A Sustainable Plan for Blogging

Bangui_Windfarm_Ilocos_Norte_2007It’s the most common question from small business marketers who want to make good use of the internet. It goes something like:

What can I write about? Where can I find content ideas? Or, How can I blog if I’m in a really boring industry, like insurance for truck drivers, or warehouse fulfillment?

If you feel stuck there in a content-less fog, not wanting to start blogging or writing social media posts because you think your field is uninteresting, you haven’t really thought things through.

For starters, what are you doing slogging away day after day at something you find boring? (I’m not accusing you; just urging deeper examination. I have certainly done my share of employment for organizations that I didn’t highly value. It’s something to work through, for sure.)

But never mind that, suppose you just innocently must admit that there’s not a lot that’s universally fascinating about roadside garbage collection or a tax preparation firm.

And you’d be right. If you look straight at the subject, isolated from everything else, it will indeed appear to be void of interest.

But Oh My Gosh, the truth is that no matter what the subject, possibilities for riffs on it are endless. [Read more…]

What is Blogging, and Why?

jmoneyyyyyyyContent marketing, the leading thought in marketing today, clearly centers on content creation, which in turn centers on blogging.

The idea is that content – as opposed to ad copy – is what attracts a market. And your content is the stuff of your profession or business; it’s the presentation of who you are and what you know. Moreover, content is thought to be non-promotional; it’s sharing for the benefit of the audience, rather than of your business.

Despite the fact that very few people love to write, and many people don’t like to read, blogging became the core of content creation from the web’s early days. Though it’s still the rule that blogging will most quickly bring valuable site traffic, the task is no more universally popular than it ever was. Unfortunately, I’ve built sites for clients who refuse to include a blog; and other sites where the blog was set up and then simply abandoned. Truth is, most business owners have no intention of blogging.

I see this as a failure to understand what blogging is. As with so many of the internet’s properties, basic instructions are usually bypassed. Suddenly, now the internet requires us to produce blogs, when heretofore we interfaced with the public through ads or a printed brochure, and left it at that.

So here’s a list of what blogging is, which also shows why it’s necessary and how it doesn’t have to be so challenging.

Blogging may be defined as

  1. regular interaction with your audience
  2. a way to attract the attention of potential audiences
  3. the place where you consider the angles of various aspects of your business
  4. the method you use to educate people about your subject/field/organization
  5. the way you express yourself in public
  6. how you prove your passion and expertise
  7. the vehicle for sharing your personality – and perhaps your mission – across the globe
  8. the accumulation of archives as evidence of your endeavors
  9. continual updating of your website, keeping search engines active there
  10. a strategy for keeping your own mind and interest keen, vis-à-vis your subject
  11. the build up of a knowledge base
  12. an instrument for effective thought leadership

We could go on. But the point is that nowhere in the list is the word ‘writing.’ A blog does not necessarily include writing. You can come up with ways to interact, attract, consider, educate, express, prove, share, accumulate, tease Google, stay mentally sharp, collect information, and contribute to your community without writing.

Will you talk, draw, collect, or how else will you cover these blogging necessaries without slaving over a written essay every week? I’d love to know your ideas.

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Figure out the system you’ll use to blog, and you’re already on the way to success. Need help? Info here!

Blog vs. Facebook

Facebook vs.bloggingI built a website for a local brick-and-mortar business recently, and in the process asked if they would be including a blog.

We discussed the key benefits of blogging. My client asked, “So could I use what I’m posting on Facebook as blog posts?

It’s a valid question. For attracting the attention of a crowd, a blog post and a Facebook update may seem to be equally effective. However, they actually serve very different purposes.

There are millions and millions of blogs on the internet. But there are billions and billions of people on the planet. Online, bloggers are the business owners, the creators, the publishers, the ones who dare to take the lead. They are definitely in the minority, even though their number potentially includes every business owner alive (and anyone with a long term mission, come to think of it).

If you have a website, without some kind of blog you’ll have trouble attracting site traffic. This reality means that business owners who hope to use the internet for marketing must understand their role as creators on the web. You may be a plumber or a psychologist, but you’re also a leader. Today’s world requires that you share your leadership through web publishing. [Read more…]

Itty-biz Owners: Why Blog?

You may be surprised at these 5 Fundamentals of Blogging for Your Small Business Website

floeschieBlogging is generally thought of as a series of essays. To blog is to write, often. Which is all very well and good, but not the strong suit of many an entreprenuer.

Sometimes I wonder about the gurus who stridently proclaim that everyone must have a blog. Who is their idea of  ‘everyone?’ Do they mean every hair stylist, doctor, and courier service? If so, they are naive. Not everyone is capable of blogging. Unless …

Unless we take an alternative angle on what it is to blog. Let’s forget the idea that blogging is writing essays. Suppose you have no prior concept of blogging, and I describe it to you this way:

1. Websites are generally static. Your blog is the manner in which you show that you are alive and kicking. It’s sort of like calling your mother, though maybe we should think of it as something more positive, like checking in with your kid, perhaps. It’s sending out a signal, for no other more important reason than to send the signal, to demonstrate your status and connect. Since public memory is shorter than a crewcut, you have to blog consistently and often.

2. They say that enough monkeys playing around on typewriters for long enough will produce the works of Shakespeare. I doubt that, but it’s for sure if you blog faithfully over time, many aspects of your awareness and skill will be sharpened. How can you help but benefit from communicating with regularity about your objectives and experiences? Blogging not only shares your expertise; it also heightens it.

A side effect is the fabulous public relations benefits from being generous with your knowledge/discoveries. Do not underestimate the profits to be gained by demonstrating your willingness to share.

3. Lovers of gardens keep journals of their work. Travelers collect souveniers and photos. Parents compile scrapbooks and memoirs. These endeavors are motivated simply by love. Your blog, too, is best motivated by love. What? you ask. How can my legal-advice-for-the-shipping-industry-blog be motivated by love? Easy! Find what you love about your work, your clients, your daily routine, your colleagues, the weather, whatever. A major pre-requisite to successful blogging is selecting a subject that you love enough to stick with.

4. For some time now, education has tended to enhance our left-brain (analytical) thinking and neglect our right-brain (imaginative) thoughts. Because of this, it’s difficult for many people to be freely expressive. A worker-bee industrial world has little use for the individual’s take on things. But in the digital environment, you’re no-one unless and until you speak with authority. You build authority by proving trustworthiness. You prove trustworthiness by blogging.

5. Your blog is where you meet your friends and fans. It’s your front door, the park, the breakfast club at McDonald’s. What is your place in such a scenario? Let your blog reflect that.

Show your friendly self as truly as you can. Online branding is no more complicated than that.

 

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