If you view web pages as the original publishing platform since the Big Bang of the World Wide Web, surely this variant platform called 'blog' and its increasing popularity heralds another mode of information publishing and communication. Maybe 10 years down the road another new platform is born ('wiki' is the latest). For now, 'blog' is in the spotlight.
The blog shares some similarities with the web page as well as being the anti-thesis to the newsletter. It has its own URL so it can also be called a site. You update a web page via FTP upload, whereas you edit an existing post or create new ones within your blog account, so it's faster in a sense. Moreover, the most popular blog services are free (for now) so you don't have to pay for a blog host service, and so is a good substitute for a site except that you don't have the luxury of web space to upload other files. Setting up a blog quickly greatly benefits those who haven't got a site up yet.
Every week we have to upload a complete newsletter in our autoresponder and click a 'mass-mail' button. Even so, it may get filtered out, but this is 'push' marketing. The blog gets read mainly on-site and with RSS newsreaders or aggregators. Through these software the blog invites the general public to opt-in if they want to keep their Inbox aside for other purposes, so that's 'pull' marketing. If they are flooded with mails they may miss yours, but with a newsreader they just click on your blog link to access all your posts past and present. The major weakness (sort of) is your readers are still 'out there' so you can't qualify them into a list unlike what you can do with an autoresponder, but if they like what they read, they will stick to you.
The blog's most powerful feature is that every post ends with a 'Comment' link. Know how to exploit this to the fullest and you can forge interactivity with your readers. Since the game of the day is 'communication', no more formalities and e-zine marketing. Write in the way you speak, keep articles short and regular, and keep your blog tightly themed by applying SEO.
Essentially, the blog (you can create one at blogger.com) becomes a communication tool which forms a very significant extension to your site. And Google loves them. So...
credibility + consistency + SEO + link exchange = high ranking -> TRAFFIC, yes!
If you already have a blog, you can submit to major blog directories for FREE and watch your traffic flood in. Do a search for "free blog submission". Or you can click into our blog at http://www.internetmasterycenter.com/blog, scroll down and look out for all the graphic buttons of the sites where you can submit your blogs.
Our little research tells us non-marketers outnumber marketers about 5 to 1 when it comes to blogging...except that only we have prosperity consciousness. If blogs are so popular, why not use it to enhance your online business presence?
Nelson Tan is the webmaster behind Internet Mastery Center. Download $347 worth of FREE Internet Marketing gifts at http://www.internetmasterycenter.com