Blogging is a tremendous way of establishing your domain area expertise and business acumen, no matter whether you are a startup, small or mid-sized business. It’s also an excellent means of establishing and reinforcing your personal brand, and that of your company. Blogging keeps you, your expertise, and your company, front and center in the minds of customers. It also creates a means of reaching folks who might not yet realize they want to have that business conversation with you.
Blogging, for serious bloggers, is hardly sprinkles on the cupcake of their business plan. Blogging becomes central to your business model and business development strategy. Blogging takes a lot of work. Your writing will mature the longer and more frequently you blog. Your blogging acumen will grow as you respond to the comments of readers. Is there a blogger in you?
Since several readers recently asked me to coach them about blogging, I thought I’d create this short post. If you or your company are considering blogging as part of your business development strategy, here are four tips to get you started:
Tip One: Before you set pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), I recommend you decide the role blogging will play in your business model. If content marketing is going to feature prominently in your business development strategy, frequency of posting is your second consideration (at least three times per week). There’s a high rate of blog abandonment (not abandoned blogging!) on the Internet: people start off and then get overwhelmed with the time demands on producing high quality content, consistently, week after week.
Tip Two: What in the world (literally) are you going to blog about? Guru bloggers seem to blog about anything that strikes their imagination. In reality, they have a plan for what they will write about each week and what verticals they are interested in. They allow room for trigger events to create additional posts, sometimes during the same day, like this one I’m blogging to you about. The subject matter that you are going to blog about should govern your brand strategy for your blog. Use that subject matter expertise to come up with a catchy title for your blog – as well as each post – that’s easy to remember and distinctive.
Tip Three: Once you’ve created your model and strategy, decide whether your blog will feature your content exclusively or will feature guest posts by others. There’s a balance to be achieved between what is “your stuff” and “their stuff.” Does their content contribution complement the industry, verticals, or perspective of your blog and personal brand strategy? Yes, there are companies of ghost writers out there who will tell you they can produce tons of content to fill your blog. It’s up to you to determine whether their “voice” can ever match up to what you, and your blogging quality, bring to your customers’ business tables. My advice: if you are considering starting to blog, work towards establishing your own, unique voice. Nobody can deliver on it like you can.
Tip Four: Test your stuff with your friends and family. Determine whether they can understand what you are writing about. Create at least five “test” posts for them to read, running at least 400-600 words. Even your grandma will tell you if she can’t fathom what you are writing about – and she’ll still love you anyway. If there are minor changes that need to be made, you now have created your first five posts!
Best wishes on blogging! You know I appreciate your readership and our conversations.
Babette N. Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, brings entrepreneurial mojo and business- and revenue-producing collaboration and communication tools to small and mid-sized Seller-Doer businesses and startups.