Edinburgh Web Development

What's all the fuss about blogs?

by Iain Wilson

8 August 2006

There's been a lot of talk recently about blogs. Everybody seems to have a favourite or even one of their own. So what's all the fuss about? And is it something that can help your business rather than just another geeky Internet fad?

Well, the good news is that businesses are using blogs to help their business - but in a slightly different way to most of the estimated 60 million blogs out there. If you've never seen a blog before, you're looking at one right now - this article is part of the Blot Design web design blog (although we don't call it that).

Blog history

So, what are businesses doing with blogs? Let's step back a little first and understand what a blog is. Back in the late 90s, a few people had started web sites that allowed them to quickly publish snippets of infomation on their sites, usually dated and categorised. People had always kept lists of things they liked and links to other sites on the Internet but this was a bit more organised. The content of the information was usually personal, but could be about anything - lists of food they liked, a rant about how much they hated the boss or how much they loved their cat - literally anything! These sites became known as web logs, shortened to blogs.

The people that owned these sites, the bloggers, built software tools to help them type in and publish the logs. If you had this browser based software, you could create your own blog without having any technical web knowledge whatsoever, write your own articles (called posts) and publish them. The software became available free to anyone and the explosion happened.

Anyone, anywhere with anything to say at all could now publish their thoughts to a world wide audience. And publish they did! About any and every subject possible. There are around 30 million people publishing new material daily in their blogs. 

That's the history lesson just about over. We now have 60 million blog sites. It's fair to say that most of them are publishing information that could only be loved by their creators, but there are some very valuable ones out there. Some have influenced US presidential elections and others have helped during natural disasters. 

Blogs and business

No doubt about it, blogs are a phenomenon and people will always try to make money from a phenomenon. Many successful blogs now carry banner adverts and click-through advertising that make money for the owners.

However, we are more interested in how a blog can help your business get more people to visit your site and take the first steps to purchase your products or services. The key to this is the blogging software and what it can produce for your business - content and links.

The blogging software is perfect for writing articles and gaining inbound links to your site. That is how business can get more visitors and more income. In our next blog article we'll tell you how to do it.

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