Affiliate Marketing refers to the online business activity which covers agreements between eCommerce entities (merchants) and those who promote and sell their products and services (affiliates) for a percentage of the price paid by end buyers. Affiliates are independent contractors and are also referred to as affiliate marketers due to the nature of their marketing activity.

Defining the Blog – From Text to Corporate





The blog defined

For many years, blogs (weblogs) were defined as text-based websites that kept records of days, similar to a captain’s log on a sailing ship. However, this started to change as the group of people who kept blogs became more diverse. The more bloggers began to explore the limits of their medium and of the technology that made it possible, the more the boundaries of what could be called a “blog” expanded. That having been said, the definition of blogging is something which has been very much in flux for many years, as new technologies that appeared on a seemingly daily basis, redefined what a blog was, what a blog could be, and what a blog should be capable of doing.

Blogging has evolved, taking with it the manner in which it is defined, but among the most challenging types of blogs to have emerged is the corporate blog which, for a significant period of time, struggled to gain legitimacy and acceptance in the blogosphere. In recent years however, corporate blogging has become more mainstream and has gained prominence in an otherwise individual-based medium which often has more to do with the day-to-day activities and personal experiences of an individual blogger than with a cold, “it’s only business” approach of the corporate entity; but there is little doubt that corporate blogging is here to stay, as we will discuss further in the following paragraphs.

Corporate blogging, once considered a controversial marketing tool that might have created more problems than solutions, has turned out to be the kind of advertising strategy with which businesses can derive maximum benefits from their Web marketing efforts. The most practical description of corporate blogging, as indicated in the Brafton website article titled, Corporate Blogging, “is the practice of creating content that addresses industry updates, expert tips or best practices and company news from the perspective of a brand.” The article goes on to say that Corporate Blogging “is used by businesses of all sizes as a means of content marketing.”

The corporate blog

In view of the percieved benefits promised by this method of Web marketing, many corporations, companies and other businesses that were in search of ways to capitalize on the blogging trend, made a calculated determination that a great way to ride the blogging wave is to keep a blog on their corporate website. These unique blogs are often created to appeal to a particular demographic that the company needs to attract; and content published to such blogs may at times have quite a lot to do with activities of the corporation, while at other times, it may have very little to do with the company itself.

A corporate blog will often focus on the kinds of content likely to attract a desired type of Web surfer even if that content is not related to the product or service provided by the company itself, because there are other benefits (advantages?) that can be gained. Such advantages might include, boosting the business’ web presence, which can be derived through one or more of the following coveted features:

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization);
  • Visitor Engagement;
  • Brand Awareness;
  • Conversions;
  • Thought Leadership;
  • Lead Generation

Some bloggers feel that corporate blogging is a kind of validation for the blogging movement, and shows that this exciting new medium has really infiltrated the mainstream, while other bloggers consider the kind of viral marketing that corporate blogs practice to be unethical or distasteful. In any case, having watched the evolution of corporate blogs and whether how survived and proliferated the Web, instead of succumbing to failure, neglect and extinction served as some interesting and insightful lessons into the habits, preferences and spending disciplines of the modern-day consumer.

A constantly changing blog

As enhancements to the growth and expansion of today’s blogging, there is an abundance of new blog types which include photo blogs, as well as video blogs; and mobile blogging devices may well change the definition of blogging entirely by making it possible for bloggers to create new kinds of posts. And as more companies hire writers to keep blogs with the sole purpose of creating a positive buzz about their brand, bloggers across the globe will debate about whether these manufactured blogs are really worthy of the name. But between all of these different forces that are constantly expanding and reshaping the blogosphere, it is difficult to imagine that the definition of what is, and is not a blog, will ever remain fixed for very long.

Technology, Platform Choice & Photo Blogging





Photo blogging appeal

There is a significant number of people on the Web who believe that photo blogging is the most exciting kind of blogging that exists; and while building a photo blog – and maintaining it – is no more difficult than creating and updating a text-based blog, many people feel that the internet’s high speed and full-color technology reaches the pinnacle of its appeal with the transmission of images. But what may be the most appealing aspect of this technology is the ease with which bloggers of all skill levels can upload photographs to their blogs on a daily, weekly, monthly or even occasional basis.

For those who like photography, photo blogging is a great way to highlight self expression while reaching viewers in an emotionally charged and aesthetically engaging way; and surfing photo blogs can also be helpful in getting a whole new perspective on this global society in which we live. It is important to keep in mind, however, that the selection of a blogging platform could play as important a role in photo blogging as shopping for the right camera. Choosing a blogging platform, whether it is free or requires payment, can feel overwhelming based solely on the many options to choose from.

There are several large blog-hosting platforms that dominate the blogosphere, but there are also less popular, smaller platforms a photo blogger can take a look at. But whether you decide to join up with an established platform like Blogger, WordPress or Technorati, or you choose to sign on with a smaller,
relatively new venture depends on what your priorities are. It is certaianly reasonable to assume that, for most bloggers – text-based, photo/video-based or otherwise – reliability will be among the most important reasons for choosing, and might therefore be the best reason to opt for a large and well known blogging site.

Thematic content

Of course it should come as no surprise that, many image blog owners are also photographers by trade, although the popularity of photo blogging continues to be very high among amateur shutterbugs, hobbyists and photography enthusiasts; and it seems self-evident that a majority of the most popular photo blogs have gained that popularity because the pictures on them are of the highest artistic caliber. If you guessed that a lot of the people who run these visually striking blogs are graduates of prestigious art schools and possess impressive professional portfolios, you would be right.

However, some of the most well-known and frequently visited photo blogs are as notable for their concepts as they are for the pictures themselves. Some popular photo blogs, like the popular blog, “Cute Overload,” (this blog announced on January 18, 2016 that it was closing down) which features picture after picture of adorable animals, are more about the thematic content of the pictures than they are about the style in which the snapshots were and are taken. Keep in mind also that photo blogs, like many other Web-based entities, have established forums to display the work of highly skilled artisans whose work range from playful collections of curiosity to more serious photo-journalistic work.

This shows that photo blogging is a truly diverse form; and the fact that photo blogs are so easy to build as well as to update makes this kind of visual communication very democratic, while enabling people (bloggers) at all skill levels to become a part of the global conversation about the nature and value of photography today. But whether you are an artist or hobbyist who wants to create a photo blog; or you are just somebody who enjoys learning about new places and things, spending some time looking at the most popular photography blogs on the internet can be a very rewarding endeavor.

The world via photo blogs

You can travel to another place or another time by viewing pictures of faraway locations and long-ago eras; and you can see your own neighborhood with fresh eyes by discovering how local artists have photographed (depicted?) the town or city in which you live. Photo blogging enables people to communicate all of these things plus a lot more; and this makes it a very exciting part of the modern blogosphere. If you agree that the best thing about web technology is the capacity to help people reach each other in a very personal way from across great distances, then you may also agree that in many ways, a photo blog is the most successful kind of web site.