From the June 2007 issue of Entrepreneur

"Having an eBay blog is like zooming down the information highway at 125 mph," says Rhonda Walmsley, who co-owns Kent, Washington-based FastBackStack her husband, Lee. Rhonda says their business, which specializes in hard-to-find classic Mustang parts, has a blog that "provides an express lane directly to potential customers, and the [payoff] comes in the form of increased traffic to [our] business."

eBay is always on the cutting edge of technology, especially in marketing. Last year, they headed further into the Web 2.0 arena with the introduction of blogs (http://blogs.ebay.com). In their simplest form, blogs are online journals that can be about anything you want. However, on eBay, blogs allow you to not only effectively market to your customers through blog posts, but also easily communicate in a community setting about what buyers want. Plus, search engines love bumping blogs up to top spots on their sites thanks to the rich content continually provided by this type of community interaction.

FastBackStack's use of eBay blogging has truly launched its online presence (http://blogs.ebay.com/fastbackstack). After blogging about their inventory of 1967 Mustang original deluxe interior parts, the Walmsleys, both 36, saw an immediate increase in business. They noticed additional benefits from the post, too--not only did the parts sell quickly, but sales for other 1967 Mustang parts also increased. Rhonda says they blog at least four times a week about Mustang facts, restoration tips and anything else relating to the classic car. "Posting information about our collection was also a great way to find out that our customers are looking for air conditioning components to restore their Mustangs before the hot summer months approach," says Rhonda. "We responded to this need by listing and selling additional A/C parts."

Want to join the blogosphere? You can blog simply by:

  1. Heading to eBay Blogs at http://blogs.ebay.com to sign up for your free, personalized blog.
  2. Creating a blog name. You have 75 characters to create this title, which should contain important search engine-optimizing keywords.
  3. Creating a description. What will your blog be about? Will it be about your products, customer service or eBay tips and tricks?
  4. Coming up with tags. This new term became popular with the emergence of Web 2.0. However, entrepreneurs on eBay are already familiar with tags because using them is similar to creating keywords that produce powerful marketing titles for listings. You receive 10 tags (keywords that your buyers will use to find your blog), and each one can include up to four words.
  5. Hitting submit--you have a blog! An eBay blog "gives us the interactive forum [that allows] us to talk about our Mustang collection and increase our customer base," says Rhonda, "while also sharing our enthusiasm for this classic [car]."

Janelle Elms, eBay University instructor and dean of Online Business for LA College International, is creator of the eBay Stores Video Series. Contact her at www.onlinesuccessinstitute.com.