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Definition of "blog:" A blog is a journal (online diary) made available on the Internet/web by any individual. Most blogs are maintained by people who know nothing about web site design or development.

Meaning of "blogger:" A "blogger" is a person who has and maintains a blog. Create your own FREE blog here.

Meaning of "blogging?" "Blogging" is the active updating of a blog by the person who maintains the postings (usually a non-professional).

Definition of "blog postings:" Information posted on a blog is usually in chronological order with the most recent additions featured first.

What is a "weblog?:" The original term, a WeBlog is just another name for a blog. The term "blog" evolved from "web log."

Define Phlog: A Phlog (also known as a photo log) is a collection of photographs, photos, pictures and/or images posted by the "blogger" to a blog for the world to see.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

8 Fresh Content Ideas

t is tough to keep your content fresh; however, when using a combination of these fresh content ideas it will be so much easier. Some of them include free content and none of your time. Some are time-intensive and some will cost you a little bit of money, but in the end, it will definitely be worth it.

  1. Writing web pages
  2. You can write your pages yourself, or you can pay someone to write them. Adding web pages regularly is considered to be fresh content and it can make a difference to both your visitors and the search engines.

  3. Use article spinners
  4. Article spinners are programs that take an original article and alternate sentences and "spin" them to make a new article. If you are outsourcing your article writing, you can usually get a much better deal for spinable articles and your content will double.

  5. RSS feeds
  6. You can display RSS feeds on your website that include news, industry news, daily thoughts or jokes, etc. This is an option for free website content that will keep your website changing regularly.

  7. Open blog on your website
  8. Blogs are rather painless to update. Visitors actually love them and they are likely subscribe to your RSS feed if you offer the option on your blog. This gives you the opportunity to stay in contact with your visitors in addition to providing fresh content. If you don't have the time to maintain a blog, you might find a blogger for hire.

  9. Allow comments on your blog
  10. You will be amazed at the content that is provided by interested parties that choose to comment. If you do allow comments, be sure to monitor them closely and use some type of spam prevention solution. A lot of the people who comment will return to your blog to read more and their comments will be related to your content.

  11. Write reviews
  12. Product reviews, website reviews, book reviews and so forth are useful to visitors and it will increase your website content. This is an excellent fresh content idea.

  13. Visit article marketing sites and reprint articles that have the right to reprint
  14. You can pick and choose articles, pick an author that you respect or subscribe to a RSS feed from the article site. This is another free website content idea.

  15. Open a forum on your website
  16. A forum will provide actual discussion that is related to the concept of your website. If the topics are interesting and informative, visitors will return from time to time and comment or even start their own thread. Running a forum can be time-intensive, especially if you monitor postings, but many find forums to be great fresh content ideas that are worthwhile.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

How to Get a Blog on the Internet

Of all people in the world I was easily one of the most pessimistic about computers, the Internet and now that I even know they exist-blogs. I think blogs are pretty cool but I never thought I could have one. I thought the processes of getting a site; domain name and the actual building of the blog would just be out of my league. I’m a complete novice when it comes to technology, but I do like writing a journal, and I thought having a journal on-line would be both fun and make life simpler for me. No more writing with pens, other people can read my stuff and comment on it, and I could add pictures to illustrate my points and make things look more interesting.

Well, now I’ve got one! It’s awesome. I won’t lie and say it was easy, but I think if you hook up with a good web hosting company it’s not such a daunting experience as you might expect. I got a few work mates to help me. I went through a couple administrative hitches when filling in my personal information forms for the registration-just because I’m a bit silly in the head. We had a little trouble with the blog program we used, but these challenges were eventually overcome. My boss says he’s going to make a simple program that people can hook up easily.

I chose my domain name: thepowerofeverythingthatis.com. It’s my own name-no one else on Earth can have it. I own it. I picked a nice picture out for the background-it looks really sweet, much better than a blank sheet in a diary. I got it from a site that gives photos out without charging a royalty (the first few): www.istockphoto.com.

I just want you to know the great feeling I got when I first typed in my domain name and my site came up! It was the equivalent to a person who’s afraid of heights being accepted into an astronaut’s mission into outer space. Or maybe it was like a turtle driving a Ferrari 300km per hour. Possibly it was like all the ants in the world getting together for peace talks.

It’s a real blast having this blog. I can write on it any time, anywhere, from my laptop, at an Internet café etc. I can write as much as I want, and I’m hoping one day my writing may inspire others to communicate with me about the subjects that I’m interested in.

Look, if you like writing about anything, and want to have your thoughts and opinions on the Internet, maybe meeting others similar to yourself in the progress; you have to get a blog and get it now. Don’t be afraid any longer, the world is in the palm of your hands; it’s time to get on!

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Blogging for Profit Using AdSense

his article is designed to teach you how to profit from blogging, writing to a website in the form of regular posts, without spending anything. The keys to this idea lie in two of Google’s programs, Blogger.com and AdSense.

The first obvious step is to find a niche. While it is possible to have a general interest blog, it may not be as profitable as targeting a specific subject.

Once you settled on a subject you like, its time to set up your blog. Blogger.com is great for beginners. Not only is it free (and free of ads, unlike most free hosting services), it has integrated support for AdSense (more on this later). For now, pick a suitable but catchy name and choose one of the pre-made designs.

Of course, now you have to start making posts to your blog. There are two main types of posts. The most common type of content on blogs seems to be commentary plus a link to the actual news source or website of interest. Then there are original content posts which will have others link to you (much like you do in your commentary posts). Either way, make sure its interesting to have readers coming back.

Now its time to apply for Google’s AdSense program. AdSense is a pay per click program which matches ads to the content of your page. Every time a visitor to your site clicks on one of these links, you receive a small amount of revenue (the minimum advertisers can bid for a link is $0.05, of which you receive a percentage. Many phrases can have bids as high as several dollars per click).

The content of your site determines what ads appear, and therefore how much you will ultimately make. The placement and appearance of ads, however, can have just as great an impact on how much you make.

There are a few tips for maximizing ad revenue. First, the appearance of the add itself is important. Google clearly labels all its units as advertising, but allows you to determine the colors of the links and the background. It is important that this match the look of your site. The more blatant an ad is, the more likely it is to turn off visitors. Just as important is the location of the ad units. They should appear on the top half of your page, and preferably on the left side. This insures the ad is viewed by most visitors.

Having covered the basics, its now time for you to experiment to discover what works best for your new blog. The best part is, it costs nothing to try.

Chris Rivers is a writer for http://www.ClickForDeals.net. Visit the site to learn more about maximizing profits through affiliate and pay per click programs. Articles appear on the site exclusively one week before they are syndicated.
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Blog Your Way To a Successful Private Practice

What is a Blog?

Blogs are a type of website often defined as an on line journal or diary. Although there are many blogs where the blog author keeps a log of their own thoughts, experiences and ideas, bloggers also frequently share and discuss information from other sources.

Blogs typically focus on a certain topic and have frequent (sometimes daily) posts (or entries). Posts often link to other blogs or websites that discuss a similar topic. Many blogs are set up so that readers can add comments below each post.

Blogs have been around for about 8 years or so. Business blogs have become increasingly popular in the last couple of years, and especially in the last year.

Why Use Blogging To Market Your Practice

Counselors, therapists and other healing professionals often shy away from using technology when marketing their practices. While there are many effective ways to market your practice that don’t involve technology and the web, the Internet increasingly becomes an essential method to utilize when starting and marketing a practice.

Furthermore, if you market your practice on the Internet in addition to using offline techniques, you are creating a lot more exposure for your services. Blogs are just one more method of marketing your practice.

Fortunately, much of the technology involved in setting up and managing a blog is very simple. This makes it easy for you to manage and update content on a blog by yourself. You can get a blog up and running in a few minutes without having any technical skills whatsoever.

Blogs also are way to connect with your target market more personally. Because blogs are updated frequently, they allow “your voice” to come through more easily than a static website.

Finally, search engines love blogs because of their numerous and frequent posts as well as the common linking that occurs amongst those in the blogosphere (the blogging community).

How to Use Blogs To Market Your Practice

There are several ways you can utilize a blog to market your practice. You can start by posting interesting information on your blog that is valuable to your clients and potential clients. There is nothing like quality, fresh content to keep your visitors coming back to your site. Building relationships with your target audience is key to having a successful private practice.

You can also market your practice through your blog by linking to other websites or blogs that provide information that your target market wants or needs. You can be the filter for your clients and potential clients, posting up-to-date information on your area of specialization so they can keep up-to-date with their areas of interest.

Posting comments on other blogs related to your topic can increase back-links to your website which is important for your ranking in the search engines.

If you have a newsletter, you can have a sign-up box on your blog and/or you can put up a sign-up form so visitors can subscribe to receive notification when your blog has been updated.

Just like a website, you can also sell your services and products through your blog.

Blogging as a method of marketing your practice can be an effective method for building your reputation, gaining credibility, attracting more clients, and gaining more exposure. It can be a great compliment to a traditional website– or if you don’t yet have a website, a blog can be a first step towards getting one.

If you decide to blog as a marketing strategy for your private practice, you might want to peruse the blogosphere (the community of blogs on the web) so you can get a better feel for blogging and the types of blogs that exist.
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Tips for a Better RSS Feed

Like anything else, a little work can pay dividends. Well-written RSS feeds are more useful to readers and result in more website traffic for the publisher. Below are several tips for making your RSS feed more effective.

1. Use interesting titles

Like a book is often judged by its cover, an RSS feed item is judged by its title. Make sure your title is interesting, and try to put the most important information early in the title, since some newsreaders truncate title beyond a certian length.

Also, keep in mind that some newsreaders are set to only show feed item titles. Don’t assume that any feed item descriptions will be shown.

2. Include keywords

Since some readers will discover your feed through the many RSS search engines on the internet, you will want to include as many descriptive keywords in your feed item titles and descriptions. That does NOT mean you should just add a string of keywords. Rather, incorporate keywords naturally into your titles and descriptions.

3. Don’t include all your content

Some publishers put full content text directly in the feed item. The problem with including full text in a feed is that a reader has no incentive to click through to the publisher’s website. Instead, write your feed item descriptions as ‘teasers’ that make a reader want to click over to the website to read more.

Make your feed item descriptions brief, and include descriptive keywords. Remember some newsreaders are set to truncate long descriptions, and some newsreaders won’t show descriptions at all. Keep your most important information at the start of your description.

4. Keep your content fresh

Updating your feed regularly is a good way to keep reader interest. Feeds (like websites) that are not updated for months on end tend to lose repeat visitors. How often you refresh your content is up to the publisher. Keep in mind, however, that readers can set their reader to show as few as three feed headlines at a time. While it’s not likely a problem, updating too often could mean that some items may get overlooked.

5. Make sure your RSS feed is compliant!

Finally, make sure your feed is readable. The best-written feed in the world won’t be read if the feed code is bad. If you are hand-coding your RSS feed files, you can use a website like http://feedvalidator.org can determine if your feed is valid and suggest reasons why it isn’t.

Content is king. Use these tips to keep your RSS feeds well-read and your website well-trafficed!

S.R. Daley is the web developer for http://www.myrealtyfeed.com, a service that allows real estate professionals to create, maintain and promote multiple RSS feeds with a simple web interface.

This article may be republished without changing the content and the bio box.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Top Tips for Successful Blog Contests

Blog contests are a great way to drive traffic to your blog, but there are some important steps to follow to ensure your contest is as successful as it can be.

1. Pick a Prize

Picking a prize might seem simple enough, but you should take some time to think about your prize to ensure you choose one that will help to make your blog contest successful. The more exciting your prize is, the more buzz that will naturally grow around it. However, you need to consider the monetary investment in purchasing your prize and shipping it to the winner. Also, prizes that are related to your blog's topic are typically the best because they bring added value to your readers.

You might be able to find a sponsor for your blog contest who will donate a prize. Companies will donate prizes to generate publicity. You can publish your request on sites like ProfNet. You'd be surprised how many responses you're likely to get.

2. Choose an Entry Method

The simplest blog contest entry method is to ask people to leave a comment on your blog contest announcement post. That comment acts as their entry. Alternatively, you could require people to answer a question in their comments to be entered into the contest. Alternatively, you could require people to post about the contest on their own blogs with a link back to your contest post on your blog to count as an entry into the contest.

You can give different value to each type of entry. For example, leaving a comment on your blog contest post could equate to one entry into the contest but blogging about the contest on their own blogs with a link back to your contest post, could give them 2 entries. It's up to you.

3. Choose a Start and End Date

Before you announce your blog contest, make sure you decide the specific date and times it will start and end to set entrant's expectations.

4. Determine Prize Delivery Restrictions

It's critical that you determine how you're going to deliver the prize to the winner up front. For example, if you need to mail the prize, you might want to restrict the contest to people within a certain geographic area to reduce shipping costs.

5. Identify How a Winner Will Be Chosen

Depending on how your blog contest is set up, the winner will either be picked randomly or subjectively (for example, the best answer to the contest question). For random contests, you can use a website such as Randomizer.org to automatically generate a winner.

It's also important to set up restrictions around prize notification. You don't want to have to wait months for the winner to get back to you with their mailing address, so you can send the prize to them. Set up a limitation stating how much time the winner has to respond to you after you send their prize notification with their contact information for prize delivery else the prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner will be chosen.

6. Write the Rules

Make sure you include rules with your blog contest announcement post. Include the entry deadline, delivery restrictions, how the winner will be selected, directions for entry, and anything else you can think of to protect yourself.

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What is a Blog Contest?

Blog contests are a simple and fun way to increase traffic and a sense of community on your blog. Let's face it. People love to win free stuff, and blog contests are a great way to create a buzz of excitement on your blog.

In the simplest terms, a blog contest is exactly what the term implies - a contest hosted on your blog. Since it's your blog, the nuances of the contest are entirely up to you. For example, you can determine the method of entry, duration of the contest, prize, and more. Again, it's up to you.

The most important thing to remember about a blog contest is it will drive traffic equivalent to the amount you promote it. In other words, if no one knows about your contest, they won't visit your blog to enter. Take some time to visit other blogs and websites to announce your contest. A quick Google search will reveal many blogs and websites that operate solely to announce blog contests.

Finally, make sure you understand the monetary investment inherent in a blog contest. Unless your contest is being sponsored by a company who donated a prize, you'll need to purchase a prize, and most likely, you'll have to pay shipping costs to send the prize to the winner.

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15 Tips to Increase Blog Traffic

The blogosphere is a big and busy world with over 100 million blogs and growing. How do you attract visitors to your blog? Follow these simple tips to drive traffic to your blog.

1. Write Well and Write Often

Frequently updating your blog with useful content is the first step to building your blog's audience. The content you write is what will keep readers coming back for more. Make sure you have something meaningful to say to them and say it often to maintain their interest and keep them loyal.

Furthermore, post frequently to increase the number of chances you have for your blog's content to be noticed by search engines such as Google or Technorati.

2. Submit Your Blog to Search Engines

Get on the radar screen for the popular search engines such as Google and Yahoo! by submitting your blog's URL to them. Most search engines provide a 'Submit' link (or something similar) to notify the search engine of your new blog, so those search engines will crawl it and include your pages in their results.

It's important to understand that simply submitting your blog to search engines doesn't mean your pages will appear at the top of a Google search results screen, but at least your blog will be included and will have the chance of being picked up by a search engine.

3. Use and Update Your Blogroll

By adding links to sites you like in your blogroll, the owners of those blogs will find your blog and will be likely to add a reciprocal link in their blogrolls. It's an easy way to get the link to your blog in front of many readers on other blogs. The hope is that some of those readers will click on the link to your blog on the other blogs' blogrolls and find your content interesting and enjoyable turning them into loyal readers.

4. Harness the Power of Comments

Commenting is a simple and essential tool to increase your blog's traffic. First, respond to comments left on your blog to show your readers that you value their opinions and draw them into a two-way conversation. This will increase reader loyalty.

Second, leave comments on other blogs to drive new traffic. Make sure you leave your blog's URL in your comment, so you create a link back to your own blog. Many people will read the comments left on a blog post. If they read a particularly interesting comment, they are highly likely to click on the link to visit the commentor's website. It's important to make sure you leave meaningful comments that are likely to invite people to click on your link to read more.

5. Syndicate Your Blog's Content with an RSS Feed

Setting up an RSS feed button on your blog makes it easy for your loyal readers to not just read your blog but also know when you publish new content.

6. Use Links and Trackbacks

Links are one of the most powerful parts of your blog. Not only are links noticed by search engines, but they also act as a tap on the shoulder to other bloggers who can easily identify who is linking to their sites. Linking helps to get you noticed by other bloggers who are likely to investigate the sites that are linking to them. This may lead them to become new readers of your blog or to add links to your blog from theirs.

You can take links to other blogs a step further by leaving a trackback on the other blog to let them know you've linked to them. Blogs that allow trackbacks will include a link back to your blog in the comments section of the post that you originally linked to. People do click on trackback links!

7. Tag Your Posts

It takes a few extra seconds to add tags to each of your blog posts, but it's worth the time in terms of the additional traffic tags can drive to your blog. Tags (like links) are easily noticed by search engines. They're also key to helping readers find your blog when they perform searches on popular blog search engines such as Technorati.

8. Submit Your Posts to Social Bookmarking Sites

Taking the time to submit your best posts to social bookmarking sites such as Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit and more can be a simple way to quickly boost traffic to your blog.

9. Remember Search Engine Optimization

When you write your blog posts and pages, remember to optimize your pages for search engines to find them. Include relevant keywords and links but don't overload your posts with too many relevant keywords or completely irrelevant keywords. Doing so can be considered spamming and could have negative results such as your blog being removed from Google's search entirely.

10. Don't Forget Images

Images don't just make your blog look pretty, they also help people find you in search engine listings. People often use the image search options offered by Google, Yahoo! and other search engines, and naming your images with search engine optimization in mind can easily boost your traffic.

The blogosphere is a big and busy world with over 100 million blogs and growing. How do you attract visitors to your blog? Follow these simple tips to drive traffic to your blog.

11. Consider Guest Blogging

Guest blogging can be done when you write a guest post on another blogger's blog or when another blogger writes a guest post on your blog. Both methods are likely to increase traffic as your blog will be exposed to the other blogger's audience. Many of the other blogger's readers will visit your blog to see what you have to say.

12. Join Forums, Web Rings or Online Groups

Find online forums, web rings, groups or social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn where you can share ideas and ask questions of like-minded individuals. Add a link to your blog in your signature line or profile, so each time you post on a forum or participate in another online network, you're indirectly promoting your blog. Chances are many people will click on that link to learn more about you.

13. Promote Outside Your Blog

Promoting your blog shouldn't stop when you step outside the blogosphere. Add your blog's URL to your email signature and business cards. Talk about it in offline conversations. It's important to get your name and your blog's URL noticed offline, too.

14. Nominate Yourself and Other Blogs for Blog Awards

There are a number of blog awards given out throughout the year. Nominating yourself and other blogs and bloggers can draw attention to your blog and drive traffic to it.

15. Don't Be Shy

The most important part of the blogosphere is its community and much of your success as a blogger will be tied to your willingness to network with that community. Don't be afraid to ask questions, join conversations or just say hi and introduce yourself. Don't sit back and hope the online world will find you. Speak out and get yourself noticed. Let the blogosphere know you've arrived and have something to say!

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Promoting Your Blog with Blog Carnivals

In short, a blog carnival is a blog promotional event where one blogger acts as the host and other bloggers act as participants. The host announces the carnival date and topic then other bloggers who write about that topic on their own blogs write a post related to the blog carnival's topic and publish it on their blogs. Each participating blogger sends the host the link to their specific blog carnival post entry.

On the date of the blog carnival, the host publishes a post with links to each of the participants' entries. Typically, the host will write a summary of each link, but it's up to the host how he or she wants to display the links to the various entries. When the blog carnival post is published by the host, readers of the host's blog will have easy access to a variety of posts related to a topic of interest to them.

Each participant is expected to promote the blog carnival on their own blogs in advance of the carnival thereby driving traffic to the host's blog. The assumption is that when the carnival date arrives, the host's readers will want to read the various participants' entries to the carnival and will click on those links to visit the participants' blogs thus driving new traffic to the participants' blogs.

Often a blog carnival is an ongoing event with the host running the carnival weekly, monthly or quarterly, but they can be one-time events as well. Blog carnival hosts may put out a call for content on their own blog or by contacting other bloggers they know that blog about the carnival's topic. Alternatively, there are websites that operate as central locations for blog carnival hosts and participants to find each other. For example, BlogCarnival.com provides a place for carnival hosts to promote their upcoming blog carnivals and ask for submissions from other bloggers. If you're interested in hosting a blog carnival or finding an open carnival to join with your own submissions, BlogCarnival.com is a great resource.

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Blog or Web Log

Definition: Blog is short for web log. Begun as personal journal sites, blogs for business have become quite important. A real estate blog would contain local real estate information and posted entries of events and opinions.

While much of a real estate blog is static information and links to relevant web sites and content, the posts are an ongoing archived journal. A real estate agent should post regularly to their blog, preferrably more than once a week. These posts can be anything from opinions about the real estate market to announcements of local events. Guest authors can be invited to post about their organization's events.

One of the reasons that blogs can be very popular with the search engines is the regular current content posts. Search engines will visit a frequently updated site more often and seem to rank some of the content better.

Also Known As: web log
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Friday, October 24, 2008

What is a Blog?

After doing a Google search for a query like, "What are blogs?" or "Definition of blog." For the benefit of those visitors, the following definitions are offered.

Dan Gilmour gives us this definition in the draft version of his book, Making the News :
So what is a weblog, anyway? Generally speaking, it's an online journal comprised of links and postings in reverse chronological order, meaning the most recent posting appears at the top of the page. As Meg Hourihan, co-founder of Pyra Labs, the blogging software company acquired by Google in February 2003, has noted, weblogs are “post-centric” -- the posting is the key unit -- rather than “page-centric,” as with more traditional websites. Weblogs typically link to other websites and blog postings, and many allow readers to comment on the original post, thereby allowing audience discussions.

Blogs run the gamut of topics. One may be a running commentary on current events in a specific arena. It may be a series of personal musings. It may be a purely political tract, as with Joshua Micah Marshall's TalkingPointsMemo.com. It may be pointers to other people's work or products, such as Gizmodo (www.gizmodo.com), a site devoted to the latest and greatest gadgets. Or it may be a constantly updated “what's new” by a domain expert, such as Glenn Fleishman's excellent WiFi news and commentary page. While some blogging software permits readers to post their own comments, this feature has to be turned on by the blogger, and a significant number of prominent bloggers have not enabled the comment feature. At the other extreme, the Slashdot weblog, featuring news about technology and tech policy, is essentially written by its audience.

What the best individual blogs tend to have in common is voice -- they are clearly written by human beings with genuine human passion.

That's a good, in-depth definition. Looking for something a little more concise?

Matisse Enzer's Glossary of Internet Terms puts it this way:
Blog -- (weB LOG) A blog is basically a journal that is available on the web. The activity of updating a blog is "blogging" and someone who keeps a blog is a "blogger." Blogs are typically updated daily using software that allows people with little or no technical background to update and maintain the blog.

Postings on a blog are almost always arranged in chronological order with the most recent additions featured most prominently.

The University of Lethbridge's Faculty of Education has a very brief definition.
Blog - A web log: an on-line diary or frequently updated personal web page. Read More..