Saturday, January 5, 2008

Use A Web 2.0 Blog As A Marketing Avenue

By Terry Madigan

A lot of you will know what a blog is, while some of you are sitting there scratching your head wondering what I am talking about. So for those that still do not know what a blog is I will give a brief explanation before moving on as to the differences between traditional blogs and Web 2.0 blogs.

A blog is basically an online journal that you can create and post entries into. The difference is that in most cases a blog is open to the public so others can read what you have entered, where as a journal or dairy is a private book that you keep hidden. That is the simplest explanation there is for what a blog is.

Traditional blogs and Web 2.0 blog sites differ in a large way. Traditional blogs allow you to create the blog and post the entries, but unless you market the blog no one is going to see it. Now once the search engines pick up on it, then you may see a little traffic trickle into your blog from it but not much. Therefore, you will need to do some major promoting to get people to your blog. Now with a Web 2.0 blog site you can create your own blog and post your entries but people will see your blog entries almost as soon as you post them.

Web 2.0 blog sites are a social site that does a lot of the promoting within for you. Other users or people surfing around on the site will see your blog entries and can visit your blog from there or read just that individual entry that interests them. Most blog sites such as this allow you to not only place your blog in a category that fits the blog but also allows you to place each entry into an appropriate category.

I use Tblog for one of my marketing avenues with Web 2.0 blogs. I use them because they have a few features that quickly allow me to get my blog entries seen. First off when I place a new blog entry in my blog that entry automatically appears at the top of the list of other entries from other users under that category. Therefore it is in a prime location to be seen. Also on the front page of Tblog is what they call a tblurt box. I can type in a tblurt telling other users that I have a new entry on my blog. This will appear on the front page for everyone to see. Both quickly allow me to drive users to my blog entry and from there try to get to them to the website I am promoting in that entry.

A good way to gain a little more traffic is to take the time to read other people's blog entries and place an appropriate comment on their entry. Most blog authors will return the favor and go and look at your blog. I have converted traffic somewhat from this practice.

For effective marketing, you need to leave the comment section open on all of your entries on any of the social blog sites that you use. The comment section can give you an idea as to what marketing tactics are working and which ones are not. Feedback on these comments are one of the best ways to judge what consumers or potential clients are thinking about what you are offering.

For those that are marketing a website that sells products you need to showcase those products. Most of these sites allow you to upload pictures and even videos to your blog. Upload some product pictures so that people can see what you are talking about.

Remember to add some text in to that entry as well. It has been proven that a picture entry with little to no text does not seem to convert very well. Do not forget to link that picture to your website, so that anyone who clicks the picture will be taken to your website. It is preferable that you link a product picture directly to that products description page.

For those that are offering a service, your posts do not have to always be just about what you are offering exactly. Let us use this as an example so that you understand what I am talking about. Say you are offering a service to custodial parents to help them get their past due child support from the non-custodial parent. Now you can post entries on the services that you offer and such, but you should also post statistical entries as well. Do some research and post on the effects of failure to pay child support and the laws surrounding child support. Then remember to make mention at the end how your company can help.

For videos placed on your blog you need to keep them short. It is recommended that for the internet that videos be no more than five minutes long. Internet surfers do not want to spend a lot of time on one particular video and will tend to leave before the end if it is too long. Also make sure that your point is made during those five minutes. Do not leave the viewer at the end still trying to figure out what you were talking about.

The same can be applied to text as well. You do not want a long drawn out blog entry. The average internet surfer does not spend a lot of time reading one blog entry before moving on to something else. While it is important to get the readers attention and give them useful information to get them to your website, it is more important to do so in as brief a post as possible. Therefore, brief and to the point along with some pictures or a video every so often and you should have people heading from the social blog site right to your website. Also if you are offering a service, place your company phone number at the bottom of your blog posts.

T J Madigan has been established in online business since 1998. He is one of Australia's leading search engine optimization - SEO practitioners and is director of - a new website offering Free Online Business Tips, Tools, Resources & Information for Internet Entrepreneurs. T J has also directed a number of other successful online projects.

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