Blogs are getting a lot of attention these days, and as with any Next Big Thing on the web, it's good to study the trend closely and separate the reality from the hype. So, how big is blogging these days? Here are a few simple facts:
* 39% of American adults (57 million) are blog readers (as of July 2006)
* 11 million people, or one out of every 17 American citizens, have created a blog
* Every 7.4 seconds a new blog is created
* "Blogs Will Change Your Business" was a Business Week cover story
Want to know more? You should. Blogs are revolutionizing the way consumers and small businesses communicate. Before we get into the why and how, let's begin with a brief definition.
A blog (or "weblog") is a frequently updated website with entries (or posts) listed in reverse chronological order. Because of the way sites are indexed, blogs show up higher in search engine rankings than non-blog sites. They are content-specific and keyword-rich, more personal and interactive than websites, and more accessible than email. Additionally, a blog can be linked to any other internet form, allowing the information to be discovered, tagged, indexed, and shared. Blogs can also use RSS feeds to notify readers whenever a new post has been added.
The power of blogs is in their connection, either business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C). Connection happens in the blogosphere (a network of blogs) through features such as a "blogroll" of recommended sites, a "permalink" identifying each new entry, comment features encouraging interactivity, and reciprocal links to related information. This interdependence creates a network that enhances the buzz around you and your business.
Another basic difference between a blog and a typical videographer website is that it's a bit more abstract. Instead of directly conveying your selling message or showcasing your work and offerings, it's advertising you. This raises the basic question: Why would anyone want to read what I might have to say in a blog, and what does that have to do with promoting my business?
As a videographer and small-business owner, you are an expert, due to the unique knowledge and experience you bring to your field. In order to grow your business and enjoy success, it's necessary to leverage that knowledge. We're living in a video-driven universe right now, with YouTube, MySpace, Google Video, and AOL bringing video to the center of the web and the vanguard of public consciousness. And as a professional videographer, you're both better at it and more knowledgeable about it than most of the people whose work is populating YouTube and MySpace.
Now is the time to take advantage of this opportunity to showcase your work and possibly even train others to do it too. Begin to brand yourself around a topic or idea, and you will reach your business goals. Blogging is one way to make that happen.
FIVE GOALS OF A BLOG
The first thing you need to decide when you build your blog is what you want to accomplish...