What is a blog and why should I have one?
A blog is an opportunity for you to be seen as a market leader in your field of business. It is a way of developing a relationship and creating engagement with your customers and potential future customers.
A blog can contain photos, video, music, polls and much more. You can allow people to leave comments or ask questions, which is a great way of engaging with them.
You can create categories of information, add keywords to help people find you when they are searching for solutions to their problems.
Here are a few tips:
- Why blog? Would you like more customers to buy your goods or services? Do you want to add value and inform people about things you are excited about? Do you want to raise your profile? Do you want find new customers and keep existing ones? Do you want to give back to your community? You do need to have a goal and keep that in mind when you write.
- Why would people read your blog? Be original, don’t copy information from other blogs unless it is a quote and you are writing your own opinion around it, effectively adding relevance and value. If you are in business, what sort of questions do customers often ask you? Why do they come to you? I frequently hear people say their customers go to them because they have experience and are trusted. I would put it to you that if you have passion for your business and industry, people will read your blog for the same reason they do business with you, you have a common interest, you have helpful information and you care.
- How often should you blog? At least a couple of times a week is my recommendation. Search engines will pick up on your blog when they see there is regular content. You will rise higher up the search rankings and more people will find you. That might sound a lot of work, but the blogs don’t have to be long.
- How long should your blog be? The latest ‘experts’ are saying that many of the most popular blogs are 80 words or less. If you can’t find 80 words a couple of times a week to say about something in your industry or business, you probably should think of doing something else.
- What sort of writing style should you use? It needs to be easy to read, almost like having a conversation, but leave out the industry jargon. It also needs to contain excellent spelling and grammar. This is a professional conversation. The most popular blogs are like a conversation with a friend.
- What should you write about? Keep it relevant to your goals and your target audience. When I was studying songwriting a common thread was write about what you know. That should make it easy.
- Add at least one picture. I recommend you take your own. It doesn’t have to look like it came from a professional photo studio, just relevant. Alternatively you can go to web sites like Flickr and look for photos that are available under a Creative Commons License. Typically you can use these photos as long as you follow the instructions, which generally mean a link back and credit to the owner of the image.
- Don’t use your blogs for advertisements. Share your knowledge and experiences, not hype. The world is full of advertisements and people saying they or their company are the best, people very rarely believe them. ‘Experts’ will tell you that most customers don’t care about you or your company or how great you think it is, they care about themselves and their problems. Pay it forward by just sharing stories, helpful tips related to your business. When people like you and what you are sharing, they are much more likely to become customers and recommend you to their friends and associates.
- Have Fun with it. Don’t think of it as a chore. Think of it as sharing the passion you have for your business. People do business with people. So what interesting or funny thing happened to you today? What’s a question you often get asked?
Here are links to my other blogs that you might find interesting.
1. This is my personal blog which could contain anything I feel like writing about.
2. This is my blog which I write to consider what our future might be like. It is fictional and I pretend that I am writing it in the future. For that reason I call it The Future Diaries.
3. I am also a songwriter. If you are interested in songwriting, you might like About Songwriting.
Have any questions? Feel free to ask me here, or complete the form below. Want some help getting started? That is one of the services I offer as a consultant. I can help you learn the tools to create and manage a successful blog. I can also write them for you, although my preference is to help you to help yourself.