30 August 2007

Blogging 101: What's your message?

With the abundance of blogging programs available, you now have a simple-to-use platform for disseminating information on the Web. What's your message?

Do you want to:

  • Share stories otherwise missed by mainstream media?
  • Provide advice or tips on something like childcare or grantwriting?
  • Publish poetry and fiction onto the Web?
  • Post photos and videos?
  • Rant about an issue that pisses you off?
...then blog about it!

Blogs are a tremendous tool of empowerment. They allow you to say what you want and need. They help you draw in supporters of your cause or to rant about something that bothers you or to find friends by providing a sample of who you are through your writing.

So what are blogs NOT best used for?

Unless you provide something substantial, merely saying "Buy my product" is tantamount to abuse of blogs. Blogs are a terrific way to advertise, but only if you provide something substantial such as a tip or advice. A good way to advertise with blogs while maintaing relevancy is to search for articles that validate the need for your product. Do you sell water filters in LA? Look for the latest LA Times article on the ever diminishing water quality in the Valley, clip a short quote, link to the full story and then offer your product as the solution to the problem.

One-time Greetings:

Saying "Hey, look at me! I got a blog" is fine as a first post, but follow it up with something else and keep following it up. Blogging creates audiences and audiences demand engagement. This means continually providing them content to read. If you don't think you're going to blog more than once, resist the urge to start a blog. A single Web page may better suit your needs.

That does it for this issue of Blogging 101.

Next: What's Your Theme?

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