By Ian Sheldon
More and more blogs are appearing everyday and knowing that there are nearly 350 million people reading blogs it's not hard to see why.
There are many reasons to consider starting a blog, however the first thing you should do is consider why you need one. What is your strategy and ultimate goal? A lot of people blog to get noticed or to help promote their business or product. Some blog just to let off steam and contribute to a community. As with every marketing strategy you need to know your goal before your start.
Blogs are a great way of connecting with your customers. If you run an Internet business then the chances are that your customers don't know you from Adam, so Blogging provides an outlet for you to make a personal connection with them. It also gives them the opportunity to make comments to your posts so you know how they feel about certain things.
In turn this helps customers and helps your business, because you are being provided with valuable feedback.
A big factor in setting up is a blog is the cost. They are really cheap to startup and many blogging platforms, such as Wordpress are free. All you need is a domain name, some web space and a database (to store the posts in) and you are away. Many hosting companies will provide blogs for you as a package so you don't have to worry about the technicalities of setting it up - meaning you can concentrate on your content.
Many people blog to help increase traffic to their main web site. Blogs provide a great way of increasing back links from relevant content. No one knows for sure exactly what is required to get to the top spot on Google, but many SEO's use a variety of techniques to achieve this. The golden rule in Search Engine Optimisation is that Content is king. Loads of quality, relevant content on the same subject will, in Googles eyes, establish you as an expert in that area. Fresh, quirky ideas on your blog will help to increase your visitor count and therefore the quality of your backlinks increases.
There are many more reasons for you to start your own blog, be it communicating with family and friends over a long distance or using it as a diary that you want to share with the world, but its in business that they hold the real value.
Ian Sheldon is the owner of eSoftware Solutions, a web development and Search Engine Optimisation company in the UK
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