blogging

BLOGGING BASICS: Definition and Types of Blogs

What is Blogging?

Blogging, or a blog, short for “web log”, was originally a way for people to have an online diary; they would update people on their lives in a personal way. It took a while for this concept to catch on but when it did we saw the inception of LiveJournal and Blogger.

There are three main types of blog or blogging focus: personal, corporate, and product. The first two are essentially obvious; the focus would be either a single person’s perspective or from the perspective of a company. The last type is a little bit more complex; you could have a blog about a product or a series of products that are all related.

The standard blog is one that you would use either a laptop or a desktop to post text; outside that scope, you would have blogs labeled by their media type (i.e., vlogs for video logs) or the device used to post on them (moblogs or mobilogs for blogs that use PDAs or Smartphones for their main interface).

The Power of a Blog or Blogging

Understanding what blogs are or what blogging is just the beginning; you have to understand what they can do. There are many people who understand this simple concept and they’re raking in the cash as you’re reading this right now. There are those who are also taking their own opinions and showing people its apparent validity.

Blogs are more than just sites on the net; they can have actual power. And depending on what the blog focuses on will change the scope of that power.

The Personal Scope Blogging: Politics

If you have a personal site and established enough popularity, you could easily have a grassroots campaign that can sway public opinion.

There are plenty of examples of this around now and if you’re politically involved you have visited a lot of these. If you’re not, you can find links to them at CNN or another news site or do a search for political blogs on Google.

Without citing specific examples, the press had come to understand the power of bloggers during the last couple of United States presidential elections.

Bloggers would be paying attention at various political venues and would post opinions about issues raised by candidates. Sometimes they were just outright questions and if they went ignored by the candidate, the backlash would be overwhelming and they’d have to watch themselves drop in the polls.

In all fairness, it’s not just the blogs; it’s also all of the Web 2.0 sites out there that can make just about anything go viral in an instant. One candidate had to drop out of a senate race because he got angry at hecklers and expressed himself in a vulgar fashion at one of his rallies because a blogger saw it happen, blogged about it, and posted the video on YouTube.

The Corporate Scope of Blogging: External Business

A popular corporate site would allow you to have free advertising on a huge scale. Plenty of popular companies use this to advertise new services they have (such as Google) or products that are coming out (such as Adobe).

Imagine you are the official blogger for a company who is racing to put out the next revolutionary technology. If you are the first to announce that yours is ready, then you’ve already won the race provided your product’s quality and the price is in a competitive range with the competitors.

The Corporate Scope of Blogging: Internal Business

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Corporate Blogging

Having a blog about your company where only your company would be reading it may seem like it’s a little too focused on a narrow scope, but this is actually a very important tool.

Posting updates about progress or anything else can help your peers know where everyone with regards to their project so project managers can properly plan and coordinate.

This can also raise morale during economic slumps, or let everyone know that a special visitor will be arriving for inspection. Just about every major business has a newsletter they publish, and this makes it easier without having to worry about how and when to publish.

Instead of receiving information periodically, employees can now receive it “as it happens”. This can allow a company to be updated with events in a critical manner instead of having to draft a memo, copy it, and distribute it among the co-workers.

The Product Scope of Blogging: Problem-Oriented

This is easy to visualize if you think about it. If you have a problem with acne and you search for acne cures, you’re going to find sites that deal with acne as the problem and provide you with solutions on how to fix that problem.

It would be multiple solutions for a singular problem, and the number of solutions for such a problem could number just as many sites that exist for that problem.

Our stores are set up this way – when you go to the first aid section, you have multiple solutions on how to treat wounds and the potentially resultant infections. A problem-oriented product blog is no different.

The Product Scope of Blogging: Solution Oriented

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You are also already familiar with this type of mechanism. If you know what product you want to solve your problem and do a search for it, you’ll come up with sites dedicated to that solution, such as “Açaí Berries”.

Our stores are ALSO set up this way. If you walk in there won’t be a chaos of products – you’ll see a section for “food” and a section for “non-food”. These are usually not mixed. Non-food sections are typically broken up into further sub-categories, such as cleaning supplies, clothes, shoes, and stationary.

Within these sections, you would find products that you may not even think about using because they wouldn’t pop into your head. But, when exposed with their presence, they can easily be an option for you. Likewise, a popular product oriented blog could provide enough sales leads for even the most obscure products.

If you needed antibiotic ointment, you wouldn’t go to the stationary section; so this is a real life example of a solution oriented scheme. Think in terms of a “mock review site” or a site about dealing with a particular medical condition where you provide multiple solutions.

If you have a review site and give good, reliable information, then you could gain a lot of followers who are waiting for you to review that new product. Most review sites do best when they’re not “all-encompassing”. That’s because people inherently believe in authority. The site has to establish itself in a particular niche – you wouldn’t go to a computer hardware review site to look up reviews on make-up or bicycles.

Your Relevant Blogging Information

It certainly seems like I have covered a lot of useless information, but you’re going to see that later in subsequent posts on this blog, I’ll be showing you exactly how all of this pertains to you as the blogger and internet marketing strategist.

I needed you to understand the fundamental concepts and perspectives of each type of blog so you’ll know how to use each one and know where I’m coming from when I talk about it later.

You should have an understanding of how blogs are updated; whether it’s from a keyboard from your laptop or desktop which is the usual method or by some mobile device which is becoming the new trend.

You should also know that blogs can be updated by not just text, but also by pictures with or without commentary. We can also update blogs with videos and other types of media that can be available. You can see this in Tumblr and Facebook with their blogging interfaces.

A place like Tumblr is specifically designed to be a microblogging platform with a mobile interface. By linking a Tumblr account with a singular mobile device, you can easily provide updates. While this is an effective blogging method, we can also use it as an advanced technique for traffic and exposure.

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