The word "blog" seems to be everywhere, and what an ugly word it is!
Short for "web log," a blog is a Web page made up of typically short, frequently updated postings that are listed chronologically. It's similar to an online journal. Different blog publishers have different types of content and objectives, just like e-zine publishers do. Content can vary greatly, but most blogs I see are used to share news about a certain business, project, person, or idea. I've also seen some with personal diaries, photos, mini-essays, and the like. Most blogs feature "here's what's on my mind" type entries written by only one person.
Are blogs the next big thing? Well, people seem to love talking about them. ("Do you have a blog? Have you blogged? Want to blog me?") They're popular, easy to update instantly, and you don't have to worry about sp^m filters eating you up.
Do you NEED a blog? Absolutely not. Blogs don't come close to the marketing power of an e-zine. They require your readers to come to YOU instead of your coming to them.
My friend John Reese has a great blog at MarketingSecrets.com, in which he reveals results to his online marketing tests and news about his programs. (I love his stuff.) He posts to his blog much more than he publishes his e-zine. He says it allows him to share thoughts, resources, ideas, and strategies more quickly and easily. (You can see what his blog looks like here.)
But honestly, I never think to go visit the blog, because I have to ... go visit it. Instead I faithfully read his e-zine that arrives right in my inbox.
You May Want to Start a Blog If...
- You'd like your website to rank higher in the search engines.
- You already have a large following of people who would like to keep up with your advice or programs more frequently than your e-zine allows.
- Your business is in a field whose information changes very frequently, such as on a daily basis (e.g. stock trading).
- You have project or personal matter you'd like to update everyone on at once. (For example, my friends who just had a baby post a blog with frequent updates on their little one's progress.)
- You have so much infomation to share about a certain topic so often that it just won't work in your e-zine.
Free Tool Helps You Get Started
If you'd like to start a blog, check out www.Blogger.com. It offers a Web-based tool that helps you publish to the Web instantly, whenever the urge strikes you.
Just don't expect me to come read your blog! : )
(c) 2003 Alexandria K. Brown
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alexandria K. Brown, "The E-zine Queen," is author of the award-winning manual, "Boost Business With Your Own E-zine." To learn more about her book and sign up for more FREE tips like these, visit her site at http://EzineQueenTutorial.com/