Blogging for Beginners – A Reference Guide

Originally, weblog!

The blog – originally known as a weblog – is basically an online journal with which an individual can digitally write down, or record in a number of different ways, his/her thoughts, ideas, opinions and practically anything else that individual wants people to know about; and since blogs come in various styles, formats and settings – depending on user preferences – their rapid increase in popularity is hardly a surprise. In fact, many blogging platforms offer built-in features such as hyperlinks, straight texts, pictures and other formatting tools, and blogging platforms even allow you, the user, to place videos and mp3’s on your blogs.





As you may already know, not everyone likes to write and, based on this aversion to writing, some bloggers choose to make their blogs more audio friendly by using spoken-word entries instead of writing texts. This is known as audio blogging, which often consist of the same subject matter as text blogs, except that it is spoken and not written. The same can be said about video blogs and pictoral (photo) blogs, which are often used by photographers and such other artists as may find the blogging medium conducive to their careers and other entrepreneurial pursuits.

The basic blog contains these standard features:

  • The title – This allows you, the blog owner – or blogger – to label your post.
  • The body – This is your post content, whether its written, spoken or depicted.
  • Trackback – This is tool that allows other sites to be linked back to your blog.
  • Permanent link – The method used to provide every article you write with a URL.
  • Comments – This allow readers to interact, via the “comment box,” on your blog.

Blogging: Useful for newcomers

One of the advantages of blogging is the small number of templates as well as the simplicity of those templates; because unlike other websites which are made up of numerous individual pages, a few simple templetes make it easier, more often than not, for blog users to create new pages since the blog already has fix settings that include slots for title, body of the post, category and tags.

This is especially useful for first time bloggers because it provides the platform where they can start blogging right away without having to worry about site design, content for various pages, e.g. “About Us,” “Sitemap,” “SEO,” or other such concerns; and they can chose from a number of templates that the blogging platforms provide.

Anyone who wants to start a blog can do so by becoming a member of one of the many available blogging platforms that suits his/her fancy or purpose; and once s/he becomes a member of a given platform, s/he will automatically be a part of that particular blogging community. of course, s/he can also browse through other bloggers’ pages, and link them back to his/her own blogs, in addition to making comments on other members’ blogs.

An entrepreneur’s ad space

Blogging is not just limited to personal usage, though; because there are a lot of blogs that follow specific themes such as: sports, politics, philosophy, social commentary, and an almost infinite number of other subject matters. These bloggers espouse on their specific themes; this way blogging becomes a medium in which people can share their knowledge and opinions about a variety of themes and topics.

Some bloggers even use their blogs as a place – digital as it may be – from which to advertise, like some authors that utilize personal blogs to advertise their books; while other bloggers use their blogs to shed light on current issues, events, news, trends and catastrophes. And let us not forget the education establishment which utilize blogs as a very important part of reaching students, faculty and financiers, among others. Professors use blogging to document the lessons they have discussed and taught, making it easier for students who missed classes to easily catch up with their assignments.

Entrepreneurs, mentioned briefly in the second paragraph, benefit from blogging by promoting businesses on their blogs; and with millions and millions of people logging onto the Web everyday, blogging has – no doubt – become a lucrative activity for these entrepreneurs, whether they are operating sole proprietorships, small companies, or mid-sized companies. Some bloggers who run online businesses use their blogs to promote their merchandise, while others profit through advertisement and affiliate sales.

Uniqueness. Individuality. Personality.

But by far, the most popular blog type is that which takes the form of a personal journal; because this is the kind that is often used by first-time bloggers. Individuals who want to document the daily struggle of their everyday lives, poems, rants, opinions, and other personal issues, find that blogging offers them a medium in which to express themselves.

Bloggers often communicate within themselves; and this is truly one of the appealing things about blogging that attracts so many people to it. It creates a community of people sharing their ideas, passions, and comments with each other. But blogs vary in topics, themes, and set-ups which can be found in blog directories allow first-time users who want to get an idea of what the blogging world is all about to browse through multiple blogs using these directories. This way they can get an idea of what these blogging communities are like.

Blogging is popular all over the world, because there are really no established rules in the blogosphere, although many bloggers try their best to adhere to “Best Practices.” But where self-expression and freedom of ideas are concerned, bloggers have the freedom to express themselves in any way they want. But the best thing about blogging is the fact that most blogging platforms are free; and there are numerous available on the Web to choose from, giving first time users an option of joining the specific blogging community that appeals to their interests.

Begin with a directory!

Just search any blogging directory and you will get a listing of numerous blogging platforms that are available on the Web. It’s easy to search a blogging directory, because it is organized according to category. This way you would get exactly what you are looking for. It can be said without much pushback, that blogging is really for everyone; and many users – seasoned bloggers and newcomers alike – find that it is fun, simple and easy to do!




Increasing Business Exposure Via the Blog

Blog: Practical for business!

The business blog has become a practical Web marketing tool that can save its owner thousands of dollars, while providing excellent and unique business opportunities with just a simple click of the mouse. Blogs have come to be known as user-friendly, customized and flexible media for disseminating useful information and posting effective propmotions of the owner’s products, services and/or brand cognizance.





Companies that engage in business blogging are considered to have a definite edge over their competitors, although that edge is not always immediately evident; but some of those advantages that can be recognized and sufficiently described are evidenced below.

Word-of-Mouth is the first such advantage and was identified in a survey conducted in the early years of blogging. It was determined at the time that 14 million blogs were in existence and 80,000 more were being added each day; but perhaps most stunning revelation during those years, was the finding which indicated that about 30 percent of the 50 million Web users at that time were blog readers.

Essential to the business blog

Of course the Web-use growth rate has exploded since those early days, but can you imagine how much benefit your company would have derived if your products and services were advertised through blogs even back then? And today, as was true then, information spreads so quickly via the Web that the advantages are even more pronounced, especially if an impressive write-up accompanies a particular product or service. Word-of-Mouth, if used strategically smart can ensure that your blogs will be shared with hundreds of potential customers.


Awareness and loyalty is another of those advantages of business blogging, but is dependent on open communication with the business’ customers, if that business expects to create trust and loyalty among them. In other words, being there (available) to provide prompt and satisfactory responses to customers’ questions and comments make them all the more willing to sample the business’ products and services.

Feedback is of course, a valuable resource of any business, and feedback from the readers of a business blog might be even more of an asset to that business because blogs have been proven to be good for product research and reviews in that regard. If you own a business, it would be easier to improve on your products by observing your customers’ thinking and behavioral patterns via your business blog; and you would also be able to take immediate action to allay your customers’ concerns.

The daily trade show effect

The community halo-effect, although not as distinctly identifiable as feedback, is nontheless a desired result of the business blogger; because, as has been said on more than one occasion, bloggers are reasonable, friendly and helpful people who are more than willing to create a blogosphere of comments regarding any product they like, and if the product is yours, you get that benefit. The only thing you have to do is embrace ongoing events and take an active part in the culture which should lead to product being considered in their next stop to the supermarket.

For better marketing results, actively promote your business blogs by submitting them to blog search sites and directories; but be mindful to paste your blog URL in with the title and description of your blogs; and be sure that your blogs contain exclusive information with value and are kept updated so as to keep readers visiting your site and reading your blog; and before moving on to the next site, clicking again for updates.

A business blog is like a setup booth set up daily in the biggest trade show on earth with marketing possibilities just around the corner waiting to pump up sales volume. Add to that the Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds, which are as important as anything else mentioned already; and when used in conjunction with your blogs, RSS feeds will likely improve your business bottom line. Use effective keyword phrases to generate high ranking status in the search engine traffic, which will also help to improve the chances of people finding your website leading to your blog and increasing traffic which means more potential sales.

Setting up the blogging project

For this aspect of business blogging to be successful, you can use RSS for news update feeds, which can be read through the RSS reader application. This is a very useful tool for business blogs as well as internet marketing blos. But if you are already convinced of the potential of a business blog for marketing and targeting sales increases, your company’s readiness for blogging should be complete. However, you must be in tuned with your company’s business objectives and determine if blogging will really help you achieve them.

Consider the following when setting up your business blogging project:

1. Many blogs are dedicated to teaching people the do’s and don’ts of blogging, so them! Include in your reading materials blogs that are consumer-based also to get an idea.

2. Setup several test blogs right away.

If your initial effort with blogs worked well, you can start to set up your blogging enterprise along the lines of these modest suggestions:

Blogging setup considerations

1. Study blog design. Blog hosting services provide pre-designed templates. But if you opt for paid blog service, you can ask your graphic designer to create a design and layout your blog site to match the company’s identity and needs.

2. Choose a topic. Its good to have a line-up of topics you want for your blogs, but be sure they are relevant to your business objectives. This would be a test of your flexibility and open-mindedness, since results could go contrary to those objectives.


3. Remember the following safety measures in blogging:

  • legal issues are sometimes involved in blogging; it is safer to include disclaimers and limitations of liabilities;
  • corporate communication and legal department are responsible in educating the senior management on how blogs might affect business;
  • create blogging policies; set limits on who gets to blog and what information are allowed to be made public;
  • avoid outright marketing blog or you will shy away your readers;
  • make content updated, relevant and fresh;
  • reinforce the company’s core values; and,
  • encourage employees to use it.

4. Start blogging and complete 20 posts before going to marketing.

5. Regularly monitor the coming ins and outs of readers and get updates. Then, measure your results.

6. Adjust if needed. You can always play with your designs in the blog site as long as it remains to match the company’s identity.

7. Strive to be consistent with your topic all the time.

8. Try to have unrelated topics with general and broad appeal.

9. Schedule updates regularly. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday would be best to update blogs.

Once you have done all these things, you can now ultimately enjoy the benefits of business blogging.

About Blog Designs and Increased Readership

Blogs have evolved

Blogs have increased in popularity over the past years due to a number of reasons, including their ease of use, improved technology and the low out-of-pocket cost associated with starting one; and many people have created personal blogs to express their thoughts and feelings, as well as to publish business-related content. Web-based companies have also started blogs to inform consumers on the latest product news and reviews.





Because of their popularity, blogs are also being used by major corporations as Web marketing media, a departure from the pattern of how Web marketing was done before, which is the placement of banners and links on popular websites, such as news and information sites. These banners and links were also included with newsletters and marketing materials sent to members of the company’s mailing lists.

The truth is that many people spend time reading blogs; whether they be their friend’s blogs, their favorite author’s blogs, blogs on topics in which they are interested, and/or blogs on product reviews; and with the continued popularity of blogging, some established news entities even fear that people will rely on blogs more and more to get the latest news.

While getting news reports from blogs isn’t always reliable, some people look for product reviews published to blogs, because in some cases, this is more dependable than a traditional marketing website or Web page, both of which are designed strictly to making the sale. While it is true that some media persons are being paid to write good reviews about certain products, blog writers blog about their actual experiences with products and services from particular companies.

Traffic-pulling blog content

Since there are Web users who read and start their own blog-sites, blogs are considered today as a good medium in which to market a product; and with the increasing blog traffic comes increasing product sales. Blog traffic can be increased by joining affiliate programs and sites, which will list your blog under a certain search category or name; and a blog owner can also have his/her blog advertised on popular websites. This, however, will cost some money and is not advisable if you have just started blogging.

A writer who has just launched his/her blog will want as much traffic as possible in order to increase advertisements on the site; and it is important to attract the right businesses, because some advertisers pay every time their link is clicked, or the page that has their link is viewed. And when you, as a blog owner, have increased traffic on your blog, you should try to keep your visitors coming back as well as recommend your blog to friends, relatives and colleagues.

Part of attracting a large readership to your blog is by having informative and, sometimes, amusing content and good blog layout and design. You can develop your own content or you can acquire the services of a web-based content writer to provide you with the most interesting and compelling blog articles. The blog’s layout and design also plays a big role; but most companies that offer free blog hosting provide pre-selected templates, even though there are a few that allows customization which, if you utilize this feature correctly, can increase your blog’s traffic.

Blog-growth tips and designs

The few tips provided below can be used to make your blog stand out from the millions of blogs out there that have standard designs.

Customize the banner, which usually have the most generic designs common to blogs from a blogging company or service; but you can personalize this banner by having your graphic meet the required dimensions of the banner. You can also edit the graphic so that it will include the title of your blog also. In this case, you can create your own graphic or you can purchase professional looking graphics online for less than $10.

Personalizing photos will certainly help, and most of the photos you’ll be posting are likely to be your own – not necessarily of yourself, but photos you have taken of other people and objects. However, if you don’t customize the photos before posting them, you may miss maximizing the enhancing benefits graphics can add to the page. Adding photo borders can help the photo stand out from the page, which can add to the design of your blog. You can choose a standard border or you can create your own border which might be associated with your blog’s templates.

Adding a favicon to your blog has wide appeal among blog users and owners. Do you agree with those who think that sites with icons on the address bar before the website’s URL are cool? Many people share this belief. These favicons add a professional look to the URL, and its easy to do using photo or graphic editing software.

Blog template additions

Check out blog templates, layouts, backgrounds, textures and skins from sites, since there are a number of sites that offer free blog templates, layouts, backgrounds, textures and skins. You can make use of these so your blog will not look generic like most of the blogs hosted by the service provider.

Include RSS feeds, since this inclusion is really a cool way to inform people with newsreaders about your blog headlines. You can find tutorials on RSS feeds and how to create and install them on the Web.

Audio makes your blog more personal, not only from a standpoint of personalizing the blog, but it can also keep your visitors coming back. You can try to utilize streaming radio stations, mp3 files or playlists loading with your blog.

Advertisements are excellent sources of income for blog owners who are committed to growing their audience; and one such advertising source is Google AdSense. So if you have signed-up with Google AdSense, which many blog and website owners have done in an attempt to monetize their sites, make sure that the ads are conveniently practically placed so that they will not hinder your readers’ ease in accessing the information on your blog.

Etc., etc., etc.

These tips are provided to help you increase and retain traffic on your blog; but they are only good aad effective when being used correctly and appropriately; so do your research, get as much information as you can about these elements of blogging and make sure you understand clearly what you are supposed to do before proceeding the implementation of the them.