The internet was originally used by the military and research scientist. They used it to exchange highly technical information. Because of the highly technical nature of the internet and information that was being exchanged, a tradition of informality and personal expression developed to ease the cold technicality.
Blogs while appearing to be the latest fad, really resurrect in modern form an order, more traditional way of using the internet to exchange information with a personal touch. They are replacing the static web sites rapidly. Blogs, provide current information from a particular perspective. They do that in a format that easily integrates with other information from other perspectives.
What Are Blogs?
Blog” is short for “Web log”. A “Web log” is a log that is kept and shared on the internet. A “log” is a record of chronological events e.g. a Captains log. It records events and points to the sources of information about those events. It is chronological, usually with the latest entries on top prior to entries below.
Blogs can be used and have been used for many other subjects the major ones being political and for personal communication. Regardless of the subject, the entries should be chronological and event oriented. They should contain links to each original source of information that is being summarized. However, Blogs can deal with any type of subject and express any perspective.
Blogs and E-commerce
An important characteristic of a blog in this context is that Blogs, like discussion boards and chat rooms, bring visitors back to your site over and over again. They help to create a relationship between you and the visitors to your web site depending on the quality of the content you are providing.
Repeat visitors who develop a relationship with you through your website are exactly what you want in order to succeed in e-commerce.
Blogs also tend to do well in search engine rankings because they are information driven. They are a way to provide unique and useful information. By leading with this information, you can then offer your visitors opportunities, products and services. However, as mentioned above the key to attracting repeat visitors is the quality of the information provided.
Blogs are quite simple to publish, and can be done by yourself. You can just add a page to your existing Website and use this page for your blog. Simply format this page into a table or paragraphs with a date and caption line above each entry. Add new entries at the top of the page. Blogs are more a matter of information than they are of design and formatting.
Publishing a Blog, however, will take an investment of time. What makes the Blog useful is that you are doing the research, finding the sources of information on your subject and summarizing them, so that your viewers can save on time. You are also adding your unique perspective to the information. To keep visitors coming to your Blog, you will have to add entries often.
Visitors who share your perspective will be attracted to your Blog. The time you put in finding and summarizing the information will save your visitors time. You are providing them with a service which saves them time and effort.
Selling Using Blogs
Because you are providing a useful service to your visitors, they will develop trust in you. If you prove worthy of that trust, this relationship will build. A relationship of trust is the most important element in internet marketing. If your visitors trust the research and summaries in your Blog, they will also trust your recommendations for opportunities, products and services.
Try to incorporate your affiliate links in to the text of your Blog entries. The textual links in the text of the entries, in context with the other information, are the ones that will really produce results. If your visitors are interested in the text of your Blog entries, that interest will flow over to your affiliate links. Do not force the affiliate links into your context.
It should be noted that the internet purists do not believe that Blogs should contain any commercial content or links. I do not agree with this belief; remember time is spent on getting this information and summarizing it. It is important that the information remains objective and not just commercially based in order for the Blog to be trust worthy. If a Blog proves to be generally trust worthy you will certainly reap the rewards of your hard work as most internet users will not object to appropriately placed affiliate links that naturally flow from the content of the entries.
Blogs, when used properly, can be an effective e-commerce tool. Appropriately placed affiliate links, flowing from the context of the Blog entries, can be a powerful marketing tool.
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