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Its in the BLOG

Aug 17, 2007
If you're looking to grow your business, then a BLOG is a great tool to add to your tool chest. In this article we will discuss BLOG basics and how you can use them in your business.

1. What's a BLOG?

What's a BLOG you ask? Well, let me tell you. According to Wikipedia.com:

A blog (short for web log) is a user-generated website where entries are made in journal style and displayed in a reverse chronological order [newest entries are at the top].

So, its really just an online journal or diary that is written by anyone who wants to tell the world what's on their mind. (Side note: When I say "the world" I really mean it, so be careful what you write.)

Ok, so how can this help you grow your business? Great question. To understand the answer you have to know just a bit about how search engines work.

2. BLOGs and Search Engines

Search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN and all the others use what they call "spiders." Spiders are software programs that "crawl" the internet looking for new content, and rank it based on its contents and its relevance to a certain topic. This is all done by some very complex math, but the important thing you need to know is that if you write often and/or discuss topics that are getting searched online a lot (i.e. topics in the news), the search engines will consider your site "relevant" and if you include "key words" (popular search terms) in your content, that you know your potential customers are searching for, there is a much better chance that they will actually be able to find you.

So to recap, my 3 Principles of BLOGging for Search Engines are:

1)Write Often
2)Write Relevant
3)Write Using Key Words

3. What makes a good BLOG?

This is a rhetorical question. The only thing that really matters is the opinion of the audience you are trying to reach. So here are a few tips that will help you stay on track.

1. Know who you are writing for
a. If your audience is 13 year olds, writing about retiring next year probably isn't going to get you a lot of return visitors

2. Keep it short and to the point
a. 100-300 words is all most people will have the time to read, so keep your articles short and to the point. Over time this will build a great deal of credibility with your readers.

3. Write actionable content
a. "How To" and "Top 10" lists are great. It gives your readers action steps they can take to use your content in their everyday lives. Think about ways to use these to point out how you are different from your competitors.

4. Don't be afraid to tell some of your secrets.
a. People love to hear about how to make something happen, then they love to pay someone else to do it. Let's be honest, even though you just told me how I can edit my html code on my website to make it stick out like neon lights in a search engine, that doesn't mean I want to do it myself. Just give me a way to contact you to hire you. After all, you just showed me that you are the expert.

5. Allow Comments
a. Consider allowing people to post comments about your BLOG. In fact, you should be the first one to post a comment after each blog, pose a question or comment to simply getting a discussion started. If visitors are interacting and writing comments about your BLOG, they are actually adding relevant content that the search engines are going to like.

Well, there you have it, BLOG basics.
About the Author
JW Dicks & Nick Nanton, founders of TheBusinessGrowthLawyers.com, publish the Business Growth ezine monthly covering topics that every business, start-up to international powerhouse, needs to know. If you're ready to take your business to the next level, get more FREE info now at www.TheBusinessGrowthLawyers.com
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