Click and Hack: Blogging 101
The Computer Store
“Blog.” You’ve probably heard the term, but you may not be familiar with exactly what a blog is. Blog is short for web log. It is simply a forum for sharing content on the internet. Some blogs focus on particular subject matter, such as news, business, social issues and so on. Others are more personal in nature.
Wikipedia explains that “a typical blog combines text, images and links to other blogs, web pages and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of most early blogs. Readers post commentary, so the content is interactive, constantly changes and evolves.”
So why might you want to consider starting a blog yourself? We have five good reasons:
1) You have something to say and want to be heard.
Many blogs exist purely for the purpose of providing a forum for the writer. Blogging has given amateur writers everywhere a chance to self-publish. More established blogs have countless loyal visitors who provide constantly changing, evolving content.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
2) You want to use a blog to help build your business.
A blog can be useful for positioning you and your company as expert, and it can help build rapid awareness if the site catches on. A blog also can help you build a relationship with your customers by providing a forum for answering questions, suggesting ideas and soliciting feedback.
3) You want to collect information on an area of interest.
The interactivity of blogs makes them a great tool for collecting information. Post your thoughts or ideas on a topic, product or service, ask for feedback, and watch comments roll in. Consider it a cheap form of research.
4) Private blogs can be used as a means for work groups or club members to stay connected.
Instead of sending out an e-mail to 10 people then waiting for 10 responses, you could instead post instructions, questions or suggestions to your own blog. A co-worker or member can post a response for all to see, the next person can build on it, and so on. Blogs also work well for families wanting to stay in touch. Family members can post entries and photos from travel, share announcements or ask for help. The blog becomes a virtual conversation with a built-in chronological history.
5) You want to make a bit of extra money.
Some blogs exist for the sole purpose of making money; some generate money as icing on the cake. Successful bloggers generally make money from a handful of sources. With affiliate programs, you place ads or links to relevant products and services on your site, and you are paid a commission for sales or click-throughs.
Google’s AdSense works by pushing ads to your blog based on your content. You’ll earn a small amount each time someone clicks on the ad and more if the click-through actually results in a sale. There are also pay-per-post programs, in which advertisers pay for bloggers to review or discuss their products.