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A Newsletter by SAM about using your website.

SAM

February 2009

  1. Getting Started on Your Blog
  2. 2009-02-03 13:35:22

    The RSS feed on a blog sends all of your blogs and any updates and changes you make on them directly to a database. Within hours, blog searches find it, and your blog subscribers get the new blog immediately. For example, I might choose my Google homepage as the site for reading any of the blogs I have signed up to get. As soon as a new blog is written, it is found and delivered to my homepage. So blog searches are 'searching' every few hours unlike Google, Yahoo and other search engines that send out "spiders" to websites every few months. The advantage to having a regularly posted blog on your website, then, is that it is searched frequently and keeps your website in the forefront.

    If you are still confused about blogs, start using other blogs. Go to the Google search engine and click on "MORE" in the upper left hand side of the page. In the drop down menu, choose blogs. Then type in a keyword or phrase that is used in your website marketing strategy. What blogs appear? Find one that is interesting and add a comment to it. If the owner of the blog approves your comment, it will be posted on his/her blog. Check the blog site to see if it is there. You have just advertised your website! Partnering with other blogs is advantageous to you. For example, if you are a mortgage broker, a real estate agent with a blog might be interested in developing a relationship. If your comments are informative and interesting, the real estate agent might decide to send you leads.

    Once you have decided to use a blog, remember the importance of the RSS feed and your involvement in the "blog world." More importantly, decide what you want your blogs to do for you and your website before you launch it. Do not let your blog lie dormant; rather, start writing immediately and regularly.


  3. Using A Blog
  4. 2009-02-10 15:31:01

    The word blog combines the words web and log. Go to this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog, and Wikipedia gives you a thorough definition. In short, the owner of a blog shares opinions, ideas and expertise by posting it on the internet. And, photographs, images, audio and video can all be inserted into a blog to enhance its message.

    WordPress.com and blogger.com let you create a blog for no charge and they even supply you with templates. The problem we have identified is that your blogs are now archived in WordPress or blogger’s databases and should you want to delete or change something you wrote in a blog, you cannot access it. Consequently, transNETMedia LLC recommends that you create a blog using WordPress’s software, but locate it on your website and in your own database. We actually like the WordPress features and don’t think you need to re-invent the wheel. But, by locating your blog on your website, the keywords you’ve used in your blog work with the keywords of your website to give you more presence on the web and visitors to your site. Also, should you decide to take down your website, you can completely delete all the blogs you’ve written. Total deletion is not possible when you use WordPress and Blogger. Of course, if people have subscribed to your blogs via the RSS feed, you cannot retrieve those blogs.

    We’ve mentioned this point already but it is important. Blog searches just look for blogs and does it every few hours. A search engine searches websites and the blogs on them, but it only does searches every few months, not hours. Consequently, blogs give you a lot of visibility on the internet.

    To take blogging to the next level, use Trackback and Pingback. These are two different ways to network with other blogs. Basically, they let bloggers tell their readers about comments they have made to other bloggers. A more thorough explanation is found here:

    http://codex.wordpress.org/Introduction_to_Blogging#Managing_Comments.


  5. Can a Blog Be a Website?
  6. 2009-02-17 14:17:24

    A blog expresses the opinions of its owner. If a business is primarily about its owner’s opinions, then using a blog for a website is a great idea. A blog can offer lots of free, useful information as well as links to other blogs, but a website establishes the owner as a business. If you add a blog to your established website, you give your customers the opportunity to know you, your expertise, your credibility. Sometimes your blog will even bring you customers when it is linked to your website. A reader likes what you have to write on your blog and might decide to hire you. The blog complements the business, and, you can completely control all of the content on the blog.
    An example of a blog that initially served as a website is www.presentationzen.com. In his blog Garr Reynolds offers insightful comments on presentation design and some excellent examples and references on presentation skills. His blog is extremely popular – so popular that he realized he could be paid for his expertise, so he recently created a website for his new business! Now his website services his business clients, and his blog is still there offering advice to his readers. Click here to continue...

    Your business should be aligned with your website for another important reason. If you decide to sell your business, but your blog is your website, it is difficult to separate you from the business. Remember...a blog contains all of your opinions and expertise. A buyer would find it difficult to 'buy' your opinions. Instead, putting a blog on a well designed website adds value to it by adding information, drawing customers and reinforcing the brand. Yet, the blog can be separated from it at the time of the sale.
    If you like the idea that you control all content on a blog and, thus, you are reluctant to start a website, you can create a dynamic website. A dynamic website lets you control the content, but your content would still be business-related.


  7. Inside the Blog or the Admin Area
  8. 2009-02-24 14:37:28

    The Administration or ‘admin’ area of your website or blog is invisible to the public. Comparable to a ‘back room’ in a store, this area is where you post your blogs. As we mentioned in a previous article, we use WordPress when our clients ask for a blog to complement their website. Created with the same open source code we use – php, WordPress is very compatible and easy to use. We set up your WordPress blog to use your server’s database. To post your blog, you log into the admin area.

    If you are adding a new blog, find the phrase Add New on the left side of the blog. Clicking this phrase allows you to add a new entry to your blog. If you write a variety of blogs on one subject – say several entries on nutrition, create a category for this topic. This task allows you to organize your blogs. Now, when listing your blog, place it under the appropriate category.

    Your readers can send you comments about your blog entries, and an email will notify you. Unfortunately, these blog email accounts attract a lot of spam. Spam robots will crawl over the Internet hunting for forms to fill out, so your blog account can become filled with spam. To prevent this, we have built a “captcha” field that prevents spam. A captcha field is a series of letters or numbers that your commenter will have to duplicate in order to submit a comment about your blog entry. (For an example to go: http://transnetmedia.com/contact.php) However, because spam robots are being taught to read, we’ve begun to use numbers that have to be added. Robots may learn to read, but teaching them to add will be a tough task. Once you get a good comment from a reader, you can go into the admin area of your blog and decide whether the comment should be posted on your blog.

    When we are asked to create a blog, we align it graphically with your website. But, on your own, you can add pages to the blog. In your entries you can also add images, audio clips and video to make them more interesting. Sometimes your hosting server may need some modifications done in order to handle these media additions.

    Plug-ins, tools and settings for your blogs usually are installed by your website person, but if you feel brave you can try to handle them yourself.

    When adding a new blog entry, you can setup a trackback – notification of who is linking to it. If you want to make a newsletter align with the blog, we will help you set that up and get you going.


Contents

  1. Getting Started on Your Blog
  2. Using A Blog
  3. Can a Blog Be a Website?
  4. Inside the Blog or the Admin Area

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