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So You Have a Blog, Now What Do You Do With It? Blog Basics


(This article assumes that you have already set up a blog on your website. I highly recommend using sBlog: http://servous.se/)

What started out as just a way for you to write an online journal has quickly turned into a very viable internet marketing tool. The weblog, or blog for short, has become a great way to draw attention to your website. Below I will discuss the steps you need to take to make the most of this new tool.

1. Content: Probably the most important feature of your new blog is the content - what you post. As an example, you can see what my own company, JV Media Design, has put up here: http://www.jvmediadesign.com/blog. You will notice that we post a lot of articles related to the business of design and the internet. Content that is relative to your business or industry is the most effective. Articles, news, tips, tutorials, and links or other resources are all great examples of what would be considered good content for your blog.

2. Updates: Optimally, your blog should always be up to date with fresh content. Of course, this can't always be the case, so it would be advantageous to update your blog as much as you can. If you can manage the content, a few times a week would be enough to keep your information fresh. There are plenty of free resources online that could help you with content. Simply do a search in your favorite engine for "free site content" or "free articles" and you should fine multiple links that could make it even easier for you to keep your blog up to date.

3. Links: Once you have some content posted into your blog, you will want to tell the internet world about it. The best way to do this is to submit your RSS feed link to sites that accept those feeds. What's an RSS feed you ask? RSS is another acronym for "RDF Site Summary", "Rich Site Summary", or "Really Simple Syndication". Basically, it's just a format for sending out your content to others. The best resource for where to submit this link is: http://www.masternewmedia.org/rss/top55/ It might take you a couple hours to go through this list, but I highly recommend submitting to all the links you can. Simply click on a submission link on the list and then follow the directions. Most sites will ask for your "RSS 0.91" or "RSS 2.0" feed link.

If you are using sBlog, your links would be:
http://www.YOURWEBSITE.com/blog/rss/?mode=0.91
http://www.YOURWEBSITE.com/blog/rss/?mode=2.0

Some sites only ask for the URL to your blog, which would be:
http://www.YOURWEBSITE.com/blog

Usually, the site will also ask for a description of your blog feed. Try to be as descriptive as possible while using keywords from your industry (ie. "JV Media Design - Web, graphic, and multimedia design tips, tutorials, and helpful information). Some will ask you to choose the best category for your blog feed as well.

4. Pings: Yet another web acronym, ping is short for "Packet Internet Groper" and is basically just a utility program that tests a network connection. In the blog world, pings are used to tell other sites that you are there. There is debate on how often you should ping others but the general consensus is that you should do it every time you update your blog with new content. The best utility to ping blog directory sites (where you should have been submitting your RSS feed links in point #3) is: http://pingomatic.com/ - Simply go to this site once you update your content, enter your URL (http://www.YOURSITE.com/blog) and description, check off all the boxes, then click "submit pings".

Sherry Holub received her degree in design from UCLA in 1995. She is now the Lead Designer and Creative Director at Southern California Studio, JV Media Design. http://www.jvmediadesign.com


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