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Thalia Miller is an eBay enthusiast, author, artist, mother, wife, and entrepreneur with strong Christian values. She lives in the middle of nowhere, just north of Dallas, Texas. For more info visit: http://www.bohemiattic.com/album.htm

 

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Winners Circle

Tuesday, December 28, 2004
  Blog, Blogging, Blogger, Bloggest

I've been focused on the blog thing here of late. Mainly because I read an excellent article, "Why Marketers Should Blog". Blogs have been around for years but are quickly becoming fashionable, especially in the business and marketing world. This surge to mainstream acceptance is partly due to the ease recently attributed to blogging. Web logging has evolved from the first bulletins (we didn't even use a mouse then!), forums, and user groups to a slightly more sophisticated means of syndication now. Developers have created amazingly simple methods of posting blogs through several applications. The most common one is the push-button publishing method.


The good news for Internet professionals is that the search engines have been creating separate indexes and directories specifically for blogs and RSS Feeds. The wildly popular Avant Browser even has a "Feeds" drop down next to the usual "Favorites" menu on their browser window. My Yahoo! has long had a customizable feature to add content through feeds to your Yahoo! homepage. To give you an idea of the pace to which blogs are now advancing, RSS usage is doubling every month! It's believed that the elections also had an influence on this boost of blog energy. Seemed like every opinionated voter and their dog was throwing up a political blog there for a while. Things have settled down politically for the moment, so work-at-home moms, entrepreneurial spirits, like me, and unfortunately, fast-talking infomercial want-to-be's who hope to shine the lights of the fast cash fantastic into every doe-eyed passer-by, will be posting. Not sure which is worse: political activists or used-car-salesmen. Hopefully, you aren't of either of the latter groups... But I digress. So, getting back to the good news, the addition of these searches, you and I can get listed on these directories, maybe even near the top, if we move quickly. This means more traffic! More traffic, of course, means more sales. Yay!

A lot of folks are still in the dark about this RSS feed business. The term RSS refers to a syndication format, also known as Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary. Each RSS feed is simply a text document containing a list of content items including the headline, description and link for content items available on a web site. RSS feeds were initially used online by the news media. In short, this RSS feed is a FREE way to go global with broadcasting your message. It's similar to setting up your own web, except that it has been made much simpler and the feed is a way to share your content with your readers and even other publications, a way to "syndicate". RSS readers allow you to subscribe to RSS feeds much like web browsers allow you to view web pages. The RSS reader will automatically update on some regular schedule and display the new articles from the feeds you have supplied to the reader. Some RSS readers notify you when a new item has appeared from one of your feeds. When you have opened the RSS feed in your browser and see the XML data, then highlight the URL of that feed and copy it to your clipboard. Then, return to your RSS reader and follow the instructions for your particular reader for adding a new feed. The URL you copied to your clipboard will be the location your RSS reader will require to subscribe to that feed. If you've ever loaded the eBay Merchant Kit on your web, then you'll immediately see the correlation to this method. It's basically a snippet of code.

In the time it takes to write an email, you can put opinions, thoughts, sales messages, promotions, product announcements, relevant issue topics, tips, anything you can think of writing can be put in a Blog. You can utilize tools to add pictures, audio and video, much the same way a regular web works. There are roughly over 3 million Blogs online. However, only a tiny tiny percentage are being used to increase business and site traffic online. You can easily do this and blow your competition away, get tons of traffic, and increase your sales. If you've read the Advanced Power Selling Book, you'll remember the marketing strategy to spread your listings and get more hits. Well, this can be achieved just as easily using your blog and in addition to the other methods!

This is what I've learned in a nutshell, but there are great tutorials out there for further research. First, the site from which you set up your blog should be rich with resources. Secondly, don't get frustrated. I've been developing online stuff for ages (10 years or so) and I still get to play on the learning curve here. Check these additional links to sources I have found helpful: Tom Peters (this will send you to his page on RSS but his whole site is awesome!), Rodney Rumford (this link will send you to his FAQ on RSS but also links to his blog which is helpful), Master New Media (this site has a little info on all things marketing including the wonder of blogs and RSS), Stampede System (This one has a free e course for learning how to drive traffic to your blog), RSS Exposed, and Blog Profits (this site currently has a free course). Also, the first link I mentioned, Why Marketers Should Blog, includes multiple ways to market your blog, which I'll be taking advantage of once I have my web set to go at the end of this year (a few days from now-- phew!).

So, please feel free to let me know how your blogging is going. Drop a line with your blog and if I get a chance, I'll try to stop in. Happy blogging! Thalia



 

Thursday, December 23, 2004
  Christmas Gift to Myself

I know, I know. It's not MY birthday! But with all this give-give-giving, I thought I might just treat myself a little. It will ultimately benefit others anyway, I hope. So, here I am at the end of another year looking forward to the next. And what am I doing? Using my free time to do what I love: write. Can't get much better than that, can it? Well...

This year has been a lot of hurry up and wait. But, I'm ready now. Bring it on. I spent the summer finishing the edit of my new paperback "Advanced Power Selling" and gained valuable inspiration from the eBay LIVE! conference in New Orleans. I've been rubbing elbows with the most influential leaders I can find. I've been mentored, mused, and molded. And I've been absorbing every powerful and thought-provoking technique I can uncover regarding the world of online success. It's sort of sent my head spinning a bit. SO...

I have decided to keep an on-going journal here of my findings as I come upon them (say once a week?) so that everything will be accessible in one easy-to-find place. AND I also want to get feedback from others who share the same dreams of Internet success that I do. This little corner of the net, my gift to myself and to you, will not be a place where I check for grammatical errors, or worry too much about sounding a little foolish. I intend on using this space to be my unedited self and to help others with the extensive knowledge I've learned. Warts and all, so-to-speak.

I encourage you to join me on this journey into net marketing bliss if you aspire to make your hopes of online wealth a reality. In fact, I look forward to your success as much as mine. So, don't be shy. Speak up if the mood should strike. I'm not afraid to admit that I haven't learned everything that there is to know on the subject, and I welcome any useful data you want to contribute. I also want to extend this invitation to include the use of entries you find helpful and worth sharing with others so long as you remember to credit the bohemiattic site wherever entries are reprinted.

Until next time, please have a very Merry Christmas and God Bless!

Thalia


 

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