Web 2.0 for Professional Use/Blogs and Blogging

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Blogs and blogging for Web 2.0 professional use

A blog is a type of website that can be used for a variety of reasons. Blogs can be used to describe events, showcase graphical design, and convey perceptions of the world. They can be maintained by an individual or multiple writers, and tend to have a particular subject matter that they discuss. Entries are typically displayed in reverse-chronological order.

Nearly any type of blog can be used professionally. Some provide commentary on news, or function as a personal diary. No matter what type of blog you are writing, it is capable of furthering your professional career. A blogger may be paid to generate traffic in order to give advertisements more exposure. The relationship between a blogger and a company may also be direct, as in some cases popular bloggers are paid to promote a company's product. Many people, such as artists and writers, also use blogs to promote their own services and products.

Writing for a blog[edit | edit source]

Writing A Good Blog[edit | edit source]

Starting off, you should always make sure that you use proper grammar and spell words correctly. There are always exceptions to the rules, though, and technically one could write a blog with intentional bad grammar to represent culture or parody. However, as a general rule, such styles are considered unprofessional.

Another important rule is that you should adhere to an ethical code of conduct. This means that you should not report information that you know is false, and you should avoid slander. Gossip and satirical blogs may take a liberal view of this rule, but generally speaking, these rules are good to follow. If people find you to be a credible source of information, you will be more successful in the long run.

Make your content interesting and make what you are writing about clear. The title of your blog and the title of your blog posts should always give a clear indication of what you will be writing about. If you yourself do not find the content that you are writing about to be interesting, then chances are that your readers will not, either. Try to avoid update posts just for the sake of updating, and write something that says something interesting about the world.

Promoting Your Blog[edit | edit source]

Creating a blog is easy, but making it successful takes work and practice. There are many different ways to gather an audience and keep it.

Gathering An Audience[edit | edit source]

One of the best ways to gather an audience is to simply let people know that you're out there. Tell your friends, post on forums that are relevant to your topic, and use keywords and tags to make it easier to find. People are always looking to read a good article, but they have to be able to find it. Having an easy to remember blog name helps, as people can pass on your blog by word of mouth. Forums are an even better way of showing people what you are up to, because they often have a greater number of visitors than any personal site does. Finally, try linking to other people's blogs and making friends with other bloggers. Linking to another blogger will often get you linked back.

Keeping Your Audience[edit | edit source]

Provided you already have an audience, it is important to update at regular intervals. If you plan on not updating very often, let your readers know when you do plan to update, otherwise they may simply lose interest. You also need to realize that your audience will have certain expectations of you. If your blog has a title or entries that focus on a particular subject, changing venues will throw off readers. Having a blog that covers a variety of subjects is good, but you need to let your readers know what it covers.

If you write sponsored blogs, it's important to remember that doing so incorrectly may alienate your readers. First and foremost, if you are paid to write a sponsored blog, you must write an honest review. It's also important to let your audience know that you are being sponsored, as this lends to your credibility. Doing otherwise is dishonest, and may damage your reputation with both the sponsor and the reader. Do not make the majority of your content sponsored. People come to read your blog for your opinions, but if you only write biased articles for sponsors, this will damage your credibility in the long run. People may no longer see your blog as yours, but rather as a corporate tool. Finally, always try to keep up your end up of the bargain. If you are being paid to write a certain type of article, you should be sure to write what you agreed to. [1]

Collaborative Blogging[edit | edit source]

While individual blogs can certainly be correspondingly written by a single individual, the avenue of collaborative blogging often provides the opportunity for a much more active, dynamic blogging experience. Obviously with more authors contributing to a particular blog, it is more likely that the blog can be more frequently contributed to. The burden or load of carrying an individual blog by oneself is certainly made easier by sharing the load with fellow contributors in a collaborative blog. Also with more authors contributing to a particular blog, the greater the possibility for an even more intriguing variety of voices and personalities. The interaction of these different voices with one another can certainly add a refreshing dynamic unachievable in the realm of individual blogging. An interesting variety of blogging voices within a single blog increases the potential for a wider variety in readership across the world. Though employing many voices in one setting can be fairly attractive for attaining a wide readership, readers may be pushed away if the blog is not well run and well organized by an administrator or group of administrators.

Collaborative blogging may consist of a small or large group of people who personally know each other, or it may consist of a small or large group of people who do not. An example of the latter of these collaborative blogs is the politically liberal blog DailyKos, which allows blogging access to essentially anybody who desires it.

Because of the rising popularity of and interest in communal blogs, many blog platforms in addition to individual blogs now offer some kind of collaborative blogging feature. Blogger and WordPress are only two of many blogging platforms which allow access for multiple contributing authors, editors, and administrators.

Choosing a blog host[edit | edit source]

Blog Hosts[edit | edit source]

The first step in the creation process of a blog is choosing a blog host. Alternately, you can decide to host your own blog. A variety of competing blog hosts offer unique features that make them the best choice for different bloggers. Storage space, bandwidth, WYSIWYG interfaces, themes and pricing are all options to consider when picking out a blogging host.

Hosting your own blog[edit | edit source]

Web hosting[edit | edit source]

With literally hundreds of sites offering domain registration and web hosting, it can be difficult to find the best service to suit your needs. Many web hosts offer tons of storage space and bandwidth, but have unreliable tech support or other problems that are only encountered after committing to a monthly plan. While it’s possible to buy a hosting plan that comes with a free domain name, it’s recommended that registering a domain and buying web hosting should be done separately to ensure that the web host does not retain control of the domain name. The site Webhostingtalk is a hub of users sharing their experiences on the best and the worst web hosting available on the internet.

Using Dreamweaver[edit | edit source]

Adobe's Dreamweaver is a XHTML generator[2], giving users the option to either code a Web site visually or through HTML coding. The visual component is what makes Dreamweaver an indispensable tool for stunning Web site design. Those with little to no experience with coding may find Dreamweaver daunting and confusing at first. The program is built to cater towards intermediate to advanced Web site designers, though a technologically savvy person may be able to trial-and-error their way through. For the unassuming professional, an excellent guide is Garrick Chow's Hands-on Training's Adobe Dreamweaver CS3, which includes a CD-ROM with exercise files and videos.

As part of Adobe's Creative Suite, Dreamweaver CS3 is the best option seeing as it is more compatible with the other Adobe programs such as Photoshop and Flash.

Adobe also offers extensive tutorials to help new users learn how to use Dreamweaver.

Blogging software[edit | edit source]

To host a blog on your own website, you'll want to choose from one of many available blogging software options. Some popular choices are listed below.

Reference[edit | edit source]

  1. 5 Tips for Pay-Per-Post Success
  2. Hands-on Training's Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 by Garrick Chow