A blog is an information or personal blog published on the Internet consisting of usually informal, frequently personalized blog-style text postings. Posts are usually displayed in reverse chronological order, with the latest post appearing at the top of the page, above the oldest. There are literally hundreds of blog types, including: general purpose blogs, niche blogs (which focus on a single aspect of a given industry or field), specific interest blogs (which cater to a narrow set of interests), academic blogs, professional blogs, and personal blogs.
In addition to the simple text posts, there are also RSS feeds which can be included with every blog post, and there are blog directories that provide “back links” to every blog post, thus giving the blog a higher ranking in the search engine results. Blogs may be organized around keywords, topics, or a particular niche. The blogs are generally indexed by search engines via search engine submissions, or via manually searched indices such as the Freelancer Blog Directory. Blog directories can also provide a directory structure for blog entries, such as Open Directory Project (ODP), Eurodaddy, Yahoo Answers, and more. The content of each blog entry is also indexed by search engines via manually searched indexes such as the Web Index.
Bloggers use blog posts to engage others in conversations. Some bloggers, called podcasters, have multiple podcasts. Others write short blog posts and submit them to RSS directories, to be picked up by other interested bloggers. Bloggers can also use Twitter, Facebook, Digg, StumbleUpon, and similar social media channels to engage in conversations with others and to promote their blog posts. As more blogs are added to article directories, a viral effect occurs and the blog entries gain popularity among internet users looking for information.
The Internet has become so popular that many people conduct all of their daily activities online. Internet usage in the United States has reached over 80 percent, and this percentage is only increasing. Because of this rising popularity of online media, many blog writers, known as bloggers, have found themselves in one place: the target audience of one place on the Internet.
Many bloggers, who belong to a particular industry, employ a variety of tools to stay ahead of competition. One strategy is to make blog posts specific to the industry they represent. This type of competitive analysis will help identify any gaps that exist between current blog offerings and the needs of potential customers. For example, if a clothing manufacturer makes a blog post about the latest styles, it may not be useful to another retailer selling women’s dresses. In order to effectively use blogging as part of a competitive analysis, a blogger must be aware of the language barriers, technological gaps, as well as differences in website appearance that might inhibit traffic to a particular site.
Some people blog because they enjoy sharing their knowledge, opinions, or experiences with others. Other individuals blog for fun, usually relating things they have done or seen in the past. Still others blog as a means of self-promotion by linking to their own or other blogs. Regardless of the reason, blogging can dramatically increase the traffic to a site. If a blog post contains relevant information, links back to other pages on the same website, provides entertainment, provides new content, or promotes sales, then the blog post should be considered for a higher ranking on a static website or directory.