BLOGS. A Powerful Tool with a Dumb Name

13.07.2013
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Blog. Whoever invented such a crazy little word? We’ve been using the word for so long that we probably just accepted the term without thinking about it. It’s common for people to make up acronyms or a shortened version of just about any word longer than seven or so letters these days.

Before there were “blogs” internet journals were referred to as “web logs”. For the sake of brevity or maybe being cool, someone shortened the two words to one and the word “blog” was born. I hope the guy who invented the word doesn’t take offense but if I had a Top 10 List of Dumb Words “blog” would be on it. I so wish it had been named something else. It’s not catchy, it’s not cool; it’s just an irritating little word to me that isn’t going to change just because I don’t happen to like it. And let’s not forget the guy (gal?) who invented it probably lives on an island somewhere soaking up the sun and sipping umbrella drinks living off their billions, so there is something to be said for dumb words.

Like it or not there’s no denying that the power blogs hold to spread valuable information and get people involved in online conversations is quite truthfully, phenomenal. Blogging is entertaining and can make learning fun and I wish I had more time to devote to it. I’d rather blog than hit Facebook, Twitter and all the other social networking options.

Podcasts Grew Up to be V-Blogs

What used to be called podcasts are now known as “V-blogs” or “vlogs” and are centered on video. People who run vlogs often “blog” only on video with little to no text content in their posts. This is getting very popular because people love to watch video content. It takes less energy and the user can just sit back and be “fed” the content. My guess is that men in particular like v-blogs because they’re similar to watching tv and we all know how men love tv.

Done well, v-blogs are a super learning tool yet I can’t help but think of the potential danger to children watching v-blogs. Children could all too easily get attached to the face of someone you’d never want your child to meet spreading the word about things you don’t want your children to learn let alone get involved in. I remember when I was a kid my Mom would tell me to “go read a book” when I’d whine at her that was bored. Hmmm, books … a vaguely familiar word that has now evolved to having an “e” in front of it.

Why You Need to Start a Blog

If you own a business and are serious about establishing an online presence, it’s a good idea to start a blog. Blogging is a great way to engage with your readers, develop a following and establish yourself as an authority in a niche you’re familiar with and experienced in. This will help you gain trust in the eyes of potential clients. One key to creating a successful business blog is to publish interesting and informative content that your readers enjoy and relate to. Do this consistently and you will develop a loyal base of readers rather quickly.

How to Start a Blog

Anyone can start a blog, it’s actually pretty quick and easy. If you like free, you can click on over to WordPress.com and create a free site, but remember that free comes at a price. Your blog will have the address of “yoursite.wordpress.com” which has its drawbacks for business sites. If you would prefer to have your own domain name, as most people do, this is doable! If your plan is to make a name for yourself or run a business, it’s best if you have your own domain name so your website is “yoursite.com” .net, .org, .biz or whatever. Owning your own domain name lends itself more to being serious about your name, your business branding and reputation which help you gain respectability and trust from your customers.

All you need is a domain name and a hosting service. Domain names can be registered for just a few dollars a year and  inexpensive hosting services are available from many hosting sites. It’s exciting to think about what might transpire for you as a result of your online presence.

WordPress.com provides you with a selection of ready-made theme templates to choose from. The problem with this is that depending on the theme you select, your site will look like thousands of others using the same theme. How boring is that? There are also limitations to what you can do at wordpress.com. With your own domain name and hosting service you’ll be noticeably more credible. If you have a professional website designer develop your site you can have a custom site that doesn’t look like anyone else, all limitations go out the window and the sky’s the limit for what you can do with your website.

Warning! Blogs Can be Time Suckers!

It’s fun to observe all of the different types of blogs out there on the Internet. It seems like everyone and their brother, uncle and son either already has one or is planning to launch one. There are blogs on literally every topic imaginable including business, non-profits, hobby blogs, SEO blogs, pet blogs, pretty much anything you can think of you’ll find a blog on it somewhere and probably many more than just one per topic.

If you’re serious about starting your own blog you must understand that in order to be successful, you must have enough time to devote to your blog. The real serious bloggers write a post every day, nearly every day or at the very least once a week. I’m forced to be a casual blogger simply because I just don’t have the time to write daily or even weekly posts. I try to get a post a month up and even that sometimes drags out to more like six or eight weeks.

A big part of blogging is responding to the comments people make in response to your blog posts. Blogs are meant to be conversations. If you don’t respond to your readers and keep the conversation going your blog becomes a one-sided speech and more than likely will fall flat on its face. Sometimes a quick one or two sentence response is enough but on the other hand, you may find that your responses require quite more than that.

Blogs have literally taken over the internet and they’ve come a long way since the word was invented. If you don’t have one you’re missing out. Create a blog and get on the web now!

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