I picked my youngest son up from school yesterday afternoon. Like I do most afternoons, by driving through the pick-up line … a bit like a drive-thru at Maccas, but without the fries. He jumped in the car, beaming. As he does most afternoons. Probably because he’s stoked to see that I remembered to pick him up. I amaze even myself on that one.
I told him I’d won an award* for my blog – the Sydney Writers’ Centre Best Australian Blogs 2011 Best Blog (*do click on the link, there’s a video of me making a lot of shifty, sideways eye movements).
“Another one? Why do you keep getting rewards (sic)” he asked.
That’s a good question. As I sit here in overwhelm, with the champagne chilling, I’m wondering the same thing.
I started this blog as a way to keep writing after leaving my journalism career. As someone who likes to write, it seemed like a logical way to also market my business. Over the past three years, I’ve come to realise that if you are in business – any business – then writing a blog is a must.
(I started out blogging to a handful of people and in the past month this blog received more than 25,000 unique visitors and more than 100,000 page views. That blows me away.)
A blog is the key online marketing tool that offers you the ability to broadcast your message – whenever you want. For free, or a very low cost.
I’ve been asked by mainstream media what makes a successful business blog and here’s my take on it – from personal and observed experience. It’s not gospel but it’s learned at the school of try and try again.
1. People are information hungry. Give them information that will help them make their life easier. In doing so you are establishing yourself as a credible source for information in your business niche. Some people shy away from doing this as they don’t want to give things away for free. Trust me, if your readers (potential customers) don’t find out information from you, they will just go elsewhere.
2. Sell yourself by not selling. I don’t write specific posts about my styling services or memberships. They’re listed on the blog permanently for anyone to access, should they want to. Instead I write advice-driven blog posts that offer real solutions for busy people.
3. Be yourself. The key thing that blogs have over mainstream media is that their writers are more accessible. I write as I would talk to you in a conversation (yes, I am THAT crazy at times!). There’s a photo of me on the banner and I subject you to a weekly video blog on youtube. All these things work to help me connect with my readers. What you see, read and here on the blog is exactly what you’ll get if you met me in person.
4. Build your community. A blog does not sit in isolation on this thing called the internet. Well, it can do. But it will be a very lonely blog journey. A blogger needs to reach out to his or her readers. A blogger needs to visit, read and comment on lots of other blogs. And they need to be active on social media. I network online the same as I do offline. Well, ok, when I’m networking online, it’s most likely to be in my pjs not my stilettos.
My advice, if you’ve been thinking of blogging, is to JUST DO IT. Just start. Don’t expect results overnight but keep at it. The “rewards” are not in the accolades (although I do like an excuse for some bubbles), they are in the relationships, the new friends, that you make by reaching out to the big, wide world.
And that’s what keeps me blogging every day.
This post was chosen to be a part of the IFB Links a la Mode: Tech Weekly Roundup
Fashion Is More Sociable Than You Think!
Edited by Christen Rochon
Being fashionable is not for the timid or weak at heart. Its ever-evolving, rapidly changing and new trends are born every minute! With the information age we currently live in, it’s only natural that social media platforms become launching pads on how we interact with fashion and share our fashionable lives with others. Fresh from last week’s Fashion 140 Conference in NYC – it is apparent that more and more companies and bloggers are using social media to connect with consumers & readers in intimate ways like never before. Here are a few examples on how sharing fashion has become more sociable than you originally thought…
LINKS À LA MODE: TECH – May 10th
- Ashley Laurel: Bringing Fashion to Meetings at Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn
- Divas and Dorks: Express Makes It Social To Shop Using Facebook!
- Miss Viki: Facebook Analytics: How To Count Clicks From Facebook
- The New Professional: Are Your Co-Workers Really Your Facebook Friends?
- Search & Dresscue: Makeup Your Mind: Express Yourself with NARS’ New Site
- Styling You: The Business of Blogging
If you would like to submit your link for next week’s Links à la Mode, please register first, then post your links. Deadline is Sunday, May 15 — get posting here and grab the code for your blogs here.