|Dear Internet visitor,
My intention is
to help you own a profitable Internet
Internet Home Business course that will help and guide
you to start off your Home Business on the Internet.
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
In this Lesson you will learn about "Blogs."
You will learn what they are and how you can use them to
promote your affiliate program.
EVOLUTION IN PROGRESS
The Internet is constantly changing. A
decade ago, there were resources called "WAIS" and
"Gopher." "WAIS" was a precursor to the search engines
and "Gopher" was a precursor to the World Wide Web. To
chat back then, you needed to be familiar with numerous
complicated IRC commands that you typed in from a
command line prompt. Now most chats take place from a
Web-based format and are very simple to use. A decade
from now, without doubt, the Internet will, likewise, be
something very different from what it is today.
There are certain enduring principles
that apply to the Internet, however. The "prime
directive" of the Internet, so to speak, is that it is
an information and communication tool. It was originally
designed by, and intended to be used by, the military
and research scientists. They used it to exchange highly
technical information. Because of the highly technical
nature of the Internet and the information it was used
to communicate, a tradition of informality and personal
expression evolved to soften the cold technical feel of
it. That tradition can still be very much felt in the
"Blogs" are, in a way, both a step
forward and a step back from today's Internet. Blogs,
while appearing to be the latest fad, really resurrect
in modern form an older, more traditional way of using
the Internet to exchange information with a personal
touch. Blogs, which are replacing static Websites on an
increasing basis, are, in my estimation, an important
evolutionary step in the development of the Internet.
Blogs provide current information from a particular
perspective. Blogs provide information in a format that
easily integrates with other information from other
perspectives. Over time, the Internet will do a
progressively more efficient job of integrating vast and
diverse information and perspectives into a seamless
whole--a universal consciousness, if you will. Blogs are
a step in that direction.
WHAT ARE BLOGS?
"Blog" is short for "Web log." A "Web
log" is a log that is kept and shared on the World Wide
Web. A "log" in its simplest form is a record of events
in chronological order. Think of a ship's captain
sitting down in his captain's quarters each evening and
recording the progress of the ship's voyage and the
events which have affected that voyage. Each entry has a
date followed by the events and progress since the last
entry. That is a log. A "Web log" or "Blog" is similar.
It records events and points to sources of information
about those events. It is chronological, usually with
the latest entries on top and prior entries below.
Many Blogs are political. For example,
when the United States recently sent military troops to
Iraq, I followed the events on an hour-by-hour basis by
frequently visiting two or three Blogs that dealt with
the events in progress. I had my choice of Blogs written
from a perspective that favored the military action to
those that were highly critical of it. Those on one side
of that issue thought that certain events and
information were very important, while those on the
other side of that issue thought other events and
information were very important. The people publishing
these Blogs were online full-time, scouring each news
release and each source of information and summarizing
it from their perspective on their Blog. From these
Blogs, I was able to obtain an in-depth understanding of
current events from all perspectives as they occurred. I
could not have done this from television, radio, or even
newspapers--at least not in such a timely and efficient
Blogs can be and have been used for
many other subjects as well. Regardless of the subject,
to be true to the nature of a Blog, the entries should
be chronological and event oriented. They should contain
links to each original source of the information that is
being summarized. Within these parameters, however,
Blogs can deal with any type of subject and express any
CAN BLOGS BE USED IN
Blogs can also be used in e-commerce.
An important characteristic of a Blog in this context is
that Blogs, like discussion boards and chat rooms, bring
visitors back to your site over and over again. Blogs,
if done well, create an audience that will return
repeatedly. Blogs help to create a relationship between
you and the visitors to your Website.
Repeat visitors who develop a
relationship with you through your Website are exactly
what you want in order to succeed in e-commerce.
Blogs also tend to do well in search
engine ranking because they are information driven. As
we have said repeatedly in this course, search engines
like Websites with unique and useful information. Blogs
are a way to provide unique and useful information. By
leading with this information, you can then offer your
visitors opportunities, products, and services.
PUBLISHING A BLOG
While there are services available
that will publish your Blog for you, Blogs are really
quite simple to publish yourself. If you have your own
Website, you can just add a page to your existing
Website and use this page for your Blog. Simply format
this page into a table or paragraphs with a date and
caption line above each entry. Add new entries at the
top of the page. That's really all there is to it.
For example, Profitpropulsion.com
RocketStart customers can use the dynamic page that is
available in their template for a Blog, if they want.
Any Web page that you can update can easily be made into
Blogs are more a matter of information
than they are of design and formatting. Any page that
has periodic entries of current information, with a date
and caption line for each entry, is in fact a Blog.
Publishing a Blog, however, will take
an investment of time. What makes the Blog useful is
that you are doing the research--finding the sources of
information on your subject and summarizing them--so
that your viewers can save time. You are also adding
your unique perspective to the information. To keep
visitors coming to your Blog, you will have to add
entries often. You can get this information, especially
news sources and announcement services--even other Blogs--on
your particular subject by searching the Internet.
It has been said that writing a book
is just a matter of reading several other books and
articles and then condensing that information and
providing a new perspective. The same can be said for
Blogs. There is so much information available today that
few people have time to follow very many subjects with
any depth. People prefer to find sources with whose
perspective they identify and get their information on
each subject from a limited number of sources. Visitors
who share your perspective will be attracted to your
Blog. The time you put in finding and summarizing the
information will save your visitors time. You are
providing them a service which saves them time and
USING BLOGS TO SELL
Because you are providing a useful
service to your visitors, they will develop trust in
you. If you prove worthy of that trust, this
relationship will build. A relationship of trust is the
most important element in marketing. If your visitors
trust the research and the summaries in your Blog, they
will also trust your recommendations for opportunities,
products, and services.
Try to incorporate your affiliate
links into the text of your Blog entries. It's OK to
have banners and buttons in the margins of your Blog
page, but the textual links in text of the entries, in
context with the other information, are the ones that
will really produce results. If your visitors are
interested in the text of your Blog entries, that
interest will flow over to your affiliate links.
Do not force the affiliate links into
your context. Opportunities will arise to place the
links naturally into the flow of the content. Wait for
these opportunities rather than forcing links in
awkwardly. Your Blog will lose credibility if there are
too many affiliate links or if they are forced into the
content rather than flowing naturally from the content.
It should be noted that Internet
purists do not believe that Blogs should contain any
commercial content or links. That is well and good, but
it ignores the fact that the publisher is expending time
and effort, as well as incurring costs, in publishing
the Blog. It is important that the information remain
objective--not just be commercial hyperbole--in order
for the Blog to be trustworthy. If a Blog proves to be
generally trustworthy, however, most Internet users will
not object to appropriately placed affiliate links that
naturally flow from the content of the entries.
Nutrition and health is a subject that
interests many people worldwide. New studies about how
various foods and chemicals affect our health are
constantly being released. One thing I have noticed
consistently is that you rarely see anyone attempt to
integrate all these studies into a comprehensive common
sense approach to diet, nutrition, and health. Instead,
most writers and reporters just take the latest study
and come up with recommendations based solely on the
results of that one study.
I remember Jimmy Buffet (a singer and
songwriter whose hits include "Cheeseburger in
Paradise") saying once that if he lived long enough,
someone would come up with a study showing that
cheeseburgers were good for you. A few years later, a
study was indeed released showing that cheeseburgers did
help somewhat to prevent certain rare types of cancers.
The point is that there is no shortage
of studies coming out and the results are often quite
diverse and even sometimes contradictory. A Blog
summarizing health and nutrition studies as they are
released, as well as covering new diets and new
nutrition products, would be an excellent tool to sell
SFI's nutritional supplements. People frequenting such a
Blog, being health conscious, would have an interest in
If an SFI affiliate were to publish
such a Blog, he or she could become familiar with the
ingredients in SFI's nutritional supplements. Each time
a study came out referring to one of those ingredients,
he or she could mention, in context of summarizing the
study, that SFI's product contained that ingredient.
This way, the affiliate could include in-context links
to the sales page of these products. This could prove to
be a very powerful selling technique.
The emergence of Blogs as a new form
of Internet publishing is exciting for a number of
reasons. Blogs, by providing a form of expression that
easily integrates with other sources and other
perspectives, marks an evolutionary step in the progress
of the Internet. Blogs, when used properly, can be an
effective e-commerce tool. Appropriately placed
affiliate links, flowing from the context of the Blog
entries, can be a powerful marketing tool.
WHAT'S COMING NEXT
Stay tuned to upcoming lessons in the
Internet Income Course for detailed discussions of
timely and important topics in Internet Marketing.
by George Little
Copyright (year) Panhandle On-Line, Inc.
License granted to Carson Services, Inc. for
distribution to SFI affiliates. No part of this work may
be republished, redistributed, or sold without written
permission of the author.
For more information on the Internet Income
Course and other works and courses by George Little, see
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SFI affiliates, see www.profitpropulsion.com.
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