Although sometimes overlooked in favor of sites like Facebook and Twitter, blogs are an important asset for any business. While those other sites are great for sharing sporadic, quick bits of news, a blog can be the one-stop destination for detailed, regularly-updated information about the company.
Blogging is one of the oldest forms of social media. Some people may not include blogs under the social media umbrella, as they predate social networking websites, but it fits the definition of shared, interactive content.
Blog is short for weblog. In the simplest terms, a blog is an internet journal.
The uses vary greatly; from a personal diary to a public commentary; from one writer to a large group of contributors; from text posts to media sharing.
With all of these uses, it’s no surprise that a 2011 study found that there are over 156 million blogs in existence. Not every blog can be a hit, naturally, but some bloggers hold a significant influence in fields such as news, politics and business.
The best blogs tend to be updated regularly, but one should not post if there is nothing worth saying. Blogs typically stick to a central theme to which all of the posts relate in some way. They usually allow social interaction with the ability for readers to leave comments on each post.
As with any social media website, there are negative aspects to blogging. As past litigation has proved, certain things said on blogs can be ruled as defamation or liability. What you say on a blog could also cost you a future job and, in rare extreme cases, even put you in danger.
As a result of such threats, O’Reilly Media founder Tim O’Reilly proposed the Blogger’s Code of Conduct:
1. Take responsibility not just for your own words, but for the comments you allow on your blog.
2. Label your tolerance level for abusive comments.
3. Consider eliminating anonymous comments.
4. Ignore the trolls.
5. Take the conversation offline, and talk directly, or find an intermediary who can do so.
6. If you know someone who is behaving badly, tell them so.
7. Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t say in person.
Blogs are free of regulation, of course, but these are smart guidelines for any blogger to follow.
Popular blogging platforms include Blogger, WordPress, LiveJournal, TypePad, Tumblr and Posterous. These services are free to use and largely customizable, but they require time and effort to build a following.
If you are looking for a fast and easy way to begin blogging, I recommend looking into Empower Network. For a small, monthly fee, you receive a fully-functional blog with no set-up, hosting or domain required. The best part is that you earn a 100% commission on anyone who signs up under you.
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