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It's been a few years since blogging first emerged. But it's only recently that it's been considered as more than just a fad.

Many teenagers have resorted to blogging as an outlet for their emotions, a little online nook where they can sound off about whatever bugs them or makes them happy.

Now savvy marketers have discovered that blogging is one of the best Internet marketing methods that doesn't cost a cent.

So, what exactly is a blog? Blog is the shortened form of "web log". Basically, a blog is an online journal. A blog can be set up for no cost at all, and can be used just for the fun of it or for business purposes.

Blogging for your Internet business is a great way to boost the visibility of your products and services. Here are a few ways that your internet advertising will benefit from using a blog:

1. Keep your clients or customers abreast of changes to your website. You can announce new products and affiliate websites through your blog.

2. Publish your opinions, advice or reviews on specific products or services that are related to your business. Publishing is an easy process with blogging.

3. Include articles that will fetch back-links, and links to your website that will subsequently improve your ranking on search engines. This can be helped by putting well written articles in both your blog and your website.

4. You should also include affiliate links in your blog to earn extra income. In fact some people earn good incomes just from niche blogs with relevant affiliate links.

5. Collect responses through the ability of blogs to accept comments from your blog readers. Not only does this build your content without any effort on your part, but you can learn and improve your products and services through the feedback from your readers.

6. Connect with other bloggers. When other bloggers notice that you have something good to say in your blog, they might put you in their favorites lists - that will automatically link you to their blogs and further help your rankings and traffic.

So, how do you set up a blog? There are a few options you can use to take advantage of this fun and fairly easy way to advertise your Internet business.

You can either load blogging software, such as "wordPress", on your own domain or use a blog hosting service. Host services such as LiveJournal and Blogger.com are the most popular in this field. Those hosts provide you with easy instructions on how to put up your blog.

Once you've got your blog up and running, you can promote it through the usual methods. Some examples are blog directories, participating in relevant forums or writing and submitting articles.

Remember also that most blog software or providers have an inbuilt function to provide an RSS feed of your blog contents. So you can also submit that feed to RSS directories, and to feed servers such as FeedBurner.com

But whatever else you do, remember to add the RSS feed as content to your personalized home pages at Google, my.yahoo.com and my.msn.com It'll help get your blog spidered and listed faster by those search engines.

So now you know a bit more about the free advertising benefits of blogging, the next step is to take action - now. Happy blogging.

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