Three weeks into the New Year, and I know that the idea of setting New Year’s resolutions has been beaten into the ground. So forgive me, because it’s time to look at making those commitments one more time, but this time with your blog. If you set realistic goals for your blog in 2011, you will accomplish them, which is more than can likely be set for your other new resolutions (gym, eating, time off the computer...need I say more?) So what should those blog goals be?
By Beth Graddon-Hodgson
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Most businesses use blogging as a marketing tool, and that’s the way it should be; but people are uncertain exactly what that means. Do you use traditional rules of marketing when you’re writing your blog posts? Write for a target audience? Try to sell a product? Include a call to action? Well, those are more questions than I can answer here, and I’ve answered many of them before. But to summarize, yes to be an effective marketing tool you do have to think as you would when writing marketing copy (identify your target audience, make statements that are appealing and capture interest, and she some light on your business). But the similarities end there.
These days it seems like you need to have a bumpit to create new words. Sarah Palin might refudiate that remark but I think Snooki and her guidos feel it's high time to get some Jersey Shore lingo into the Oxford English Dictionary. Personally, I told someone I had spent considerable time catharterizing this weekend - not to be confused with being catheterized or jazzercizing - after getting dumped unceremoniously by a friend. (Note to readers - at this point I do not have a bumpit)
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It made me wonder how words evolved in the first place. How did certain words become accepted into normal use and eventually accepted in the main dictionaries we all use? Like humongous. Or ginormous, or a zillion. For example, Humongous is in the Random House Dictionary as
By Beth Graddon- HodgsonAny journalist will tell you that a headline; a simple few words, holds as much importance as the body of an article. When writing a blog, the headline or title is of equal importance. However, the approach needs to be different, because you’re not just looking to grab the attention of readers; you need to do that while grabbing the attention of search engines!
By Beth Graddon- HodgsonYou might think that it’s only your actual blog content that is going to get people to stop by and read, but images play a big role, too. They can help make your blog posts appear more professional and attractive, but that’s really only a small portion of their benefits.
Photo from fOTOGLIF
For one thing, the images can drive traffic to your blog. People search for usable photos just about as often as they search for information online. When you post a photo and use your blogging tool to upload it with a title, relevant keywords and a caption, you’re creating another way for people to find you on search engines. This can encourage them to either read your blog content while they’re already found themselves on your site, or give you a link back if they decide to use your image on their own blog or site.
(Quick note - I thought this was a great time to try out the Wordpress free photo plugin from Crestock. Works GREAT just search "free photo" in your directory or download it here.
Of course, photo usage needs to be done carefully, or you might find yourself at the losing end of a lawsuit. Not all of the pictures you upload on your blog need to be yours, but these are the guidelines to follow before you put a picture on your post:
By Beth Graddon- Hodgson
All bloggers, whether business or casual use a statistics measuring tool with their blog, after all, it’s pretty cool to see just how many people are interested in what you’ve got to say, no? The complexity of the tools varies, with the most basic allowing you to simply see the number of page views for each blog post. The more complex ones can tell you everything from how readers came across your blog, to the countries that your readers live in.