Reading Time: 4 minutes
Before there was radio, and television, and computers people used weekly literature to connect with the world at large. From August 4, 1821 to February 8, 1969, The Saturday Evening Post was what people looked to for: current events articles, editorials, human interest pieces, humor, illustrations, a letter column, and poetry; readers were even encouraged to write articles for the Post. People would sit around their homes on Saturday evening to read the Post, they would discuss the articles and what was taking place in the world with friends and neighbors. Norman Rockwell became a main cover illustrator for The Saturday Evening Post; he would illustrate certain events or activities of the American Family in a beautiful way.
As time went on, the post lost its popularity and people started looking other places for their information. Newer magazines and the advent of T.V. made the Post less popular, the Post had to cut costs and started using photographs as opposed to illustrations. Today the Post is still published six times a year by Benjamin Franklin Literary & Medical Society (a non-profit), because The Saturday Evening Post descended from The Pennsylvania Gazette, founded in 1728 by Benjamin Franklin.
I had the privilege of going to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA. On display were many Rockwell paintings that were featured on The Saturday Evening Post’s cover, art of a bygone era where life was painted and encapsulated in time. Norman Rockwell’s art was a staple of the Post up until 1963.
Today, Weblogs have taken the role of the Saturday Evening Post; readers and the writers share the same role for spreading information to the masses. The public follow blogs much the same way they followed The Post, blogs today are the conversation pieces. Blogs may not have the same artistic appeal that the Post had, but blogs travel along the same lines with regard to started discussions. I am not sure that it is a coincidence that when we publish something on a blog it is called a post. Blogs allow the reader to be the writer, and the writer to be the reader in the blogosphere.
Reading Time: 6 minutes
Writing a Weblog is one thing, writing a good one is something else altogether! Some people write a blog for themselves and others write them to appeal to a particular audience. It is the latter which I am concerned with, reaching out to the people so they will read what you have to say; when people finish reading your post you want them to have a desire to come back for more. Know Your Audience! Seth Godin says “You only get one chance to make a second impression”.
The key to blogging is choosing a topic, once you have chosen your platform you need to reinforce it with good content. One’s topic and content should appeal to a targeted audience in the field of what you are trying to sell. Most websites today, especially business websites, have a blog affiliated with their site. It gives companies the ability to reach out and have a conversation with their consumers. It is what I like to call “injecting life into your website”. What was once inanimate is now animate, people can get involved in the conversation like never before; this gives the consumer a “it’s all about you” feeling, and by giving the consumer the feeling of involvement you can go a long way .
Whats good for the blog, is great for the website! Once you have created something worth reading you want to make your blog’s presence on the internet greater; in other words you want your audience to be able to find your blog even if they have never read or heard of your blog before. The thing worth noting is that blogging is a means to an end; when people find your Weblog (the means), they also find your website (the end). Google rewards you for a good blog and they reward your website even more for one!
Blogs are the perfect ingredient to making a high page rank in Google! Blogs are updated more often then websites which allows them to be “spider’d” more often by search-engines. Coupled with great topics and content, loyal readers equals high page rank. Keeping search engines in mind is the key to people finding your blog, and thus finding your website; keywords and key phrases are of great importance because ultimately it is those which allow search engines to find your blog and place it where it belongs for your target audience to locate your information. Create a list of keywords you want to be found for and incorporate them into each of your blog posts. The title you assign to your post is the most important place for you to implement your keywords/phrases; search engines place all lot of value on the title of your web page; therefore, how you title your blog post is of great importance for the fact that your blog is a web page in itself.
In summation I believe that there is not one right way to go about creating a Weblog, but there are definitely wrong ways. You will not become an expert blogger overnight and patience will be in order to become successful. As long a you update your Weblog often while always keeping in mind rich content that directly relates to the topic at hand you will succeed. It is completely acceptable to refer to other blogs for guidance as far as ideas and content; look for what’s worked for other people and find a way to make it work for you and your company. Blogging is the voice of your business…it is your billboard on the internet highway!