Why I'd Make Every E-Merchant Become A Blogger
Brandon asked in the comments to my Adding Some Flare post:
Thanks for bringing my attention to "flare". Do you believe that it is applicable to a e-Commerce website?
Everything that works for bloggers will work even better for e-commerce merchants.
That's why I would make anyone who is an e-merchant maintain a blog where they'd learn about search optimization, link tracking, social media optimization, word of mouth marketing, buzz tracking, feeds, flares, mybloglog, and a host of other important stuff that doesn't cost a dime to do and brings traffic.
The sad thing (but also a fact of life on the Internet) is that the spammers have all figured this stuff out and the services like Google, FeedBurner, Technorati, Delicious, Digg, MyBlogLog, and others now spend a good deal of time thinking about how to keep the spammers out (or at least minimize their impact).
The web is a vast network that is driven by links. You can buy traffic for sure. And most merchants do that. But the free links you can get by participating in the social web can be just as powerful and they cost nothing other than time and energy. And they sustain themselves without additional investment and their power grows without additional effort.
So the next time you hire an e-merchant, the first thing you should do is tell them to start blogging. It will pay off I am sure.