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"Blogging" For Fun & Profits


   -  Jim Edwards

Unless you've been under a rock for the last year, 
you've heard the term "blog" once or twice. 

To most people, a "blog" simply represents a glorified
online "diary" where geeks, computer nerds, and lonely
teenagers record their thoughts in cyber-space. 

However, many people don't realize that "blogs" are 
quietly revolutionizing the way companies and 
customers interact about everything from existing 
products to new ideas and improvements in customer
service.

In short, "blog" style communication has come of age
and anyone with an online business better sit up and
take notice fast!

In the beginning, "blogs" were basically an online diary to
record your thoughts; but "blogs" have now evolved into
dynamic websites that non-technical people can update
immediately without html editors or ftp programs. 

Blogs allow their authors to make instant website updates
through a computer anywhere in the world with a Web browser
and Internet connection.

Blogs also allow readers to respond to the author's posts,
provide additional information, links, expanded opinions,
and more. 

In short, an active "blog" creates an interactive community
with the author as the hub and the readers as the spokes of
the wheel that keep the whole cycle turning round. 

Unlike traditional "static" web pages where content rarely
(if ever) changes, an active blog evolves in a state of
constant and never-ending renewal.

With blogs, smart online businesses re-discovered a
principal that small "mom and pop" stores understood for
years: know your customers and stay in close tune with
their wants, needs, and desires. 

Large companies throw billions of dollars down a black hole
every year to literally "guess" what people want to buy.
Most call it the "Marketing Department." 

On the flipside, smart online businesses understand that
blogs allow you to avoid guessing what's on your customers'
minds and provide an active and up-to-the-minute means for
them to tell you exactly what they do and don't like about
your services, products, and virtually any other aspect of
the market.

This lightning fast communication makes it possible for
small companies to literally snatch huge market share away
from more traditional companies.

Blogging also has a distinct advantage over traditional
email newsletters in that subscribers can get udpates
without having to receive an email message. Through the
power of RSS (real simple syndication), subscribers get
notified of updated content though an rss news reader.

Bottom Line: publishing a blog with an RSS feed that your
readers can subscribe to means your content NEVER gets
blocked by a SPAM filter.

Blog software basically comes in 2 flavors: hosted and
stand-alone. Hosted blogging solutions make it extremely
easy to get set up with a blog, often in just a couple of
minutes. 

If you know how to type, you can create a blog. Log on to
Blogger.com and you can set up a blog free of charge and
start posting in just a few minutes. 

Blogger.com (owned by search giant, Google) will even host
your blog on their servers. 

Typepad.com, which charges as little as $4.95 per month, is
also an excellent hosted service offering additional
features that enable you to quickly get your own blog up
and running.

The alternative is stand-alone blogging software installed
on your own website. 

A very popular solution is Moveable Type, available from
moveabletype.org, which provides a very versatile and
powerful suite of tools for creating a full-featured blog
to rival that of any size company in the world.

<-- Side Note -->

Moveable Type is the solution I've chosen for
my blog at http://www.IGottaTellYou.com/blog/

<-- End Side Note -->

Whichever blogging solution you choose, if you plan to
successfully conduct any form of business online,
understand that a "blog" must form an integral part of your
overall plan for customer communication and interaction.

-- 
Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist and the
co-author of an amazing new ebook that will teach you how
to use fr^e articles to quickly drive thousands of targeted
visitors to your website or affiliate links... 

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