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Blogs with a Purpose

 By Robin Nobles

Few people can dispute the power of blogs. We saw how they affected the U.S. presidential election of 2004. When used correctly, blogs can have an amazing effect on your Web site. In fact, I would go so far as to say I believe every business site needs a blog . . . if used properly and in the manner in which they were designed to be used.

What are Blogs?

Blogs are online journals that can be used in a variety of different ways. In a personal sense, families can keep track of each other across the globe by posting to a family blog. One family member posts, then another member adds their comment underneath the post, and so forth.

Businesses can announce new products and services, discounts, discontinued items, or holiday promotions in their blogs. I'll cover additional ideas for the use of a business blog further in this article.

The biggest challenge is to get your target audience to read your blog. That's why you need a “blog with a purpose.” You need a reason for your audience to visit your blog on a regular basis. What would make your blog special to your audience? Why would they want to bookmark your blog? Why would they want to link to it and tell others? That should be your ultimate goal.

Think about your own site, and let's start talking about “blogs with a purpose.”




Examples of Blogs with a purpose:

Horseback Riding Tours

Bayard Fox of Equitours Worldwide Riding Vacations has a unique way of using his blog. After one of his horseback riding vacations, he writes an online journal, complete with pictures, and posts them to his new blog.

The guests who attend his vacations can visit his blog and link to it, and then tell their friends and family members to visit to read more about their recent vacation.

These vacations are in very exotic places, like Africa, India, and Uruguay. In other words, reading about them and seeing the pictures certainly makes you want to take a riding tour as well.

Why do people want to visit his blog? If you had taken a horseback riding tour in Africa, wouldn’t you want to visit a site that had pictures of your trip, as well as a journal that documented the whole thing? Wouldn’t you want to link to it?

What good does this do for Bayard and his company? It’s obviously a perk for his customers, and we always want to take care of our customers. Plus, as the site gets more exposure in the search engines, more and more people will visit, outside of his existing customers.

His existing customers will pass along the link to friends and family members, and he’ll pick up new customers that way. He’ll gradually build link popularity from the blog as time goes on.

Tip: Be sure to link to additional pages of your site from your blog posts, so potential customers can read more information about products or services you mention on your blog. Use absolute links with keyword phrases in the link text. On your product pages, link to the blog. In Bayard’s case, he would be linking to each riding tour’s page.

If you have a newsletter, promote your blog through the newsletter. Be creative! Ask your customers to post their opinions about a new product line in the blog. Offer a 10% discount to those who post.

In Bayard’s case, he could mention a recent riding tour, and give the URL of the blog where newsletter readers could see the pictures and journal entries.


For this category of “blogs with a purpose,” I wanted to list a blog that serves a purpose similar to that of an online forum. Numerous ones come to mind, but none more appropriate or effective than Threadwatch.

The owner takes great pride in his site, and it shows. What makes it different from other blogs of the same sort is this twist:

“Finding the signal amongst the noise of internet marketing media takes too much of what we all value most: TIME. cuts through the chatter and produces a clear signal for the time starved professional Internet Marketer.”

In other words, he distills information from other forums and posts that he feels are the best and most useful posts. Rather than your having to sort through mountains of information yourself, go to Threadwatch and let them do it for you.

What’s in it for the visitor? You don’t have to run all over forum land to learn SEO and Internet marketing information. It’s all consolidated in one handy place: Threadwatch.

What’s in it for the owner? He’s has an extremely popular site now with a very loyal following. His link popularity is excellent, and I’m sure his visibility is as well.

Robin Nobles is a professional writer. SEW recently launched localized SEO training centers across the country through the Search Engine Academy. 

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