So you want to build your business and you know that blogging is free. Free is good, heck it’s f***king great, especially when you don’t have much (if any) of a marketing budget these days to get the word out about what you are working on. And can you prove that you are much of anybody if you don’t blog when everyone else does?
But then again, you are competing with millions of other sites and blogs for attention; you tried it for a while and you didn’t get back any comments, so should you really waste your time? And blogging does take time.
I believe blogging works or I wouldn’t be wasting my time. However, you have to follow some rules. And if you think that rules were meant to be broken, chances are that you will break before the system does.
So what are some of the basics?
1. Know Your Readers
Are you the type of person that likes to hear yourself speak? If so, you probably write for your own reading pleasure. This obviously creates a problem. You aren’t speaking to you. When you write, you need to have a picture in your mind of the person – that one perfect person that personifies your target market – and write like you are speaking to them.
You can write down your inner most thoughts if you want to, but then you aren’t blogging for business. Write about what interests your prospects to keep them coming back for more. Your topic du jour doesn’t always have to be about your business or the next tchothcke you will be offering up either. You can write throw in a post every now and then on other subjects that interests your reader.
2. Speak Their Lingo
Growing up, I fortunately moved around frequently, so as a kid I learned to adapt quickly. The choice of words, accent, jokes, varied greatly from the eight different regions (both inside and outside the US) where I have lived.
I had to become a quick study of lingo of the land if I was going to be accepted any time soon. The same is true for your blogging style. The way you write – your word choices – will attract a specific audience. Learn the lingo of your audience if you want to capture their attention, build their trust and keep them coming back for more.
3. Be Consistent
Have you ever had a friend that only called you when they needed something? Each time you reached out, you never got a call or an email in response. Consider your readers your friends. To build a strong relationship, you need to be there for them on a regular basis. If you’re inconsistent with your blogging schedule, you put yourself at high risk of having your readers decide to stop checking up on you.
4. Be Patient, Persistency Will Payoff
So you’ve been writing for a couple of months now and your ego is bruised because no one is leaving you comments about how wonderfully helpful your posts are. Don’t give up. It takes time to build a base. You are vying for the attention of busy people who have thousands of options to choose from what to do with their time. The tally count of the comments that you receive are not necessarily a reflection of your popularity or the value of your posts.
If you check out most of my posts, I have very few comments and I have been blogging for almost a year now. Although my comment count doesn’t show much of a pulse, I still get a consistently good flow of feedback from other sources – emails, phone calls, postings on other sites, etc. thanking me for my content. Don’t let your comment count be your sole choice for deciding whether you should continue.
5. Learn SEO or So It Goes
As if coming up with consistent quality on a regular basis weren’t enough, you need to know that your blog is only a good business tool if people know about it. I’ll admit, that there are far better SEO experts than I, but I do know that your blog doesn’t stand a chance if your target audience doesn’t know that it exists.
What are some of the ways to say it loud and say it proud? Did you check your keywords / phrases, tags and categories for their popularity with your target market and did you implement them? Are you leaving comments on other blogs and participating in online forums that interest your audience, too, with links back to your site in your signature? Do you have a plugin that offers social bookmarking of your posts? Are you on social networking sites and registering with blog directories? Do you take advantage of offline marketing?
If you build it, but don’t tell them about it, they won’t come.
6. Give Them Something to Remember
Quality will always win out over quantity. Pick subject and provide content that stimulates, reverberates and lingers with your audience. The great thing about blogging is it’s not just for those that write well. Although there are many bloggers that don’t use their spell check and goof up on their grammar, you need to focus on putting together your best work possible.
Don’t forget, there are three mediums when blogging – audio, video, and the written word. Use the medium that is most comfortable for you; it will allow you to put your best face forward. Mix it up even if that’s your thing. And if it’s not, you can look at your options for having someone else either contribute or ghostwrite the posts for you.
So, yes, blogging can help your business. But like anything else there are a basic set off rules, that when applied properly can produce the results that you are looking for. Building a blog alone is not enough. Blogging is another tool for building your business. You just have to learn how to use it.
All The Best,
The Solopreneur’s Guide