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I just hosted Magic In Blogging. I’ve been blogging since 2005 over at Magic In Word’s Blog. Now, I’m a WordPress Blogger/Programmer. So, let’s start at the beginning!

What are Blogs?

Having heard the term previously but not having paid much attention
most are just to afraid to show their ignorance and ask the question,
what is a blog? Lets face it; the term blog does not conjure pleasant
images. Blogs are web logs that are updated regularly. They contain
information related to a specific topic. In some cases blogs are
used as daily diaries about people’s personal lives, political
views, or even as social commentaries. The truth of the matter
is that blogs can be shaped into whatever you, the author, want
them to be.

Where Did Blogs Come From?

The roots of blogging can be traced back to the mid 1990’s. Who
the very first blogger actually was is unclear, as the art of
blogging did not really take hold until 1999. The original "weblogs"
were link-driven sites with personal commentaries. The very first
blogs were human guided Internet web tours. While initially thought
of as diaries or online journals, blogs have evolved into the
latest fresh web content.

The Future of Blogs

A buzz word in techie circles, "blogging" is the wave
of the future. Whether its a fad, or proves to be a new way to
communicate with existing and potential customers it deserves
at the very least a cursory look.

Why is Blogging Helpful to Businesses or Individuals?

Webmasters struggling to keep fresh, attractive content on their
web sites to lure visitors back, have found blogs the answer.
Content is a necessity for online businesses, both for purposes
of being found by search engines but also because it gives visitors
a reason to come back.

Blogs are not only trendy but also beneficial to businesses,
its important to understand how they can be used to your advantage.

A professional business blog allows you the opportunity to tell
potential, or existing customers industry news, updates, or generally
how information can be used in specific situations to alleviate
problems. The bottom line is you control the content. Its updated
at least three times a week, which increases the chances that
search engines will spider on a regular basis and it helps with
page rank because it’s been submitted to all the blogging directories.
Bloggers have found blogging beneficial to report tips, tricks
or make visitors aware of new regulations related to their industry.

Generating a daily blog would require very little effort and would assist
us in creating fresh content which our readers told us was of
significant interest.

Blogs & Your Business

The bottom line is you need to determine how a blog will benefit
your business, determine a schedule and adhere to it. Let your
readers know what to expect and when to expect it. Blogs provide
great supplemental content and direct attention to areas of your
business that you want to showcase; you direct the content but
let your readers guide you.

Creating a Blog

There are numerous online tools that can be used to create a
blog. We found that because of security concerns, it would just
be best to use a standard html program. If you want to test the
waters there are online web-based tool that helps you publish
to the web instantly.

Other Advantages to Blogs

While you may initially create a blog for your existing customers,
you may find that you can attract new customers by illustrating
your expertise in a specific field. There are numerous web sites
that act as "blog search engines", be sure to submit
your sites to these web sites to increase your exposure. This
will also help with your page rank and possibly increase the likelihood
you will receive decent ranking with Google. You can also create
an RSS feed in order to syndicate blog content and gain additional
exposure.