A lot of companies (and more importantly, people in companies) are reluctant to embrace the blogosphere. This post is designed to explain the basic mechanics of blog software, and demonstrate how blogging software enables the creation of high quality IBL (in bound links) to your site, which directly improves your search rankings on Google.
To me, blogs are like tofu. A lot of people say they don’t like it for various reasons even though they have never actually experienced it. Or certainly haven’t understand all of its benefits.
Blogs are powerful in two ways:
# Blog software enables cross-linking and networking as if your site is on steroids.
# Blog content is where the action is these days on the internet.
In my opinion, if you want to be successful online, you must understand how blogs work. If you want to “control your message” as many companies do, your best move is to be proactive with your own blog, or as Realty Objectives says, Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant (link has expired). Remember, anyone can start a blog and say just about anything they want about you. Are you ready and able to respond? Are you willing to talk candidly to your customers? Can you make the time to share some of your enormous wisdom and satisfy the deep hunger people have to know before they buy?
Here is a short primer on how blogs work.
h3. Add a comment on a blog
This is the easiest way to get your feet wet with blogging. You do not need a blog to so this! And your site will benefit immediately because your comment will create a link back to your site. (AKA “backlink” or “in bound link – IBL)
h3. Trackback to another blog
Once you have a blog, you can trackback to another blog. This means, you add a link on your site, to someone else’s blog. If their blog is configured correctly (not all blogs are equal!) then a link to your article will show up on their site. Robert Scoble gets a lot of comments and trackbacks on his blog. The trackbacks can be distinguished from the comments as they start with a bracket “[…]”. Click on the “Comments” link for any article to see the details.
h3. Gain an In Bound Link from the Trackbacked Article
Again, if the other blog is configured correctly, your trackback will create a link on their site back to your site! Then all of the people reading that person’s blog, will be able to click on over to your site and read your blog as well.
h3. Ping the Main Blog Directories
New directory sites track the activity on millions of blogs. This is where people can go to find the most recent blog discussion on virtually any topic. If your blog software enables it (not all blogs are created equal) then when you post a new blog article, you can “ping” or contact these directories to say, “Hey! I just posted a new article on my blog, and it’s called “Five reasons Why Blogs Can Save Your Business.” This is done automatically for you, in the background, by the software.
h3. Gain an In Bound Link from Each Directory
Once you ping the directory, your link then shows up at the top of the list at each site. This generates more IBL going to your site, on very specific, keyword-dense topics. It also exposes you to millions of people looking there for articles just like yours.
h3. The Results
Where to begin? There are so many!
* Increase in bound links to your site, from quality web sites, means better Google rankings for you.
* You have more of your expert content on the web, positioning you as leader in your business space.
* Customers flock to you as a knowledge provider.
* Customers pre-qualify themselves by learning about you and your business.
* You make it easy for others to link to you and collaborate online.
* You have a tool to respond quickly and forcefully should others be discussing you and your business.
We’ll talk about tagging and RSS later.