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What is a Blog?
I devote a lot of time in my courses to blogging because it’s such a powerful marketing tool so, it’s probably a good idea to start with explaining what a blog is.
The work blog stands for ‘web blog’ which, over time, has been reduced to the term we all know. It started out as a digital diary or glorified online journal. People wrote about their day – where they’d been, what they’d done etc etc. At the outset making money was not a factor. Obviously some people have really interesting lives so they grew a following. Next came the realization that these people with their following could endorse products etc etc giving bloggers huge commercial potential. Needless to say, blogging absolutely exploded!
Who should be Blogging?
Anyone that is passionate about a topic and keen to share it should be blogging!
But before going any further, let’s make a distinction between blogging as a business and blogging for business. The passion that is required to drive the blog would be no different and the ultimate goal would probably also be the same – to make money. The difference probably lies in the time spent on blogging and the delivery mechanism.
From a time perspective, blogging as business is more or less full time. If it isn’t already then that is certainly the longer term goal. On the other hand, people that blog for business generally do it as part of their day job. It’s not all that they do.
Full time bloggers use a multitude of blogging platforms, the most common being Wordpress, whereas business bloggers tend to have the company blog incorporated into their business web site.
Hopefully this clarifies who should be blogging as it could be ANYONE, not just a creative or stay at home mom or foodie or fashionista etc.
Why should you be blogging?
There are as many reason to blog as there are topics for blogs.
Here are 10 of the most important:
- It can help build your brand
- It can drive traffic to your website by being the breadcrumbs or fodder that draws people from your social media platforms
- It can help to convert traffic to leads and ultimately into sales
- It is good for SEO because you are providing valuable content (which search engines love) and you’re Constantine refreshing your site content (another plus for search engines)
- It teaches your customers about your business and teaches you about your customers
- It’s an amazing platform to share your passion – personal or business.
- Depending on your passion, it could be a means of sharing knowledge and experience or of making a real difference
- It’s a way of engaging with your customers or followers
- It can create two-way conversations
- It can and should be fun for you and for your followers
When should you be blogging?
The answer is as often as you can produce good quality content.
Don’t be churning out anything just to keep up the numbers. The key thing is to decide when and how often and stick with that. Consistency is important.
There are bloggers that manage a daily post, some blog weekly and others only once a month. Personally I can’t stand being bombarded so, weekly is about as much as I can handle from anyone. That said though, if someone sent me a short, easy to consume blog on a daily basis, that was hugely valuable to me, I’d find the time to read it!
One way to handle the dilemma – especially for business bloggers – would be to have an option to go for the weekly blog or opt for a monthly round up.
From a social media perspective, the best engagement is on a Thursday or Friday. It seems people wind down as the week does. It doesn’t mean you should publish your blog at the end of the week but does mean you should be promoting it quite heavily on your social media platforms later in the week.
Another key part of timing is having a plan. This is where a comprehensive content calendar is critical. This is definitely a future blog to look out for but in essence, these are key things to consider:
- Are there any monthly themes you should incorporate into your blog – holidays, special days, seasons etc?
- When in the week would you like to post?
- What will you do each day of the week on your other platforms to support and draw people to your blog?
If you take the time to prepare and you have the posts planned, the wording compiled and the supporting images all filed and ready to used, blogging and daily posting on social media will be a breeze.
How should you be blogging?
For me the how is about the type of posts you should be creating
That is a whole lot of blogs all on it’s own. Look out for them in the coming weeks but for now, let’s think about broad themes:
- Quoting, or
There are so many ways you can do each of these and there are so many more things to consider. All in good time.
I hope that this blog has achieved a few things but primarily I hope it has cleared any misperceptions you may have about the value of blogging. It has the capacity to be a means of making a living and a powerful tool for business – as long as the content is interesting and adds value! It’s something than ANYONE can do and that everyone should consider. So, start thinking about your area of expertise, what you have to share and start planning your posts. Once you have a high level plan, start plotting it on your content calendar and gather all the content. We’ll make sure you have more structure in the coming weeks.