Blogging

Blogging News Stories as They Happen

Blogging news stories as they unfold is one of the most
exciting and controversial applications of technology
that bloggers have discovered. One thing that makes the
blogosphere so active is the fact that it is possible to
update a blog instantaneously, so the news on blogs
tends to be more current than the news in the paper, or
on television. Unlike news delivered by these other
media, news that appears on blogs does not have to
travel through a series of editors and administrators
before it reaches the public eye. This has some
advantages, and some distinct disadvantages.

One of the most notable cases of news hitting a blog
before appearing in other media took place in July 2005
when terrorism struck London. As passengers were
evacuated from a subway car near an explosion, one
man took several photographs of the scene with his
cellular phone, and within an hour these images were
posted online. First-person accounts of the catastrophe
began appearing on blogs soon after these photos
appeared, and people all over the world learned about
the events in London by reading the words and seeing
the photos posted by bloggers.

The fact that these stories and images were being spread
directly by individuals operating without the added
filter of a reporter helped to make the crisis feel very
immediate to people across the globe. When it comes to
blogging, news often appears in a very personal context.
This has the potential to be the beginning of an exciting
new era of reporting, one that takes « New Journalism »
to it’s logical next step by putting the power to shape
how the news is written and read directly into the hands
of the public.

Many bloggers and cultural commentators who are
champions of the weblog movement feel that this
growing trend of individuals who getting their news
from blogs is a good thing, because it makes the flow of
information more democratic. By decentralizing the
control of news, blogs allow more voices to enter the
field of debate about important current events.
However, many people are adamantly opposed to the
use of blogs as news outlets, and there are plenty of
good arguments on this side of the debate. Unlike
newspapers or television stations, few blogs have fact-
checkers, and there is little attention paid to journalistic
accountability on many blogs. This can lead to the rapid
spread of misinformation, and more than one falsehood
has taken the blogosphere by storm. The questions
about whether blogging news as it happens is ethical or
not are very complicated, but no matter where you stand
on the topic of current events blogs you are almost sure
to agree that this movement has the potential to
revolutionize how modern people get their news.

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Blogging for Profit Begins With a Long Term Plan

Many people dream of blogging for profit, and this goal
is not far beyond the reach of someone with average
intelligence, a willingness to work hard, and a basic
grasp of blogging technology. However, very few
people manage to reap the profits they want from their
blog. Most people who attempt to make money with
their blogs do not succeed for two reasons. Often,
bloggers have unrealistic expectations of how fast their
readership will grow and how much money they will
make, and when these expectations are not met the
disappointment can crush the desire to continue
blogging. The other trap that many bloggers fall into
has to do with lack of planning. If you want to turn a
profit as a blogger, the key to success is to make a
realistic plan and stick with it.

To succeed at blogging for profit, the main thing that
you will need is a large readership. The higher your
traffic, the more advertisers will agree to pay you.
However, cultivating the regular visitors that you will
need in order to make a profit isnt easy. As more and
more blogs appear each day, having a great idea or a
wonderful writing style is no longer enough to get
attention. You need to be able to market your blog
effectively.

Too many bloggers spend all of their time writing posts
and almost no time marketing their project. To be
certain, updating as often as you can is a great way to
keep your blog high on blogrolls and high in blog
search engines like technorati, and once your readers
know that you update frequently they will return to your
site on a regular basis. However, it does not matter how
often you update if nobody is reading your page, so dont
skimp on the time that you spend drawing visitors to
your site. To make your dreams of blogging for profit a
reality, try decreasing your number of posts and using
some of that time to draw new visitors by setting up
link exchanges with other bloggers, making contacts in
the blog community, and following other established
modes of winning traffic.

Of course, even if you are a marketing genius or have a
really great idea for a blog, success is not going to
happen overnight. Building the kind of readership that
blogging for profit requires takes time, and in all
likelihood it will be at least several months before you
are able to turn much of a profit. Try to stay committed
to your blogging project during this initial rough period.
To stay motivated, set goals for how often you will
update and how many readers you want to attract, and
then reward yourself for sticking with your plan.

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Blogging For Business Owners

If you run a small company, you may find that the world
of blogging for business owners is a world that you
want to be a part of. Blogging is a great way to get the
word out to consumers about your product or service,
and it can even be useful for inspiring employee loyalty
and helping you keep your workers at peak morale. If
you are looking for a way to take your business to the
next level, consider what starting a blog might be able
to do for you.

Blogging for business owners has a lot in common with
all other types of blogging, but it has its own unique
pitfalls and strengths. The key to having a successful
blog as a business owner is keeping your goals clear
and concrete at every step of your blogging adventure. It
can be all to easy to get sidetracked, especially if you
are just learning about the exciting possibilities of
blogging technology, but if you want your blog to
succeed you need to stay focused. Write up a plan for
how often you will update, how you will promote your
blog and retain readers, whether you will feature
photographs or video, and other aspects of your blog,
and then stick to it with the same kind of determination
that you used when you built your company.

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Blogging: Consolidation, Debt, and New Information

Technology

If you are interested in blogging, consolidation, debt, and
other financial topics are sure to appear in many of the
blogs that you regularly read. Techniques to make and
manage money are some of the most popular topics for
bloggers to explore on the web, so it is little wonder that
so many bloggers turn their attention to dealing with
debt. Falling into debt is all too easy, and getting out of
debt can be very difficult for people who do not have a
lot of financial expertise. For people who have a knack
for dealing with finances, blogging about their insights
and knowledge can be a great way to literally and
figuratively share the wealth.

If you are considering getting into blogging,
consolidation, debt, savings, and investment topics can
prove to be very fruitful things to write about. Many
professional bloggers who make a living off of their
blogs spend their days writing about money. If you
know how to court advertisers and build a blog fan
base, you can make money just by talking about money.
If you are familiar with loan consolidation, negotiating
settlements with credit card companies, or any other
financial topics, consider using your knowledge to
create a successful blog. By sharing your expertise, you
may be able to help your readers get out of debt while
you reap sizable monetary rewards for your time and
knowledge.

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Blogging 101

Blogging 101 is mostly about the blogging
vocabulary. To understand blogs, you need to know
the terms blog, platform, domain, and web host.
Once you have mastered these key elements of
blogging, you can enter any conversation about
blogging with confidence. After you know what
exactly a blog is, you will be on your way to
passing the final exam of blogging 101.

Blog is short for weblog, which simply means a
series of online posts presented in reverse
chronological order. That’s all! Most blogs are text,
but there are also photo blogs and video blogs. The
rest of blogging 101 has to do with the technical
side of things. If you are setting up a blog, you will
need a platform, a web host, and a domain. A
blogging platform is a computer software program
that allows you to write posts and to update your
blog. Your platform is also what you use to design
the look of your blog, from color scheme to font
size. The web host is sort of like the virtual file
cabinet where your blog is stored. Your computer
communicates with the host when you upload or
edit a post. The domain is the online address of
your blog, and usually ends in ‘dot com’. Now that
you know what a blog is, what a platform is, and
what domains and hosts are, congratulate yourself!
You have passed blogging 101.

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Blogging Traffic – Give And Take

Blogging traffic is a give and take relationship.
Sometimes one of the best ways to get traffic to your
blog is by visiting someone else ‘s blog.

Go to their blog and read one of their entries, or
read a few of them. Chances are that you are going to
find something that you have in common.

When you find something that you find truly
interesting on a blog, leave a comment so that they
know that you were there.

One of the best known blogs available is LiveJournal.
A great feature of LiveJournal is that you can search
for interests on their site and it will come up with
results of those who have that interest.

Are you interested in horseback riding? You can see
what other bloggers are interested in horseback riding
as well.

When you are commenting on someone’s post, you want to
make sure that you don’t leave generic comment. If you
like the post, say something about what you read in
the post.

After you have commented on the person’s post, then
you can say something like, ‘I really like horseback
riding too. I had a similar experience to yours.’ and
then use it to link back to your journal.

But be sure that you sound sincere when you are
commenting, and don’t make them feel like you’re just
fishing for traffic.

If someone thinks that you are using their blog to get
more traffic to yours, they won’t visit your site and
your efforts will be wasted.

Blogging Directories – Great Advertising Venues

If you want to have more people visit your blog, there
are plenty of blog directories on the Internet that
you can submit your blog to so that people will come
and visit it. Most blog directories are listed by the
topics that the blogs that are submited cover.

Blog Catalog is a free blog directory that offers
categories such as career and jobs, writing, Iraq, and
many others. It has features such as featured blogs
and other things to offer those who submit their blogs
there.

Another great place to add your blog is
blog-drectory.org. Not only do they have an an
extensive list of categories with sub categories, you
can get your blog reviewed. For the most popular
blogs, it shows the amount of hits that blogs have and
if they have any reviews. As well as listing by
category, the blogs are also listed by location.

There are other blog directories on the Internet -
these are only a ouple of them. But blog directories
are a great place to advertise your blog and to make
new friends. You never know what you will find when
you browsing through the directory, and you may just
find out information that you never knew. Some of the
blog directories offer chat features as well, so that
you can meet other people easily.

As you can see, blog directories are a great place to
get your blog noticed and bring people to read your
blog and look at your pictures.

Blogger Forums – A Great Place To Advertise Your Blog

No matter what type of blog that you have, one of the
best places that you can advertise your blog is to
join a blogger forum. After all, everyone who posts
there has a blog and thats the main subject.

It’s a great place to meet other bloggers and to
advertise your blog.

There are quite a few blogger forums that you can sign
up for on the Internet. One is known as Bloggeries,
where you can show off your blog, get your blog
reviewed or review other blogs, and find lots of tools
that you can use for your own blog.

Another good place to go is to Blog Forum.

Blog Forum, like Bloggeries, has spots for you to
market and show off your blog,

Blogger forums are a great place to advertise because
everyone in them are of the same mind and want to make
certain that their blogs get noticed and read.

If you use your blog to advertise something that you
are selling, or you want to get a lot of traffic to
your blog in order to make money, you want to go
someplace where it can get exposure.

When you advertise on a blog forum, you know that you
are placing your advertisement in a place where
blogging is something that people enjoy.

Just remember when you are posting to a forum to read
the rules and abide by them. That way you’ll get your
blog noticed and you will know that you are doing the
right thing.

Blog Advertising: How Do You Know If You’ve Done Too

Much and Gone Too Far?

Advertising is good. It offers information, gives you

access to a product or service you otherwise won’t

know about, it earns people money and fuels several

different industries. But you know how anything

excessive breeds discontent and greed and neither one

is pretty. The wrong use of advertising on your blog

could send your traffic south – not exactly the

direction you want it to take. So when is blog

advertising bad and when is it just right?

Is your blog succeeding? The key indicator that you’re

probably doing something right with your blog

advertising is when you’re actually succeeding. You

get the traffic you want, you earn for a few simple

efforts you made and keep your advertisers happy.

But don’t get carried away by your success. You might

think that placing many ads on your blog can help you

earn exponentially. What it will do is earn you a spot

on your advertiser’s black list. Advertisers have

guidelines about how many ads you can place on one web

page. Generally, this can range from 3 to 5, depending

on the sponsor.

If you don’t want to break the good will that exists

between you and your affiliate or advertising program,

learn what the policies are and respect them.

Is that a blog or a splog? One of the worst labels

your blog can be slapped with is ‘splog’. That’s a

blog that contains spam. If your blog is nothing more

than just pages upon pages of advertising and little

content, you’d probably be better off publishing a

fashion magazine.

Too many ads on a blog can bury your content, distract

your visitors and even frustrate them. Some, such as

the very wary ones, will leave your blog in a hurry.

If your blog resembles an infomercial, forget it. It

will look annoying and take away from the good

reputation you’re trying to build.

Too many choices Another challenge you will be facing

when it comes to blog advertising is persuading your

visitors to pay attention to the ads long enough to

actually do something with them. Otherwise, these ads

will be useless.

The problem with a blog that has too many advertising

units is that it can confuse the visitor. When they’re

confused, they’re less likely to click on an ad, much

less subscribe or buy anything. That leaves your

advertisers – and you – empty-handed.

Managing your advertising A blog page can easily

handle an average of three ads, which is something

most advertising and affiliate programs will allow.

Placed strategically, these ads can easily catch the

attention of your visitors. Since there are only a few

ads to look at, your visitors can easily decide which

one to click on.

Now imagine if there were 10 to 15 ads running on the

same page at the same time. You’ve probably seen blogs

like these before, with ads splattered all over,

rivaling a NASCAR race car.

To use blog advertising correctly, first consider the

type of programs you will be running. If you will be

an affiliate to a brand or company, there are certain

restrictions you have to work with. Some companies,

for example, prefer not to have a competing brand’s ad

placed in the same blog.

Second, placement and aesthetics matter. Consider some

of the highest-rated blogs and study their ad

placements. Where are these ads placed on a page, what

are their sizes relative to one another and to the

content box and what do these ads contain? If you’ve

seen enough of these successful blogs, you’ll have

picked up enough lessons to know how to use blog

advertising to your advantage.

Setting Your Own Blog Advertising Rates

Sooner or later, you will be faced with the decision

of whether to use advertising on your blog or not.

Advertising isn’t mandatory for keeping your blog

interesting; in fact, it’s merely an optional tool you

can use in case you want to take advantage of your

blog’s popularity. But once you’ve decided on placing

ads on your site, there’s one more issue you need to

consider: setting your blog’s advertising rates. So

how much can you expect to charge or be charged?

With blog advertising, there are no set rates. It is

up to the blogger to design the correct ad payment

scheme that attracts advertisers and allow him to

generate a reasonable income at the same time.

To help you determine the right advertising rates for

your blog, it’s important to consider doing some

research first, particularly about similar blogs and

to consider your traffic and perform some simple

experimentation using your site.

Playing with figures If you think that setting your ad

rates at low prices will attract more advertisers, you

couldn’t be more mistaken. Your $300 a month rate may

not stand against another blogger’s $600 a month rate

if you only have 50,000 page views monthly and he

enjoys 600,000 page views.

An advertiser will look at the ratio between the cost

of advertising on your blog against the amount of

traffic that your site generates, the same traffic

that will potentially click on the ads.

A good ‘constant’ to consider when determining ad

rates is the CPM or Cost-Per-Mille – mille being

equivalent to 1,000. Let’s say a blog receives 150,000

page views monthly. For a 125×125 sidebar ad (usually

the most common), the blog charges $250 monthly.

Divide $250 by 150 (that’s 150,000 divided by 1,000 to

come up with the CPM) and you’ll get $1.66 CPM.

The same arithmetic is used by some of the most

popular blogs, including JohnChow and Copyblogger. For

your blog, you might want to consider how much traffic

you generate and the number of genuine page views you

get. These figures will help you evaluate your blog

and come up with the appropriate ad rate.

Since these blogs are well established, you could

start at far lower rates if you’re still building

traffic. Consider a starting figure of about $0.5 CPM,

which is friendly enough to your advertisers and good

enough for you. Raise this rate gradually as your blog

becomes more popular and as more advertisers and

sponsors buy ad space from you.

Size and location Advertising rates also vary

depending on the size of the ad and where it will

appear. Larger ads and those that will be placed in

prime locations or ‘hotspots’ will cost more. Ads will

also be more expensive if they will appear along with

content or on your blog’s header. Cheaper locations

will be those found on the page’s footer and the area

located after the fold.

Factors that influence ad rates Not every blog can

enjoy strong advertising support. That’s mainly

because not every blog has the right amount of site

traffic, the right visitors, market demographics or

niche. These are just some of the factors that affect

your eligibility for ad placement and the rate you can

charge on your blog.

Blogs, by the way, do not pass through the same

channels as traditional print media. The cost of

providing information in blogs is low enough that

bloggers can offer low advertising rates and still

earn a profit.