You’ve entered the world of social media. Your website is up and running, you’re becoming a Twitter enthusiast and now you’ve decided it’s time to add a blog to your marketing arsenal.
Before you launch into blogging you really have to ask yourself “Why?”. There are already over 200 million blogs out there so it’s essential you know why you’re spending this time doing something everyone else is already doing.
Don’t let the numbers put you off. You aren’t competing with the millions of others (that’s impossible!) but you will need to find your niche and have a purpose. Simply by having a purpose your likelihood to persist and persevere with your blog increases.
Confession time here, in the beginning I didn’t give blogging any thought at all. Someone asked me why I wasn’t blogging, so I just did. Yup, that much thought. My early blog entries are a (very) random series of miscellany that I wrote whenever I felt I should. But they served no purpose whatsoever and they never will.
And I’ve changed direction at least twice since I started. You can read my early work as it’s still here, nothing has been erased. I’ve left them on this blog as thoughtful, how not tos. They aren’t really terrible, just a bit clueless.
See I’m human. I’ll even share my not so greatest moments with you so you can learn from my not always so brilliant example.
Right, back to you and your blog. When you decide to write a blog to support your business you should at least start thinking about why.
Knowing why you’re blogging is not only important for goal setting and establishing a direction, it’s important as a motivation tool. Blogging is where you will spend the largest chunk of your time in your social media world. I don’t mean you’ll be on your blog for hours at a stretch, but writing a good blog takes up a greater chunk of time than send out a dozen tweets, or putting links onto your Facebook Business Page.
It’ll take you more than a few minutes to write something publishable, edit it, decorate it with pretty and relevant pictures, edit it again, save it, find those three (at least!) spelling mistakes, edit and again and then finally publish it. Then, and there is a then, time to promote it on your other social networks, using it to direct traffic and therefore clients to your website. Knowing all this activity has a point is essential to the small business owner.
So finally, why do people/companies/organisations blog? Here are a few reason why:
1. To establish your reputation as an expert
2. To engage in conversation with others
3. To express your thoughts – self publish
4. Show prospective clients who you are
5. To share ideas – can be both personal and business
6. To help and advise – again can be both personal and business
7. Enhance your chances of being found by search engines i.e. improve your visibility
8. For money – blogging as a job
9. Affiliate marketing – selling someone else’s product or service
10. To develop and sell a product
12. Fame and fortune
13. Writing content for other online resources or offline projects
Finding your niche and
connecting to your happy customers
Vancouver, Canada – 2011
You can blog for any one of these reasons or a combination of a few or most of them. Mine’s a cocktail of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11 (OK and as it’s ultimately for work and the blog does direct people my way, it’s also a bit of 8). Keep in mind when you start a blog that it’s work and it will take patience and it should be a part of your long term plan.
I understand there’s a learning curve and that the phenomena of social media can be a bit of a maze. It takes dedication, time and practice to learn how to use these tools to their best advantage.
Good luck and happy blogging.