Greetings from the frozen tundra of Minnesota! Is it Spring yet?????
For the next few months I am going to be really focusing on blogging and how to better your blog. Yes, I am still a virtual assistant but blogging is, and will always be, my number one skill. I’ve been blogging…I don’t know…like..forever and am still madly in love with the process and the freedom. Now I want to pass that passion on to YOU. I want to share tips, ideas, strategies, resources and thoughts to either light a fire under your tail to start blogging, or help boost up your blog to the next level.
Wikipedia: A blog (a blend of the term web log) is a type of website or part of a website, a website that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer.
By now, many of you may already know this information. At least it seems like you do because the blank stares and the “you’re a what?” are few and far between these days. I remember a time when people acted as though I said I was a Professional Booger instead of pro blogger, but now it seems as though most people (offline) have at least of blogging. Obviously you have, or you wouldn’t be reading this 🙂
Progress is a beautiful thing.
And when I see that spark, I get a little saucy and amp it up a bit and inform them not only am I a “blogger”, but I am a “hardcore Mommy Blogger.” If I don’t lose them after that comment, I am thrilled. The rest of the folks, well, I suspect they are wondering if I blog in full motorcycle leathers with Born To Be Wild tattooed on my back.
Hardcore Reasons to Start a Blog.
If you are already tapping into the valuable business tool known as “blogging” you don’t need me to tell you that blogging has the potential to be a more effective marketing medium than Facebook or Twitter. But if you have not ventured into the Blogosphere, it’s something you need to consider.
Blogging is an amazing platform in which to deliver value-added information about our products or services, plus it is a super good way to communicate with customers or readers and share industry-specific information and tips in a format that is longer than a 140 characters.
Reasons to Blog for Business:
- You can publish articles about your customers, fellow bloggers, favorite product or even something you created. Shine the spotlight on them. Warm fuzzies all around.
- You can share information, tutorials, how-to info to for your customers/readers to enjoy. Value-added information is always a crowd-pleaser.
- Blogs are excellent traffic drivers for your website. If your blog IS your website, use it to get people to “move around”on your site and explore other pages like sales pages, Best of pages and Hire Me pages.
- It’s humanizing. Many of us have clients/readers in other states/countries that we may never meet. Blogs allow you to peel back the layers of your business or life and let readers see the person behind the work and the stories.
- Fresh content. Search engines LOVE fresh content. Frequent blog posting is like injecting the Search Engines with go-go juice.
- Blogs give you a chance to poll, survey, and engage with your readers via the comment box on your blog.
- Allows you to share your knowledge with readers and align yourself as someone “in the know” in your chosen niche.
- Allows you to provide the information your readers want and need. Wouldn’t you rather they come to you for it?
- Blogs communicate the essence of your brand. Lead generation. Being visible.
- Blogging builds a community. And a tribe. Who wouldn’t want a “tribe?”
What NOT to do on a Your Blog:
- Just like Social Media, blogs are not a press center. Yes it is ok to have announcements about what your business is doing, but practice the Participate Not Push theory. 80% of the time you want to be creating useful content for them. 20% of the time can be reserved for selling and business-y topics.
- Not posting consistently. Back to the most blogs peter out after 3 months.
- Vent, whine, or talk smack. The Internet is an ink, not a pencil, it it wisely. Don’t be a Blogger Behaving Badly.
- Make your blog look totally different from your website. So people don’t think they landed in a foreign land, have your blog reflect the colors and style (as close as you can) with your website.
- Not wachin ur spellik an grammer. Is this how you want readers to envision you?
Misconceptions of Privacy
I think there are many people who think that, just because you have a blog, you are required to spill your life history out for the world to see. I am sure some do, but that’s not how I roll. I am very careful about what I reveal about my family and personal life on my blog pages. Just know that, when you blog ( like any social media) it’s SOCIAL. Your information is “out there” and you just don’t always know who’s reading. I would advice you to not share anything online that you wouldn’t share with the general public in your offline life. If you want to go into detail about your explosive diarrhea last Saturday night as you sat alone watching re-runs of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, I won’t judge…maybe. Your blog is your real estate, share what you want but just know the really deep, wacky or gross stuff may cost you some readers.
This applies to other bloggers out there as well. The vast majority of the bloggers out there are professional and conduct themselves as such, but there’s a few renegades out there. I do not use my blog platform to ever “talk smack” or blog in anger and I would advise you to do the same. No one likes on online bully or troll. A blog is tool of communication and education, not a weapon of destruction.
But it’s not all about being zany and mouthy. I love my blog because it gives me an amazing platform to help people. My blog has become the messenger for cool stories, sharing connection with other strong women and shining the spotlight on organizations who deserve the spotlight. I am one of those people who, when I see something really neat or ..I want to tell the world. I love the fact I can help people get their message “out there” with my little piece of virtual real estate known as a blog.
Is my blog sometimes like a needy child? YEP. But I have learned ways around that. That topic and others will be ones we will be addressing during this Writing Better Blogs series. Be sure and subscribe below so you don’t miss any of the madness and if you have a burning question about blogging, please leave me a comment below. Thanks!
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