Last night I was at the wonderful Shellharbour Business in Heels networking event, and I was asked several times why people need a blog. During one of those conversations, one lady asked what a blog was.
So today I’ll answer both questions.
What is a blog?
A blog is a web page which contains short posts. You update these regularly. Jorn Barger coined the word in 1997, as a contraction of “weblogs”. In those days most blogs were like journals, or the Captain’s log on the Enterprise. These days, business blogs have quite different uses.
Why do I need one?
Most businesses these days want more than a vanity website. They want a website that connects with their customers or clients, adds value to their customers and makes them some money. A blog can help with all of these. (If you are interested in some website tips, click here and watch the 3 minute video)
A blog connects you with your customers and clients.
Most blogs have a comments section at the end, where readers can comment and interact with you.
This is useful because you can discover what they like to know, but also what they need to know – and their questions can be the basis of new blog posts.
You get feedback on your ideas when they comment, and when those comments are positive, it boosts your confidence.
A blog allows you to show the human side of the company, convince followers that you are a real person and that you are aware of their needs.
A blog adds value to your customers and clients.
Most business blogs give away valuable knowledge and share that knowledge with their followers. People enjoy learning, and they are grateful for knowledge that they don’t have to pay for. This sharing of information helps you to build a loyal community. It shows your altruistic side to share goodness with those who need it, too.
A blog can help you to make money.
If you can share gold in your blog posts, your readers will love you for it. They may not be in the market for what you are offering at that moment, but when they are, they will think of you. It may occur to them that if this is the quality of the knowledge you share for free, then how good must be the services that you charge for?
A blog can also be a marketing platform. There is nothing wrong with mentioning upcoming promotions in your blog, as long as that’s not all you do.
A blog keeps people coming back to your website.
A website without traffic is nothing. If a tree falls in a forest and nobody hears it, does it make a noise? If a website exists and nobody visits it, is there any point to its existence? Search engines like new content, too, so a blog helps to drive new Google traffic to your website.
Blogs help to establish you as the expert on your topic.
They help to build authority and credibility. (There are other ways of doing this, and if you missed my webinar on Writing Your Own Best Seller, click this special link and you are welcome to listen to the replay. If it doesn’t work for any reason, let me know!)
People search blogs for up-to-date information on niche topics, so since other people are posting their information out there, shouldn’t you do it too? You know just as much about your area of expertise as they do.
Isn’t it hard to set up a blog?
The software is really easy to use these days. WordPress is particularly good, but there are other very easy and intuitive options. Companies such as Movable Type, Blogger.com and Typepad all offer easy blogging tools to get started.
And blogs are very easy to update by yourself.
For the small business owner who can’t afford a web designer and doesn’t have the technical know-how, a blog could even be a good alternative to a fully-designed web page.
Is it really worth it? Who reads blogs anyway?
According to Technorati, these are the stats for blog readers:
- 50% are above 35
- 44% are parents
- 70% have college degrees
- Four in ten have an annual household income of $75K+
- One in four have an annual household income of $100K+
Do your clients fit that demographic?
If you have any other comments about blogs – for or against, or any questions, please post them below!
Thank you for all the great comments about the webinar (write your own best seller)! If you missed it, I have set up a special link here. If it doesn’t work for you for whatever reason, please let me know and I’ll look into it.
On May 30th at the Clever Centre in Corrimal, 9-5, I’m running a workshop for job seekers:
Change your Job: Change your Life.
It’s for anyone who is thinking of getting a new job.
We will look at how to:
- Write professional resumes and CVs.
- Address selection criteria.
- Prepare for the perfect interview.
- Write a professional profile.
$197 (use the code 241 and bring a friend FREE)
There are 5 tips for mature job seekers on my Facebook Page
On June 20th at the Clever Centre in Corrimal, 9-5, I’m hosting a do-it-yourself writing for small business workshop.
Small business writing: Get it WRITE!
- Do you hate writing for your business?
- Not 100% confident about your writing?
- Can’t afford to get a professional to do your business writing?
Give me ONE DAY and I’ll give you the templates and the knowledge to do it yourself.
Websites Do-it-yourself writing for your website content – know exactly what to say and how to say it!
What do people read on flyers? Simple rules and fill-it-in outlines
Blogs and newsletters – how to write a simple blog post or newsletter that people actually read.
- Never run out of topics
- Headlines that people open
- Step-by-step guidelines.
Business emails – simple guidelines for better emails.
bring a friend for free, use code “241”
Bookings at: http://bit.ly/1lyvxC0
Keep writing, write well, write with passion, and use your writing for good.
Dr Rie Natalenko