(Washington, DC) - Citizen Outreach announced today a new blogging project, ConservaBlogs.com, in which any conservative/libertarian individual, candidate, public official, party leader or organization can get their very own blog, completely designed and set up, including hosting…FREE.
“If you’ve heard of blogging but aren’t quite sure what it is, or know what it is but didn’t quite know how to design your own, or knew how to set up your own blog but couldn’t afford it, have we got a program for you,” said Eric Odom, Director of Internet Operations at Citizen Outreach. “ConservaBlogs will result in a huge ’surge’ of new limited-government, constitutional voices in the blogosphere.”
What is a “blog”?
Many people hear the word “blog” and scratch their head wondering what such an unappealing word could mean.
The word “blog” comes from the words “web” “log” - meaning a frequently updated diary, self-published on an Internet website. Think of something like Star Trek’s “captain’s log,” with more or less daily entries.
The difference between a simple website and a blog is that a standard website usually sits for many weeks, months or even years without a change of content. A blog, on the other hand, is updated with new content every couple of days, or even more frequently.
What technical skills do you need to publish a blog?
Blogging has become so easy that if you have a computer and can send an email - you can blog. If you don’t have a computer and cannot send an email yourself yet, get a computer and it’ll take all of five minutes for someone to show you how. It’s that easy.
And unless you belong to a religion that requires you to use only technology from the 1980’s or earlier don’t let your age or status be an excuse for not joining the party.
Some people are afraid of new technology and so don’t even want to try to blog. But the technology is easy now.and becoming easier each year. Even the novice can now look like a professional desktop publisher.
You definitely don’t have to be a computer programmer or website designer to publish an interesting and influential online blog. It’s as easy as cutting, pasting and writing on your computer. As said before, if you can send an email, you will have no problem establishing and writing your own personal blog.
Who should be blogging?
We think every conservative or libertarian with something to say should be blogging.
People and groups, who want to influence public opinion, or promote a point of view, simply cannot effectively fulfill their missions any longer without blogging! Examples of people and groups who NEED to blog are: grassroots activists, candidates, elected officials, political parties, party insiders, pundits, opinion makers and opinion shapers.
If you wanted to promote an idea or a cause, and someone offered you your own private newspaper to get your idea out to the masses, you would be a fool not to accept right? Well, your own private online newspaper column is exactly what you have when you blog.
With a successful blog you and your organization will receive exponential benefits. Some benefits include media mentions, attention from policy makers, and influencing public opinion with a big, electronic megaphone.
Mainstream media outlets now actively monitor the blogosphere as sources for new stories, or to back up stories they are already producing.
Savvy politicians now monitor blogs to get an early look at what the public thinks about their policies or actions.
Politicians use blogs to get the word out about what they are doing and why they are doing it.
You don’t have to write a book anymore to be invited to appear on major talk-shows with large audiences if the people are interested in the “buzz” generated by the content on your blog.
Why are blogs important to the conservative movement?
Because of how effectively they shape and change opinion. Think of early-American pamphleteers like Thomas Paine and “Publius” - without whom the United States would probably still be a colony of England, or not “united.” Blogging is the modern-day, Internet equivalent.
Bloggers spread ideas like a brushfire - whether the idea is good or bad. We need as many conservative and libertarian bloggers as possible to spread the “right” ideas!
But are they really effective?
Anyone who doubts the power of blogs should remember the scandal involving Dan Rather. Prior to blogs on the Internet there was little possibility of exposing false accusations uttered by someone with a prominent bully pulpit such as Rather had when he was the news anchor for CBS News.
The scandal involved a story hosted by Rather about President George W. Bush which featured forged documents that cast President Bush in a horrible light right before the 2004 presidential election.
The “typed” documents used by Rather against President Bush were supposed to have been written by Bush’s Air National Guard commanding officer in the early 1970s. Then bloggers at a small blog (at the time) called “Little Green Footballs” superimposed copies of Rather’s documents, supposedly typed on a 1970s era typewriter, on top of copies of documents printed using Microsoft Word software.
It was visually obvious that the documents were identical. The comparison was picked up by major mainstream media outlets, and was easily accessible for everyone to see and come to their own conclusions.
The scandal, dubbed “Rathergate,” resulted in Dan Rather’s resignation a few months later - although Rather claims the document scandal had nothing to do with him leaving.
There are growing numbers of examples of the power of blogging - including the exposure of false statements made by then-presidential candidate John Kerry over his service in Vietnam.
What kind of material makes for a successful blog?
A blog can really be about anything. But blogs which gain readers and deveop a following have a few key elements which make them successful.
* You have heard that in business the key is location, location, location. For a successful blog the key is content, content, content. Good writing attracts good readers.
* In writing a blog, brevity is the rule. Long verbose articles (called “posts” on a blog) should be broken into multiple short posts so that the reader can go directly to a particular subject to get information.
* Successful blogs have original content with information that can’t be found elsewhere. The ability to get “inside” information which only you can obtain will draw many people to your blog.
* Controversy always attracts attention, no matter what media is used to expose it. Controversy can be a huge influence on making a small blog very big in a hurry!
* “Linking” to other blogs or websites containing supporting documents or information helps build traffic to your own blog. Be sure to credit the sources of information you use and other bloggers will be more than happy to link and send people to your blog.
Blogging is very community-oriented among like-minded people which has formed a worldwide network commonly referred to as the “blogosphere.” If you would like to know more about the blogosphere and how to increase your blog’s ranking in it, you should read Hugh Hewitt’s book titled, “Blog.”
How do you get people to notice a read your blog?
There is something your blog will do automatically without you having to do anything. Every blog sends out what is called an “RSS feed” or “stream.” RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” - and what it does is automatically send the content of your blog out all over the Internet. It’s similar to what wire services do for traditional “old media.”
In other words when you write a post on your blog about a certain subject or candidate, it’s automatically housed in the Internet. When someone searches for information about that subject or candidate you’ve written about on an Internet search site, such as Google or Yahoo, your blog post will show up in the list of sources for that information.
The amount of content and number of categories you supply on a particular subject, and the number of other blogs you’re linked to on your blog, have a big impact on the ranking of your blog in Internet search engines.
You can also add to the promotion of your blog by emailing people about your blog, and using tools like Constant Contact to encourage people to visit your site.
Cross promotion is helpful, as well. If you’re a guest on a radio or television program, or have a column in a mainstream newspaper, be sure to mention that further information and source content can be found on your blog. Like anything else, you want to promote and talk about your blog early and often.
How much does it cost?
Well, if you set up your blog with ConservaBlogs, it’s.FREE!
We at Conservablogs.com will even help you set it up. No gimmicks, no hidden fees.free! Our goal is to get as many conservatives and libertarians spreading their ideas around the world as effectively as possible.
OK, how do I get started?
All you have to do is go to www.conservablogs.com and fill out the brief “application.” We do the rest.
All we want is some very basic information about you and your cause because this is a blog network dedicated to conservative and libertarian, center-right politics. Other than that, point, click, and get the show on the road!