Top tips on business blogs
By Nick Easen for CNN
(CNN) -- The software for uploading your executive Web log is straightforward and the process as simple as sending an e-mail. One click and it is out there.
A blog can help you focus on your business or find you a new job.
"The next generation of workers just leaving college are so advanced that they will find it second nature to share their thoughts and ideas via blogs," Ben Jeffs of TiDi Ltd, an executive troubleshooter, told CNN.
"They will also expect others to do it and probably question those who don't. They are less protective, more open and will be happy to share their ideas to the wider community via the Web."
What are blogs good for?
• Communicating with suppliers, customers and staff
• Improving your public image, making you appear more personable
• Getting yourself known in your industry
• Maybe making money. A popular blog could be put behind a subscription wall. Beware though -- by doing this you could lose any popularity you may have built.
• A very basic blog with a few pages can be free
• Look at www.blogwise.com for a directory of blogs and an idea about design and content
• Check Web sites like www.blogs4business.com, blogger.com, bloggerforum.com or bloggingnetwork.com
• Research key words that people will use to search for you on the Web
• Find a URL or domain name that reflects your key words or phrases and buy it online
• Companies who register your domain name can also host your blog. Look at register.com or type "Web hosting" into a search engine
• Design the site. You may have to hire a web developer. Some companies provide a straightforward service with simple templates
• To upgrade with features like graphics, files and passwords, expect to pay about $20 per month depending on your requirements. There may be more costs if you want to get links off search engines
• www.selfpromotion.com has tips on how to increase traffic to your site
• 11-59.blogspot.com charts the whole experience of setting up a blog from start to finish.
Do you have what it takes?
• To set up a blog requires commitment. It can be difficult to maintain unless you receive feedback saying it is worthwhile
• One way to get feedback is to put a Web counter on your blog and see how many hits it receives. Also allow readers to e-mail you
• Choose a domain name you are not going to want to change in week one and think carefully about design and easy navigation.