Find out what makes blogging important for your business, how you can gain followers and what kind of content to consider. Use it to build your brand, your relationships and over time, build your business.
What is a Blog? Online journal A tool for getting a message out A way to promote products and services An avenue for developing your brand Can be used instead of a website with ongoing content Can have links, resources, and tools that are of value to your audience.
Popular Blogging Platforms Blogger Wordpress.com Wordpress.org (free self-hosted blog, $6.95/month for web hosting = more freedom to customize) Typepad ($8.95/month)
Why Should I Blog? If your Website is the first impression, your blog is how they get to know what you’re passionate about. It’s the personality of the company. It’s your voice. It’s a reflection of you and your brand. Gives you an opportunity to influence people. Helps establish a relationship with your ‘tribe’ based on trust. When they know you and like you they will want to follow you. Gives you visibility. Establishes you as an expert in your field. Gives you an online presence
How Do People Find My Blog? Tell your family and friends Send a link on social media, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn Include a link at the bottom of every email in your signature Include an invitation and link in your email newsletter Link to it from your website If you don’t have a website address, use your blog address on your business cards Comment on other people’s blogs – it’s all about building relationships
Developing Content Your readers want to hear your voice when you write Establish a theme and a focus, determine your purpose Trends, insider tips, share why you do what you do, resources, a story behind a photo, reviews of a book, opinions regarding current events related to your field, self reflection Newsworthy info regarding your company Photos http://biznik.com/articles/50-blog-topics-for-small-business- owners Readers connect with stories and experiences they can relate to Be authentic, transparent, and real Be generous with your information If you want to quote another blogger, do so properly
What is My Focus? Determining a focus can help you stay on target and attract the right audience According to Publish & Prosper Business blogs can be broken down into three primary categories Marketing focused blogs are designed to build traffic, awareness, and sales Public relations focused blogs enhance image and influence public perception Customer service focused blogs assist and inform customers or potential customers. You can write posts on all of these topics, but it’s good to have a core focus
Why visuals are important Each post should have one pin-able image (Pinterest helps drive traffic) Not a photographer? Use stock photography istockphoto.com gettyimages.com stockfreeimages.com Take your own pictures – take a photography class Videos, close ups, diagrams, screen-shots Pictures do a great job of illustrating a point and evoking emotion or a connection.
Organizing Your Blog Posts Categories Tags Archives You can post certain content on specific days to help you focus and maintain a theme. Monday: Customer service, business info, sale event, etc. Wednesday: Book review, best tips, or expert advise Friday: Personal reflections, what you’re learning, relational
Frequency Should be regular or people will lose interest. Ideally no less than 2x per week. The idea is that you are engaging your audience; customers, followers, & others you inspire. Think of it as an ongoing conversation Be generous
Promoting Your Blog Each post has it’s own url. You can promote individual posts with links on twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, email newsletters, etc. A link can automatically be posted to Facebook or LinkedIn every time you post using apps Encourage readers to subscribe to your blog with an RSS feature. Comment on other blogs Link from your website
Time Management Create a blog calendar Organize content around seasons or holidays Plan posts around major events that your company is hosting Keep a running list of blog ideas Designate one morning a week to drafting blog posts Schedule them to post throughout the week Schedule time off – stay fresh
Quote “People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.” ~ Simon Sinek