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Blog Blog Blog or Blah Blah Blah?

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The word "blog" ranks highly among the silliest words invented by the internet community. It sounds like a state of utter unmotivation experienced by a large, science fiction creature. In actuality, "blog" is short for "web log". As the term implies, the author (the website owner or a designated representative) writes and posts a public entry of topics, ideas, facts, and opinions to provide a coherent chronicle relating to the website. That's a technical definition. The results, as you no doubt know, range greatly in purpose and readability.

Unfortunately, this range of quality has given blogging a questionable reputation. What is your reaction when someone asks you if you have checked out his blog? Are you curious as to what he is sharing, or do you picture pseudo-philosophical rambling with a grudge against both grammar and society?

To use a blog effectively, you must first ask yourself if your website can benefit from regular one-way communication. For example, if you are in the healthcare, legal, or technology fields, a blog is an excellent way to keep your audience informed of new developments. Likewise, if you are selling products/services that you can realistically market via your writing, it is a profitable tool. Artists of all media may also keep a personal connection to their fans and patrons by writing blogs about current projects and releases. Contrarily, if you require dialogue, as in the case of product review or posting ideas for discussion, you may wish to use a forum instead of a blog.

Another consideration is the tone of your writing. Do you want a blog to present information, or do you want a blog to present your feelings, opinions, and trivial updates? Of course, both have their place in any communication, but blogs are notorious for going overboard in this area. Unless you are a talk show host, comedian, or personality that is specifically famous for this sort of ranting, omit it completely. In fact, due to the heightened amount of "noise" associated with blog entries, search engines are beginning to ignore them, even when they contain legitimate content. In some cases, they are even having a negative impact on the website's presence as a whole.

The challenging paradox is to compose brief essays that maintain a personal feel, while not getting too personal. When you write a piece, stand back and ask yourself, honestly, "Who cares?" If you can answer that a large percentage of your audience will care, then post it. If you can truly say that reading it will give someone reason to return to your website, then post it. However, if only your three closest friends will care, then send it to them and forget posting it on your site. Of course, if you ever have questions, call us. We are happy to provide further suggestions for blogging on your individual website.

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