Archive for May 2010
I talk to a lot of business owners who nearly run for the hills when I bring up the dreaded word, “blog.” Believe me, I know it can be daunting to take on yet another new task (especially involving creative writing) when you’re already doing a thousand other things. Hey, I’m a single mom entrepreneur, if I can (somewhat) keep up a blog, you have no excuse!
A blog is a powerful marketing tool that should not be ignored. It should be a part of YOUR branding strategy.
Here, in my point of view, are the TOP 5 reasons why you should be blogging:
1. Show the more personal side of your business.
It can be a little scary to share a more personal side when you’re blogging for business. There’s always the fear of revealing too much or compromising your “professional image.” But let’s face it–we do business with people, not robots. So go ahead and share a little of your personality, interests & thoughts. Now, don’t go hog-wild or anything–we really don’t want to read pages and pages about the cute things your cat, Larry, does. On the other hand, when you’re writing about engineering, manufacturing, music, human resources, or whatever you do put a little of your personality into it. Have an opinion. (And if you don’t have a personality–go get one already!)
Bottom Line: Everyone is blogging these days–if you don’t have something interesting to say people won’t be interested.
2. Establish your expertise.
Think about it hypothetically; you’re looking to buy a widget and there are only two widget stores online. They both have great websites, but one has a blog with a plethora of articles on, for instance: ’how to use a widget’, ‘how to store a widget’, ‘the best widget materials’, etc. You get the idea. Which site would you be more likely to buy from?
A website is a great tool for giving an overview of what your business is about, but it’s not always the best place for tons and tons of information. A blog, however, is a great place for more elaborate articles about your industry/expertise.
I also encourage you to involve your employees with expertise to become authors on the blog as well. It’s a great way to get your team involved and it speaks volumes to your ideal customers.
Bottom Line: People are more likely to buy from someone who knows what they are talking about.
3. Bring in the traffic.
Since blogs are so content rich and nearly instantly cataloged by search engines they are great tools for generating visitor traffic. There are literally thousands of online articles about SEO (search engine optimization) for blogs so I won’t go into great detail here, but I will offer a few key tips: name your posts with key words you want to optimize for, pepper your posts with key words/phrases (without going overboard), offer QUALITY content and take advantage of the “tags” or “labels” features to add more keywords to your posts.
Bottom Line: Blogs help bring in traffic!
4. Make new friends.
Before “social media,” people actually networked in person. Remember that? Well, social media has helped speed up and expand our networks, but remember that real contact makes a difference. So find other blogs that compliment yours and ask for link exchanges or reprint their articles (with permission & credit of course) and you’ll start making connections you never knew where possible.
Bottom Line: Blogs provide another platform for networking without compromising the structure of your website.
5. Keep your finger on the pulse of your industry.
If you are committed to writing new content (or even reprinting new content) then you will naturally be forced to notice the trends in your industry. We all know how caught up we can get in the daily grind, but blogging (& looking for content ideas) can really help you stay ahead of the curve and act on opportunities you may have never noticed before. This is a great way, as my colleague the great Starr Hall, puts it, to “sharpen your axe.”
Bottom Line: Keeping content fresh on your blog with involve some research and networking which will inevitably help keep you up-to-date on industry trends.
Ok that’s my Top 5 for now. Hope you find it useful. Please leave comments with your input!
There are so many talented artists in Orange County (& California), but so many are still undiscovered. These artists make our lives more beautiful and they do it for the love of their craft. But wouldn’t it be great if some of them could have, I don’t know, say:
- a one-month residency (at one of six AMAZING sites in California),
- a $4000 fellowship,
- and inclusion in a nationally distributed publication featuring the year’s awardees?
The GREAT news is that there are 9 days left to apply for these fellowships! So what are you waiting for? Go apply or tell your artist friends. Like now…
Here’s the link: http://www.artistcommunities.org/CAvisions/index.html