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Heather

OK this all sounds good but is it possible to see a sample blog so we know just what we are getting.

Do we get instructions on how to get more traffic etc. I never really understood how to get website ratings.

Scott Ahlsmith, CTC

Sure, Heather, I'm pleased you like the concept.

To view sample blog sites, you can start with my "laboratory," http://www.ahlsmith.com/. This is where I experiment with different kinds of posts and track their results. You can also visit http://www.NancyBjerstedt.com and http://www.katharinelancyctc.com/ These are two YOU! the Brand. subscribers' blogs.

Regarding instruction about writing your own posts and growing your blog's readership . . . Yes, we provide monthly teleconferences that cover these topics and share other subscribers' experiences. The teleconferences are included in the YOU! the Brand subscription rate. . All you pay for is the phone call.

To help understand the effectiveness of blogs and their appeal to search engines. Go to www.google.com and search for Magellan360. This is my company and I've spent 6 years advertising and promoting its name. You should find about 1,300 results -- including a few of Magellan360's competitors ;-(.

Now, search for Ahlsmith and you will find about 12,000 results! This is almost 10 times more than my company name and I've only been blogging for two years.

There are many reasons why search engines like blogs more than Web sites, but one of the most important is "fresh content." Search engines love new pages of content and every time we post (at least three times per week) we create a fresh page of content.

Today, my blog (www.ahlsmith.com) has more than 8,000 unique weekly visitors. I started with about 200 and the rest have arrived by word-of-mouth marketing and the fact that they find the posts interesting and relevant. These are the same posts, we place on YOU! the Brand. blogs.

Hope this helps and thank you again, Heather, for your interest.

david

The "Road Less Traveled" and http://www.ahlsmith.com and http://katharinelancyctc.com websites were all down when I attempted to visit, which raised a question. Blogs also provide a public domain to spread negative feedback or information. We all know that customers that have had a bad experience love to tell people. What control do we have over the display / approval / removal of potentially damaging content?

Scott Ahlsmith, CTC

Good points, David, and thank you for discovering an error in our domain name setup. We routinely setup domains so they can be accessed with or without the www prefix. It appears we didn't complete this setup for these domains. I'll fix that today, but in the mean time, you can access the blogs by at http://www.ahlsmith.com/ and http://www.katharinelancyctc.com/. Thank you for spotting this and letting me know.

Regarding negative comments . . . this is one of the most powerful aspects of blogs. Readers want to get to know the blogger, flaws and all. If a blog appears "sanitized" readers will doubt its authenticity.

As consumers, we know stuff happens. What we don't know is how an individual or person will respond and clean-up the mess. Blogs make this process visibile which improves a bloggers integrity.

Readers also appreciate a blogger's response to negative comments. They judge a blogger and her or his business by their ability to solve problems and make things right. Doing this in a public forum added credibility and integrity to the blog.

On the other hand, if someone spams your blog overt commercial offers or uses profanity, you can delete their comments.

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Scott Ahlsmith, CTC

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