In case you haven't heard, the net is buzzing with talk of
blogging and RSS. Once the province strictly of people who
got a kick out of publishing online diaries, and later of
political and social commentarists, blogs and RSS are being
adopted by the internet marketing community.
This is the hot new trend for 2005. The word "blog" was
actually selected as the word of the year for 2004, and
2005 promises to be the year of the blog.
So what is all the fuss about? Well, especially with the
increasing restrictions on email marketing, including ISP
blocking of mail amounting to estimates of 40% of all email
never getting delivered, marketers began to look for new
avenues to get their message out. Enter blogs and RSS.
Delivered straight to a user's desktop, the content of an
RSS feed is unfiltered by anyone. Users can subscribe and
unsubscribe anonymously, with the click of a mouse, and
have no fear that their personal information will be
shared. RSS is "pull" technology, meaning that the user
asks for it, in contrast to email, which is often unasked
for, and thus is often "push" technology.
Blogs, which are usually publicized by way of an RSS feed,
among other venues, are the current darlings for the search
engine spiders. Search engines love blogs, because they
are full of content, are frequently changing, are devoid of
"flash", graphics, and other distractions, and are full of
If you know anything about search engine optimization, you know
that those are the characteristics that should you strive for
when optimizing a conventional page for the search engines.
The pages in a blog are that way by their very nature, and thus
attract the search engine spiders.
Why do marketers love blogs? Numerous reasons.
They are simple to create and maintain. They afford the
opportunity to publish links to other sites, and to the
interior pages of other sites. Their popularity with human
visitors makes them natural targets for traffic. Their
constantly changing content attracts the search engine
spiders, which then follow the links that they find, and
index the pages of other websites.
Many savvy internet marketing experts have suggested that
the best way to capture an audience of potential customers
is to provide them free information, either through a
"content site" that does little direct selling, or through
publication of an informative email newsletter that gives
free information and at most employs a "soft sell" when
A blog is the perfect blend of the two. It has often been
suggested that the best way to start an online business is
with a free newsletter, which allows you to develop your
"list". While a blog doesn't develop your "list" in quite
the same way, it does afford you the opportunity to develop
a loyal following among your readers, which accomplishes
much the same purpose as having a "list".
Whether you announce or endorse a product through an email
list or a blog, you are announcing it to people who want to
hear what you have to say. Your blog readers are probably
more eager, in many cases, than are readers of your mass
I could go on and on about the merits of blogs. If you are
promoting any product or service online, you owe it to yourself
to check out what can be done with blogs and RSS.
John Barbour, Ph.D. is the author of a new blogging guide
which teaches people how to promote any product or service
online using blogs and RSS.
John also maintains several internet marketing educational
websites, and manages a new directory for blogs related to
internet marketing. Visit the emarketing blog directory and
find an interesting blog, or submit your own for inclusion.