Blogging No Substitute For Good Content

Awhile back our small, weekly newspaper invited me to write a blog. At first I was flattered. Then I wondered – since my pay would be in free photocopying and faxing – why should I do it? What would I write about? In fact, what qualifies as a blog?

The term blog was coined in 1999. Webster’s describes it as “a diary; a personal chronological log of thoughts published on a web page.” Dictionary.com says to blog is “to write entries in, add material to, or maintain a weblog.” Sounds like posting a personal column online. I could do that, but why should I? Why should any individual, business, or organization climb onto the blog wagon?

Blogger and social media expert Gerard McLean says most businesses should not blog. “If you want your organization to be taken seriously, quit blogging, McLean says. “Or more accurately, quit calling what you do blogging. You are not a blogger, you do not follow people nor do you have followers.”

What businesses can do, McLean says, is engage and interact with people on their web sites. Organizations can provide clients with industry insights, post easy-to-research resources, present comments on services or products, and employ online tools for customer support. Gilberties Herb Gardens’ web site is a good example. The company does not blog, but it maintains a primo online herb guide.

Then, I got my own web site and in my quest to be found by search engines, I read this advice: Blog. The more activity on your web site, the more likely it is to be noticed by search engines. Since you may not be changing your web site content that much, blogging activity is a way to attract search engine spiders and robots. A blog also gives me, as a writer, another opportunity to show my work to potential clients.

Rest assured, I do not suffer from “Delusions of Blogger,” defined by Marketing Profs Daily Fix as: “An unshakable belief that since you can type you can blog. Often leads to hallucinations of publishing and speaking careers.”

Blogs are about voice, personality, opinion, and conversation. If there’s a niche on your organization’s web site for this kind of exchange – and you have a clear idea of what it is you want to accomplish – blog away. If not, save your word power.

What’s in a Name? How To Select an eBay Selling ID for Small Business

This morning, in my Google Alerts inbox came a question from a small business owner about eBay…

This is not unusual because while eBay wants to create the impression that the entire process of setting up an eBay selling account is a simple 123 affair, in reality it can be quite a challenge. There are numerous decisions to be made and each one is important.

Nothing could be more important as an initial decision for a small business when setting up an eBay account,than the choice of a name for your eBay ID.

Plan ahead and think about this vital decision.

The eBay ID name can be changed at a later date, but for the sake of continuity and because when you change your name, you lose links and possibly your customers, it is best to research and select the name you will stick with.

I hope I answered the question adequately for crhodes113 on the Marketing Profs Know How Exchange… (See text below)

Selecting a good eBay name is an even more important decision than selecting a corporate or traditional business name.

Remember, no matter what neighborhood or town your retail store may be in, you usually do not have to consider the search capabilities, whims and trends of 225 million buyers looking for your products. (eBay.com).

Business Name
Posted By: crhodes113 on 1/8/2008 4:05 PM (EST)

I am beginning a business on eBay and trying to decide on good name for it. I want it to be attractive, classy and now. I will not be selling only one line of merchandise. I will have mostly new and very slightly used clothing. They are primarily designer labels or high end manufacturers. Other items will be antique linens, glassware that is vintage or very nice later date. I think I will consider this a boutique so that I have room for various items. Can someone suggest some names that are appealing?

I replied:

Names on eBay should be more than just unique or interesting. You must consider many aspects of your business and your customers.

Think about who your primary customers are?
What words would they use to search for your primary products?

How will they best remember your name to return again and again?

What name will instill trust and confidence in first time buyers? Trust is huge in online sales…

Remember that your business name and your eBay name should be close to the same thing but they do not have to exactly match.

You should also remember that your eBay stores name can be slightly different if needed but should use very similar words (keywords preferably). And for your business model you really should look into using an eBay store…

If you use more than a single word in your eBay ID you should use a hyphen between the words.
example: Beauty-Boutique or Baudy_Boutique

Once you have landed on a theme of names (write every one down as you think of them). Check Google’s keyword tool for confirmation that these search terms are used by people looking for your products. You could also look on eBay based research tools like Terapeak or Hammertap to be sure your market niche is good for your business plan.

Then when you have narrowed your list of names down, look on eBay to see if your favorite name is available.

Good Luck!

If you need any more information or help with eBay stores or stores design you may contact me through my blog:

All Business Auctions

Scott Pooler

eBay Certified Education Consultant – eBay Stores Certified Designer & Powerseller.

Blog Often or Not?

I suppose I should craft this question within my mailbag feature, but I think I will let it stay as it is. The question that has come up is essentially this one: should I blog on a daily basis?

Well, there was a time when I thought that if you managed a blog, you should be posting to it at least once per day. Back on June 16th I made mention that I would not be blogging as much, instead I would be concentrating on other activities, specifically writing for hire. Besides this blog, I manage 6 other blogs and keeping them all up-to-date is a tall order. Nevertheless, I have discovered that if I devote the first hour of my day to blogging, I am in a much better mind-set to write for others. Kind of like a pitcher’s warm up time before he faces the first batter.

Now, I am not so sure how relevant daily blogging should be. With the number of blogs doubling about every 6 months, the internet is getting filled up with so many different sites that it is becoming much more difficult to truly sift through all of them.

Eric Kintz of Marketing Profs:Daily Fix has an interesting take on blogging these days and he strongly suggests that daily blogging is, in fact, counterproductive.

Okay, before you go and breathe a sigh of relief make certain that you actually read all 10 of his points before you stand down. For some folks, hyperblogging still makes sense, but for the majority of us it doesn’t, at least according to what Eric has shared.