In this article I provide several proven steps to success in business blogging. The benefits of success include an increased number of supporters (not just followers), increased web traffic, sales leads which are more likely to convert to paying customers (because they already know your content) and a reduced cost of customer support. What’s not to like?
In the beginning it can be difficult to find content that engages your target customers. It is also a challenge to generate regular, fresh and compelling content. Look again at all the benefits referred to above. They are very compelling. With foresight and planning you will build your online engagement, extend your addressable market and significantly strengthen your ability to build a loyal customer base.
Here is what you need to do:
Invest in success
Do not fret about the technology – it is out there and well proven so no need to get distracted. Use word press, get a hosted site and make use of a responsive theme (one which displays correctly on a range of different devices). It is not expensive to outsource or set up a beautiful themed site which has all the social bells and buttons – just add a domain name and email addresses. Adding and editing content and graphics is point and click, even when out on the road. That piece is fast and easy.
What is critical is getting your unique perspective developed in a compelling fashion. By all means engage with a mentor, hire a copywriter, just have someone who you can bounce ideas off and that will help hold you accountable.
Develop the following habits. These are the small yet vital things that will bring you success faster:
- Bring your personal perspective to the topic at hand, how you deal with it, what market experience you bring.
- Be generous, share your expertise willingly. Demonstrate excellence.
- Be open and avoid jargon at all costs. If you cannot explain your point in regular English then you may not be as good as you thought you were. Highly technical niches are an exception of course.
- Do your research and avoid a superficial treatment of your topic.
- Collect ideas – they are everywhere. Add an email filter so that any message with #blog in the subject goes to a separate folder – then mail yourself with that subject anytime you see something interesting. Read the results once a week over a coffee and writing pad.
- Take a breath before you publish – it can be intoxicating when things start happening but don’t just do something – sit there. Go for a walk then come back to review your masterpiece with a calm demeanour.
- If it helps then feel free to pin these notes to the wall – use them as a pre-flight checklist
- Summarise the most important points first. Be brief.
- Be specific and get to the point.
- Learn to write for the web. Use shorter sentences and ‘bite size’ points. Resist the urge to include lots of links. Do not talk down or trivialise – Keep the meat just remove the fat.
- Develop your elevator pitch. No one ever bought anything in an elevator (Seth Godin), however you do need to set the scene and be good at intriguing your audience – to demonstrate your expertise and get them listening.
- Get used to bouncing ideas and topics with people. It helps with material and also with building your engagement skills. People really appreciate being asked to help.
- Ideas are everywhere so develop a go-list of headlines, sources of new information, inspring articles. Find a hero. Understand what they do and how they do it. Emulate. Practise. Refine. Repeat.
- Reuse and recycle. It is perfectly acceptable to re-use the information you provide via several channels such as linkedIn and Google+ .
- Twitter can be really useful once you develop a skill for compelling and snappy headlines that take exactly 140 characters
- Include the group – be sure to engage with everyone in your organisation or department. Ensure that you get a wide perspective and buy-in. Their perspective can be vital and it is always good to share the load.
Spread the word. When you find something useful then pass it around. Comment. Engage. Social is a habit so build it daily.
Get in the habit of helping others succeed and your efforts will be rewarded many times over.