive $$$ to your business and traffic to your website, but have yet to find a blog that isn't a thinly-disguised advertising site, missives from some angst-driven artist/poet/musician, diary of a mad housewife, etc. etc.
Just wondering.
One place that you can create a professional blog is at problogs.com.

http://www.problogs.com

The free option does have some advertising, however you can pay a few bucks a month and get the ads removed (plus you get a ton more space).

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Old 30th July 2006, 10:07 PM   #16
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leejoseph, if you are still reading, I don't think you should advertise something not related to your product/services or blog theme simply because your site and the bike shop have different target audiences.

Sure, some of your people might want to buy a bicycle, but that'd be a minority and I don't think it would be a successful advertising campaign for the bike shop. Let them know of this and if they agree to continue, I don't see a problem if you put up an ad. However, ads tend to decrease the credibility of the blog (unless there are so few of them).

Basically, when promoting your business via a blog, it shouldn't be actually promoting. It would be attracting target audience by unique, quality content to your blog, who may also be interested in getting business with you. Specifically advertising your services or products in your posts will, most likely, put off most of the readers. The most you would allow is to mention that you do this and that in a related post, but not more.

For instance, for the apparel website, the topics would cover the latest fashion teenage trends, what to wear on a low budget, how to find the thing that fits, etc - information that clearly provides unique value to the readers.

Of course, as mentioned, the only thing that will make your blog succeed is your interest in writing for it. Just setting up a blog won't do much.

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Old 31st July 2006, 12:36 PM   #17
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As someone pointed out earlier, most blogs are indeed "splogs", or thinly veiled advertising sites to use his exact phrase.

For an example of how a company can use a blog to REALLY generate customer interest, check out http://quickbooks_online_blog.typepad.com/

Noone, IMHO, has done more to interact with current and potential customers than these guys. This is EXACTLY what a business blog should be.

Note how they use it to debate product development, to take input from buyers, and to LEARN from their customers.

I can think of more than a few companies that should follow this lead

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Old 31st July 2006, 09:39 PM   #18
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Well, there are a lot of legitimate blogs out there as well, so I shouldn't say that most blogs are 'splogs'. Though, splogs can be created with the help of the blogging software.

Blogs don't have the 'splog' tag on them, so it is safe to have one. Just make sure you don't use AdSense or use it sparingly - it is a sign of blogging for clicks, even if you don't do that.

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Old 10th August 2006, 01:06 PM   #19
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leejoseph,

The key to your blog's success, as others here have mentioned, will be the quality of your content and your passion in creating it. It takes quite a bit of work, but if you are able to select the right tone and perspective to build a loyal following, your client (?) should receive the benefit of it.

A previous poster was right on about using complimentary content. What are some of things that are on the minds of bikers today? Pick a theme and stick to it.

Good luck,
Jim

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Old 16th August 2006, 07:46 AM   #20
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Iíve read all the posts rather carefully and realized that most of you a good specialists in this sphere. Does anyone have any information about the real money generated by blog (any type of it Ė business or public). Just average numbers (revenue or ROI) to compare with the other types of Internet business.

As a teacher of economics and business and blogger myself Iím really interested in this.

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