Blogging, Anyone?

Avatar for CMEvelyn
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2012
Blogging, Anyone?
5
Wed, 07-11-2012 - 1:47pm

These days, everyone seems to have a blog.

If you have one, is it for business or personal, or both?

Do you make money from it?

Can you do it for little or no cost?

How did you get started? Any tips or advice for someone who doesn't know where to begin?

If you don't have one, have you thought about starting one? What's stopping you?

 

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2009
Mon, 08-13-2012 - 2:37pm

If you have one, is it for business or personal, or both?  I haven't had a blog, but I will start a business one this month.

Do you make money from it?  My business blog will not make money from advertisers placing ads on it or anything (at least that isn't my goal), but I do hope to attract customers for my business.

Can you do it for little or no cost?  I will be setting up a free blog.  Paid blogs seem to be geared toward people who are seeking income from advertisers or just need a ton of space.

How did you get started? Any tips or advice for someone who doesn't know where to begin?  Well I've taken a training course and read a lot of articles on why it is beneficial to businesses to have a blog and how to use it to enhance your business.  If someone wants to start a business blog I would say a good old internet search for articles on how to get started, why to get started, how to make it effective, blog site comparisons, etc would be great. 

For a personal blog all you need to do is pick a free blog site that you find user friendly and sign up.  You have complete freedom with personal blogs because they're personal, you can do and say whatever you want and it really doesn't matter what anyone thinks.

If you don't have one, have you thought about starting one? What's stopping you?  What has always stopped me from starting a personal blog is that I prefer message boards to discuss personal life matters.  I find them more interactive and much more rewarding.  A personal blog in my opinion is much like a diary and while there is nothing wrong with that, it is an outlet I've outgrown. 

I hesitated to start a business blog, because I simply didn't get how it worked.  On my personal website I would post updates, but I didn't see the actual benefits of doing that on an official blog site.  

what's the difference between having a blog and having a website, and why one and not the other?  Well a business website is where you want your customers to go to buy something.  You want your website to be clear, to the point, and uncluttered.  Here is what I have to sell, here is how you use this item, here is what it costs, here are specials available, here is how to contact me if you have a question, etc. For potential and current customers who just want to know about what you sell then the website is where they can go for just that information without having to weed through stuff that doesn't interest them. 

A business blog is a tool to attract potential customers (and keep current customers) so that they will want to go to your website and buy something (or keep returning).  Here is where you can be a little more personable (but still professional!) and also discuss other ways your business enhances your life.  Perhaps your business allows you to travel, volunteer, pay for college tuition, keep an aging parent out of a nursing home, support charities, try a new hobby, etc.  For potential and current customers who want to know more about YOU then your blog can give them those insights. 

From a personal standpoint I don't think anyone needs a personal website.  Personal blogs are flexible enough to allow you to incorporate photos, video, and just about anything else you may want to use to further express your personal life and they're free. 

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Avatar for CMEvelyn
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2012
Tue, 08-14-2012 - 10:42am
Thank you so much! You said you will be starting a free blog for your business, which makes me wonder, why have both a blog and a website? Couldn't a business blog take the place of a website?

I know someone who had a website for years and then switched to a blog and that is now his main site for his business. I don't really see the difference on his site except for maybe the format.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2009
Tue, 08-14-2012 - 2:14pm
CMEvelyn wrote:
Thank you so much! You said you will be starting a free blog for your business, which makes me wonder, why have both a blog and a website? Couldn't a business blog take the place of a website?

I know someone who had a website for years and then switched to a blog and that is now his main site for his business. I don't really see the difference on his site except for maybe the format.

Yes I could just use a blog instead of website, but I think that would actually create more work and heres why.  Since my business sells products that I don't store and ship out then anyone wanting to order them is going to want to search a catalog, fill a shopping cart, pick their shipping options, make a secure payment, and submit.  The company has already created a distributor site (I can personalize it) that allows all of that to be done with ease so it makes sense to take advantage of it.  If I wanted to just go the blog route I'd either have to create all of those features from scratch or merge the website within the blog which would still mean having both.  Or I could not merge the website within the blog and have people call me to place orders and then I use the website to put them through (still would mean having both) or call the company.  Or I could direct people to call the company to place their order and hope it is properly credited to me.  That would just be too much extra hassle.

Now if I offered a different type of product, like say I made jewelry, and I held all of the inventory and set up all of the shipping on my own.  If I wanted to keep the business fairly small then I could simply use a blog to chatter on about my stuff and other aspects of my life, post pics of my current inventory, list prices and shipping surcharges, and add a paypal link.  That would be much cheaper than a website and if the business grew and I quit stocking the inventory then I could expand to a website later and redirect through the blog. 

Now for a service based business I think just using a blog could make sense regardless of whether the service is something one receives online or something one receives in person.  I'm picturing a personal trainer for example.  They probably only want to appeal to customers in the city they are in, so having a website that is being marketing all over the world wouldn't make any sense.  Sure they could have a website and tailor the seo to their local area, but that would still probably be more costly than just having a blog. 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-04-2009
Tue, 08-14-2012 - 6:22pm

I just started blogging. I love it! I don't make money off of it just a release i guess. There just been so much going on in my life that its nice to say hey this is going on and have others say their haveing the same issues or they understand bc they went through it. I have a month free then its a dollar a month. I googled everything that i wanted to know.

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Registered: 06-03-2009
Wed, 08-15-2012 - 2:02pm
Do you find that others respond to your blog and you create online friends?
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